How to stop working and start riding a bike: Part 1

Our house after the tree fell on it- August 4th, 2016

Our house after the tree fell on it- August 4th, 2016

Step 1: Have a tree fall on your house
Okay, it may sound like the worst thing in the world to happen, but as long as no one gets hurt and it truly is an accident, (please don’t start a termite farm in the old oak in your front yard) then a good old act of nature can be one of the best things that can happen to you. Now some of you might be asking: How could a massive oak tree bashing through the front of my house be a good thing? First off, you instantly know what possessions really matter to you, in our case it’s our bikes. Sure, they’re expensive but it’s more than that, it’s all the conversations we’ve had about getting on those bikes and peddling through far off places, it’s the freedom that comes from knowing that you can propel yourself at a steady thirteen mph without having to worry about making enough money to fill up the tank, or worry about a $1200 blown head gasket fix.
Next, That lease that keeps you at least 6 months from making a great escape is probably as demolished as your front porch, so find a month to month spot or shack up with some friends while you scrimp, save, sell, plan… Just stay versatile and don’t get too comfy or else you might have to wait for that next tree, lightning bolt, black mold infestation etc. and who knows when that might happen. If by chance a natural disaster does not occur to your home consider subletting, or Airbnb that place out. If you really wanna get out odds are strong you can figure something out.

(Pro Tip) Having renters insurance definitely makes this a much easier experience. I suggest to all those twenty somethings living paycheck to paycheck, try to find that extra $8 a month to put towards renters insurance. It really comes in handy when your valuables happen to get crushed by said tree and it’s also nice to get set up in a hotel while you’re making a plan for your great escape!

Step 2: Pick a place
Now that you’ve gotten rid of that pesky roof over your head the next question is, Where do you wanna go? Is it finally time to put those four years of Spanish class to practice? Have you been dreaming of biking down the Pacific Coast Highway, maybe the Mediterranean is a bit more to your liking? Do you want to set off to Southeast Asia where you can find a cheap hut on the beach after a long day’s ride? Where have you been dreaming of, who do you hope to meet, what places seem the most beautiful, mind expanding, delicious? And, I’m not talking about the spots that everyone say’s you have to go to, Paris is great, Rome is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen, but the real adventure happens between the big cities and the tourist traps, it’s talking to locals and finding out about the waterfall at the end of the old road that you can also camp at, it’s randomly stopping at a bar in the middle of nowhere and finding a room full of new best friends who want to scream out Tupac songs in broken english all night long. It's finding out one of your favorite bands is playing in an old mansion in a tiny village on the coast of Spain and biking three days out of your planned route to have one of the greatest nights of your life. Wherever you choose just make sure you’re excited about the possibilities that place brings.

Step 3: Downsize
Now that you know what really matters to you and where you’re heading, take a look around you and figure out which of these thing are going to help and which of these things are just gonna slow you down. We’re all hoarders in one way or another, there’s something comforting about having our collected things around us. I’m sure it’s somehow connected to the olden days of hunting and gathering, where we would pack our caves as tight as we could with all the berries and deer jerky we might need to make it through the winter and then we could sit back and try not to freeze to death. Nowadays, our caves just need to hold enough food till the next time we have to hop on our bikes and take a quick chilly January ride to the store to restock, and now that all of our food is widdled down to a weeks worth of viddles stored in the old ice box we have all this extra room to fill with crap we don’t really need or maybe even want. But then, the lizard brain say’s, “keep it, you never know when that inflatable flamingo collection might save your life," and these day’s you never know when the sea levels will rise up and you’ll need that personal island made of inflatable flamingos, but lets run with the odds and say it’s a safe bet it’s time for them to go, along with the piles of books you’ll probably never read, those weird peelers that you were going to do vegetable origami with, the twelve bikes you swore you were going salvage the parts to make one badass bike. You know the stuff i’m talking about.

While sifting through the crap accumulated over years of stagnation, you’ll come across those items that you could never possibly give up, that hold memories of days gone bye, your grandma’s old cast iron pans, those books that you actually do want to read or read again, that shirt that you lost your virginity in or that you took off right before you lost your virginity. I suggest lengthy lending to those life long friends or family that are not planning to uproot their lives anytime soon, unlike your crazy ass. If you don’t wish to burden friends and family with your stuff then look around for a cheap storage spot, you can usually get your first month free and a year of storage is probably gonna be way cheaper than a month of rent.