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Well this post is a little late coming. Getting back home and into the swing of things has been a little bit more of a struggle than anticipated. Still at times I just want to grab my bike and tent and ride away to escape from everything. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely happy to be back with my family and friends. If it wasn’t for them this whole process would be a ton harder so thank you guys! With that being said, here are my last thoughts as I was on my final plane flight home…

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Sitting here as the plane flies across the vastness beneath. It is all I can do to help box up and categorize the countless number of thoughts, memories, experiences, and friendships that have been made along the way. This journey has been one of inexplicable experiences both life altering and ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

First off I just want to say that although I am headed home, this is not the end of the journeys, travels, and adventures. I don’t know what lies next and only the future will reveal that. Tons of thoughts continue to go through my head as my brain has continued to work on over-drive thinking and processing all of the many possibilities for the next step. Although I left home hoping to be closer to that decision, I find that my heart wants something more than just to travel. It wants to make a difference, doesn’t have to be a huge difference, just something to refocus my vision giving me a purpose to pursue, a goal.

I dearly miss my family, the gym, friends, my girlfriend, home, and the life there. Working along side by dad, mom, and sister has been a great pleasure of mine and can’t wait for it to continue as I resume working at Aspire.

Throughout the past year and some months, living out of a backpack and off of a bike has been nothing short of amazing. It is a simple life and one that has brought me back to basic necessities where my only worries have been food and finding a place to sleep each night. As easy as it sounds, it is not always that cut and dry. But living this way has also given me more time than I could’ve ever imagined inside my own head unboxing and slowly opening up different various thoughts, ideas, and struggles that have gone on.

Well enough of that. This blog has been a joy at times and a pain in the rear other times. In the end I am very thankful for it as it has not only given you guys the pleasure of riding along on this journey but also for me to keep and remember all of the good times and friendships along the way.

Traveling to 19 countries which include South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales), Ireland, Israel, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and New Zealand was a feat over 14 months. Memories were made in each place and I wish I could thank everyone that was able to make my time simply enjoyable.

There’s just something about South Africa though that I miss. Although it was relatively short, the friendships that were made will last a lifetime for me. All of the people there have become like another family to me and I can’t wait until the next time our paths cross. A HUGE thanks to Allan and Paddy for bringing me out and taking me in!! They helped start this journey and without them who knows where I would’ve ended up but I’m so happy for the way things turned out.

Two more amazing people that truly impacted my life and travels were my cousins Sarah and Dave and of coarse can’t forget Cole! They opened up their house to me to use as a base throughout my travels giving me a little piece of home and stability. On top of that, Dave was able to get me some amazing deals on flights! If it weren’t for them, I don’t know how I would’ve survived and been able to carry on this journey. In the end, I ended up spending more time than anticipated there as I tried to muster up the will to carry on. It was wonderful spending time with Sarah, Dave, and Cole and being able to grow that relationship.

Meeting and interacting with people from all different walks of life was fascinating. I was able to learn or pick up something new or different from each person I met. Through warmshowers (a cycle touring/bikepacking community set up to host travelers), I was able to meet like minded people that had also traveled parts of the world by bicycle giving us something in common. Each of these people graciously opened up their house to me. Let me explain a little more, I was a stranger that they had never met before but I would be welcomed in to make myself at home and more than often given a key for coming and going as I pleased. Each of these people were from different countries, walks of life, and various stages and ages. It was an excellent way to connect and build relationships enjoying lots of much needed human interaction.

One thing I can’t get over and the most important thing I have picked up from this whole trip is people’s generosity. I have been shown such great generosity from Africa, to Europe, across Scandinavia, Israel, and New Zealand. Beginning life back home again, I want to imitate this generosity and bring joy, laughter, and good times to people that I meet just like random people did for me.

This may be the end of my travels for now but we all know I can’t sit still for long. Blog posts will slow down but I intend to keep writing and sharing about the experiences and adventures that come about. I thank everyone who supported me and enjoyed this journey along side me no matter what your involvement was. So stay tuned for more because I don’t even know what to expect in the upcoming days, months, and years!

Cheers!

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