I’ve done a lot of bicycle touring, where I load some gear on my bike and head out someplace I’ve never been before. Pick a destination, explore a route along the way, discover new places and things — about the world and yourself.
A big part of the allure for me of this kind of journey is the research before you leave — where you will stop, camp, sleep, eat, what will you see on the road, what are the towns like, the landscape, the hills, the weather, a million unknowns.
In the days before Google Earth and Street View, it was easy to not have your imagined picture of the trip spoiled by knowledge. Being surprised, and a little nervous about it all was part of the excitement. What will I find? Can I cope with unexpected circumstances that pop up?
Along the way, you see things you didn’t expect or know would be there, experience places as they are, for what they are, and let reality catch up to all of the reading and research you’ve done.
Inevitably it is surprising.
Always it is enlightening.
Undoubtedly it is enriching.
You get to your destination, having completed the trip, conquered the challenges (physical and mental), and satisfied your curiosity.
This week marked the start of a new trip, with a new team setting out on a journey of discovery about a new place, a new community, and a new group of people.
I have the very strong feeling that this project, like a bike trip, will be an important one of discovery for all of us.
We know our destination and our goals there, but very little else. We are all excited, nervous, curious, and inspired.
The spirit of the team was already evident in our first meeting, as we got organized, got to know each other, figured out how to work together, learned from each other, and started the journey.