It's been two weeks since graduation. Life seems to have gotten busier, with back-to-back travels (LA, San Fran, NYC, Boston), moving, and trying to hit the road soon.
I am now across the street from Hampshire College, making final preparations for the bike trip heading west to San Francisco. Only now has the enormity of the challenge sunk in. It is a similar feeling as when I first arrived in the US four years ago: starting all over, again. Nothing from the past matters here, because it is a different game.
I didn't really know what I was signing up for when I decided to bike across the country by myself. And this is part of the fun. I know I must get on the road, because one could spend the entire summer doing research and practice, and still feel under-prepared. Things will work itself out.
But there is quite a bit of anxiety in the chest. I am leaving behind a world that I am familiar and comfortable with, and a world in which I have proven myself and have done well. I am about to enter a world of unknown, both about the outside, and about the self.
Here's where things are:
- I have never worn a biking shorts before. I am about to spend the next three months in one.
- I have never cooked a full meal before, other than the bags of dumplings I steamed. In the coming days, I will be cooking daily on a camping stove, trying to feed the body with enough energy and nutrition.
- I have never planned a long biking or hiking trip by myself. Now I have to navigate my way across the US.
To be sure, none of these are difficult. Where there is a will, there is a way. The challenges are always more psychological than real. In the coming weeks, I hope to share an honest inner-journey of worry, doubt, persevering, trying, failing, trying again, and having fun, as well as the outer journey on the bike.
Even before the journey begins, so many people have already given me so much help, and taught me so many important lessons. I am deeply grateful. With such kind wind of support and goodwill behind my back, it will be a great ride!