Life On The Road: Free Again!

After a month of ever increasing pressure to reach the Stahlratte on 30 January 2012, I finally get to travel again as I prefer: No deadlines, no schedules. A continent to explore and weather is my only limitation. It is amazing how relaxing and invigorating it is to be free again!

Of course, I say I feel free “again”, but it would be more accurate to say I finally feel free for the first time on the entire trip. If my entrance to Mexico felt like the time the trip truly began, leaving North America feels like the point of no return. I cannot just turn north and ride home. I know intellectually that it would take no longer to fly home from Colombia than from Panama, that I am have traveled only a few hundred kilometers from Panama City. Yet I feel a separation that never existed before.

This sense of separation has again changed my mindset on how I travel. In North America I was driven to keep moving towards Panama (if sometimes indirectly as I rode north to the Arctic Circle). No matter how relaxed I was, backtracking or riding in circles annoyed me. Now as I consider possible routes through Colombia, the possibility of revisiting roads and cities sounds appealing. I spent a week in Cartagena before I got the itch to move on one morning but I would not mind returning. I am skipping Venezuela for now because I must get a new tire in Medellin and my new luggage in Cali, but after that is done I may retrace my route to ride through Venezuela before I continue south to Ecuador.

Yet again, I find myself settling ever deeper into the life of the nomad. I already noted that “home” is no longer a place to go back to, but I did not realize I was still being limited by the notion that I must keep moving south. I find myself now wondering, what other limitations I have I placed on myself?

5 comments to Life On The Road: Free Again!

  • Elizabeth

    That is a VERY interesting change in perspective! I also find it interesting and a relief that you spent a week in Cartagena before getting the itch to move on. Explains why we haven’t heard from you.

    I for one think that one other “limitation” you have put on yourself is the one called money. Without that, you won’t get very far.

    Glad you are getting the new luggage soon. And not surprising about needing a new tire. I hear Venezuela is fabulous!

    VERY Much looking forward to hearing and seeing your adventures in South America!!!

    • othalan

      Money is a limitation, but not a very big one for now. In most places, I need to follow the weather: avoid snow, ice, and excessive rain. This lines up very well with my available money as it means I move around the world at about the correct rate for my available funds. This would change if I decided to stay in one place for many months, but for now it is not much of a limitation.

      There are also always ways to earn money or travel cheaper. If I want to stop in an area for a time, I could volunteer somewhere in return for a free room and/or food. I could find work as a bartender, at a farm, or perhaps teaching English. I could do small freelance software projects. I can play my fiddle on the street. Not great money in any of those, but all would drastically reduce how fast I whittling down my available money.

  • Grant

    You’ve gotten plenty of “it’s not safe” warnings that have been blown out of the water, but I am curious; how safe is it for an American (US), specifically, to travel in Venezuela right now, considering that their president is making treaties with North Korea and Iran, deliberately hostile to the US?

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