Life, if we accept it, is a continuous learning process. The wandering life is a concentrate of more traditional ones. Hence it is a concentrate of lessons for the individual who is willing to discover, face and learn them at all costs.
After 8 month on the road, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot and it is essential for me to share those teachings, or at least to try.
A few months back, when I first transitioned from cycling to hiking in the vast wilderness of the canadian Rockies, I learnt that the most important piece of gear I had, the one that I could hardly replace, was my body. A sharp hip-strain forced me to immobility for a few days and since then I have been trying to operate better maintenance of this incredible machine. I am always impressed by its adaptability and its ability to face the cold, the heat, the long days on the saddle, extensive daily distance, massive elevation gain, altitude, rough dirt tracks, brutal sunlight, the lack of water, short nights, many moving days without rest and much more. As long as I feed it properly, which lately means a stack of tortillas filled with a big load of refried beans and a few raw veggies, it never stops going.
Since late September, 4 ½ months ago, it has allowed me to make several big pushes in a row. First I had to make my way through a nasty cold-snap that lasted from Southern Montana to Northern Arizona. Then I had to hurry out of the U.S before my visa ran out. Followed a grind across Baja California to reunite on time with my mum who visited for Christmas and finally came an even crazier 3500+ km grind across Mexico mainland and multiple mountain ranges to be on time to catch up with my bro who is here to visit 2 weeks in Guatemala.
I reached the first country of Central America on time but with a weird mixed feeling and an uneasy sensation of exhaustion. I quickly realized I was trapped in my bulldozer mode with my mind constantly, days and nights, focused on the logistics and the progression southwards. If the legs and the body were still surprisingly going strong, I acknowledged that I was flirting with the worst of all injuries : a mental/inner collapse. Of what use can be the body if the energy that animates it becomes energyless ? Despite some progress onto what I call my spiritual path, I had failed to truly understand this basic truth. Even then, I was hypnotized by the urge of making the best out of my bro’s visit, trying to plan the two weeks we have together and squeeze as many adventures in this short time frame. Eventually, I was forced to immobility by a very absurd injury as the rope of the hammock I was chilling in broke, making me brutally crash right on my coccyx from over 1m. This time, that was it, I understood it was time to truly settle for a few days and offer myself a deep rest.
Looking back at what had already happened in my journey through the memory game of remembering where I slept every single night over the last past 8 months, I became aware of two facts. Firstly, I have been on the non-stop move for 8 months. I stopped only twice for more than 3 days in the same spot, when I got injured in Jasper and when I visited friends in Utah and had to plan my own entire route for the first time, which was incredibly time and mind consuming. Even when my mum came, we were constantly on the go with the car and it kept me busy with a different type of logistics. Secondly, despite my own warning about it, I had failed to decrease my daily time spent on the saddle accordingly to the daylight diminution but instead erased the precious window spent writing, reading, meditating and contemplating. I was squeezing all the juice out of the fruit without letting it regrow and it inevitably led to unbalance. I am now bringing the pendulum back to equilibrium with a few days of precious immobility and it is almost orgasmic to finally feel the batteries recharge and joyful energy rush back into my veins. The real challenge is to prolonge the convalescence and put this lesson into practice over the next year ahead !
Tramping, cycling, running, skiing, travelling, I keep exploring this amazing planet we live on. The following texts give an insight of my various wanderings. From poetry to trip reports or thoughts on particular subjects, this pages try to reflect how I travel through this modern world.