One year ago, co-pilot Tine! Rigby and I began a bike trip from D.C. to St. Augustine, Florida. Looking at a map, this trip was a tour of bike shops, local beers, water sources, couches, trees, and gas stations. Much more than that, though, it was a tour of human nature and the relativity of world view and kindness.
Along the way, we met so many wonderful people who opened their hearts, homes, and arms to us. We also met those who only seemed interested in warning us about all of the terrible people in this world, as "There are so many creeps out there." Needless (I hope) to say, it was refreshing to meet the encouragement and excitement of the optimists, and draining to be met by the useless tidbits of doom of the pessimists.
The naysayers and yaysayers opened my mind, if only for a brief enough moment, to realize that I could become either of these characters. I think the yaysayers saw two young souls opening themselves to other people bound to learn and grow in this boundless universe, while the naysayers saw two naive fools bound to be taken advantage of in this cruel world. It certainly needs to be said that either outcome is possible; there are some who face the latter unfortunate experience on such trips, and for those I feel wholly terrible.
Luckily for us, opening our minds like optimistic fools elicited welcoming, curious, and encouraging responses; it is those experiences that I will allow to shape my view on how to approach this world. So there it is: if nothing else was gained from this trip, I can say that I was inspired by the yaysayers to say yay to all things mind-opening, perspective-shifting, and funky in this universe.
My choice photographs are below, and you can find a full gallery of trip images here.