When I rode from NJ to Nashville, Sheena and I sometimes set vague goals for the state. In Kentucky, our goal was to shoot a gun. Well, we didn’t shoot guns in Kentucky, but did in its neighboring state of Indiana. We didn’t just “shoot guns”. We went to a range. With a collector, who was a friend of a friend and became our friend. We both went into a gun store for the first time in our lives. We ended up getting our hands on a WWII rifle, an AK-47, a handgun, a pistol…it was a good time all around. And maybe not everyone in Kentucky, or Indiana, has a friend that is a gun collector and willing to take two naive Jersey girls out onto a shooting range. Maybe that’s not an accurate representation of how the people of that state, or area, live. Our expectations shaped our experience. That is always the case with travel.
I will be going through 18 states and Canadian provinces on my bike, most of which are new to me. Before I enter each state or province, I will try to acknowledge my expectations, stereotypes, and desires for the area, through a list of goals.These will absolutely shape the kind of experiences I have. If I don’t acknowledge them, if I don’t write them down, that doesn’t mean I don’t have these expectations. It just means I’m not being honest about them!
So here goes, I’ve got California on my mind and here’s what I’m hoping to get:
1. Learn to build a fire. A roaring fire.
2. Swim in the Pacific Ocean with a West Coast sunset in the background. And try to learn how to swim while I’m at it!
3. Climb something epic, outdoors,at least once
5. Play California-style bourgie eating and, on at least one day, have an avocado with every meal.
6. Sleep in an orchard. Fruit or avocado preferably, but anything will do.
I’m flying in less than 12 hours. It still seems surreal that I’m embarking, but I am incredibly touched by all of the support I’ve received in the last few weeks. My friends and family have been reaching out to me in any and every way that they can and it blows my mind that I get to know all of you! And that you’re all on my team. So…thanks.