Back in Jax!
You know those times when you’re sitting at your desk at work, looking up flights to places you’ve been fantasizing about during those endless meetings? You see the perfect flight to the perfect place for the perfect price, but then you think about everything you have to do at work next week. Because, if you don’t spend eight hours a day busting your ass working for our capitalistic system (or supporting those who are neglected by the system), then you won’t get a paycheck to spend on things you mostly don’t really care about, but need in order to stay sane in a world where we could be answering to a xenophobic, sexist, racist like Trump. There is always a plethora of irritants holding you back-like that apartment you spend way too much on and the lease you’re locked into, or your student loan debt that is constantly pestering your monthly budget, or feeling like you need to go back to college in order to get a higher paying job. There’s no way you can just up and leave with all of these obligations nagging you.
But then fate sends you something unexpected…in our case, it was $180 one way tickets to Copenhagen and a termite infested tree. Combine that with our openness to adventure and taking the advice of “do it while you’re young”, and we found ourselves planning a 1,000+ mile bike tour. The lunch-break fantasies became a reality, and our lives opened up to the wild unknown.
*Note: We are both aware of the privilege that is necessary to travel abroad. Joe and I are both cis-gender, and in a hetero partnership, which means we can travel to most countries and not be as concerned for our safety. We are lucky to not have any dependents, prevailing health concerns, and US passports in order to complete this trip- further privileges we benefit from. Financially, we did make it happen in two years on two non-profit salaries, paying off our debts and living frugally. We started thousands of dollars in debt and no savings two years ago, and managed to budget our way to be able to afford such a trip. We are very open about our budgets if anyone has any questions about how we did it.
I've moved a lot in my life- enough to realize home is not a specific place for me, but exists in late night conversations with friends, shared meals, rockin' tunes, and the beauty of this planet. At first, this was an act of survival to cope with all the changes in my life, but now it is advantageous because I can feel at home even if I am thousands of miles away from where I grew up. Adventure has always been an integral part of my life. Coming from a family of 7 children and parents that encouraged imagination and curiosity, I started exploring the great outdoors at a young age. When not physically going on adventures, my library card was always a valued possession and helped me escape to fascinating cultures and magical places. This insatiable curiosity led me to backpack SE Asia in 2012, where I worked with refugees and studied their creation of new communities after fleeing their homelands. Post-college, I have worked in education, foster care, and a non-profit supporting homeless youth. While not advocating for those who are experiencing home insecurity, I enjoy climbing, dancing, reading historical fiction and graphic novels, biking, smashing the patriarchy, lovin' Joe, friendship time, and researching fun panda facts.
Growing up in Jacksonville Fl. is an interesting predicament for anyone, with it's strange dichotomy of the old south butting up with a struggling metropolis all intermingled with coastal beach life. It's even more interesting being a big biracial kid in all that mess. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a little bastion of hope where I was able to surround myself with aggressive progressive kids that were down to ride bikes and cause positive mischief deep into the southern night. But living in the largest land mass city in the states can still leave you feeling like your in a fish bowl, so after traveling around Africa, Europe and the states by bike, car, thumb, and freight I finally decided to head west to Denver, CO. for a new mountain view. I worked for the original US bike share for a few years, and later became a social worker for a stretch working with homeless youth in the Denver area, along with hiking, climbing, biking, and camping of course. Most importantly, I met Abbie in Denver and ever since we met we started planning a grand bike adventure to parts unknown. And now it's time to start peddling!
Click below to see where we've been and where we're headed:
Denmark, Poland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Italy, maybe more.....
1200 Miles, maybe more...
2 Surly Long Haul Truckers, 4 rear panniers, 1 3 season 2 person tent, 2 15deg sleeping bags, homemade first aid/sewing kit (thanks Allegra!), journal (thanks Meghan!), laptop, passports, practical/urban clothing (for biking and looking fly in the cities), big ole' bottle of Dr. Bronners, toiletries, drawing supplies, are we forgetting anything?
At night, after running around, plotting and scheming, our checklist items all crossed out, we paused to think — 'What to do tomorrow?' and the answer was always, 'As we please . . .”
- evasion (JOE'S FAVORITE BOOK)
“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” -Anais nin (one of abbie's favorite authors)
One Night In Budapest
Questions, Comments, Advice: