Yes it’s the usual questioning that goes along with “where do I come from ?” and “where’s the remote ?” 🙂 But the scope of my questioning is limited to my current trip.
As I have now done most of the journey and planning the last three or four weeks, it is a good time to start wondering why I do this at all. And yes, philosophy can happen at 7pm on the front porch of a McDonald’s outlet in Kentucky ! Let’s not discriminate.
Of course I had this long time dream of crossing the US. But I could have done it in a car, and seen twice as much in less time. Choosing to go on a bike adds a very specific layer of challenge to the equation. You go slower, you have to be more autonomous, and it’s a lot more painful. It’s certainly also more exciting and rewarding, but I guess it is linked with overcoming the difficulty.
I have done a few years of therapy, and one important learning I had is that you have to define the question, even more than look for the answer. When the question is crystal clear, when you know precisely what it is you are searching, the answer generally lies right by you. That’s the whole underlying script in “Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy” 🙂
So my question is more probably “why am I here crossing a whole continent on a bike ?”. And i might add “right dude !?”.
And beyond the discovery of the country and the people, I think the answer is probably the challenge itself. I enjoy the sceneries and the encounters, but I keep pushing because I want to achieve something. Getting to the other side is the real objective here. As I thought about it the last few days, it feels a lot like a rite of passage. I do this for myself as much as I force myself to do this.
The decision to do this trip appeared very clearly, when the negotiations to leave my job ended. I would have time, and I would have to do this. And I would have to go east, to go back symbolically.
And now the underlying question becomes “why this challenge ? What do I expect to get out of it ?” It’s certainly linked to the end of my marriage, the end of my job, and the end of my home owning. Perhaps this is a way to sever the ties, and go back to be able to start something new. It would also be why I accelerated the search for my father, to know what are my roots. That’s the point where I am now in this questioning. I still have to think about it.
To end on a lighter note, I have been very surprised to listen to a song that reflects so much what I am doing now. And it’s a song by Metallica ! Yes, Metallica, let’s not discriminate. The song is “wherever I may roam”. It popped up for the first time from my playlist after three months on the road. Great random function, apple :p Maybe try to make it more random next time ? 🙂 I mean sure, Elton John, but maybe others too, you know ?