I’m so excited! On or about September 10th, 2021, I will take to the road on my trusty Brompton folding bike (click here for a video of me unfolding it) and its travel companion, the Radical Design Chubby trailer, and bicycle around the United States and Canada for a whole year(!)
This journey is a “leap of good faith” for me. The many personal and collective events of the year 2020 shook my foundations: fear of my own mortality, a flood that displaced me from my home for three months, the sudden end of my wonderful romantic relationship of the prior seven years, and a fear of losing my livelihood. Brene Brown famously wrote, “Midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around.” This feels very real to me right now. At age 48, I feel ready to cut the ties of my safe-but-uninspiring administrative day job of the past 18 years, and take on a physical and interpersonal challenge the likes of which I have never before attempted.
This journey is about a few things for me: stepping into the unknown and trusting it, challenging myself physically, and giving my gifts to the world as best I can.
One of the most important things in life to me is to visualize new ways of being in the world: collaborative, joyful, full of love and respect and cooperation, with human and ecological thriving. And I like to support other people, individually and collectively, in living their best lives and dreaming up new ideas and projects for themselves and for the greater good.
For the past 13 years, I have attempted to offer my skills of emotional and strategic support to people in the form of a conventional life coaching practice, as a “side hustle” to my administrative day job.
But I have never been able to manifest a full enough client load to sustain me financially. And frankly, a lot of the folks I most enjoy and feel called to support cannot afford to pay for a life coach. And so, I haven’t actually been doing much of the work that I feel I am best suited to do in this world. My skills were going to waste, and I felt pretty sad and dejected about that.
Meanwhile, I was growing older and becoming less physically fit. At a young age, I chose to never own a car, so I have tended to get around by bicycle and transit. But I’ve never been one to go to the gym, or take up sports; most of my days have been pretty sedentary. But, if I were to cycle 30-50 miles per day, every other day, I suspect my overall physical fitness would improve! As I near the half-century mark, that feels like a good goal to set for myself.
The coronavirus, as well as a few personal health challenges I’ve been facing for years, made me contemplate how much time I might have left on this earth. I hope it will be at least a few more decades. But I don’t know. Last year I spent quite a bit of time thinking, What if I only had a year left? This put some things in focus for me.
I want to give my gifts to the world, with as much of my time and energy as possible.
And I want to experience as much joy and fun and love and adventure as I can, as well!
How best to combine these two goals? Take an epic trip, allowing myself to experience the beauty of the continent and to connect with people all along the way, to support them in their dreams and visions for themselves and for the greater good.
So, that’s what I’m doing!
If you like my vision, and want to support it, there are a few ways you can do so:
I need financial support. Although I am walking away from the financial security of my day job, I do still have a mortgage on my small condo in Portland. I also need to pay the ever-increasing costs of health insurance/health care for myself, including some major dental work that is not covered by insurance. I will need to feed myself with healthy food for the coming year (probably a few extra calories, too, to fuel this journey!) I will need money for various utilities such as my phone, and a variety of other incidental expenses such as bike repairs and maintenance. For all these reasons—as well as the fact that I value the work I am bringing to the world, in this trip as well as before and after—I am seeking to manifest a “salary” of $50,000. I do expect to have a few ongoing coaching clients who will be paying my usual rates, but for the most part, I will be offering 1-2 sessions of totally free coaching to the many people I meet all along the journey. I like the idea of decoupling my work from my source of income. I want to support people who I feel drawn to support, and then I want to receive financial (or other material) support from whoever feels drawn to support my work. On some occasions, those two groups of people may overlap. In many cases, I suspect they won’t.
I am accepting financial support in three main ways:
* One-time donations at paypal.me/dreamintochange
* Recurring monthly donations at patreon.com/dreamintochange (most often, people do between $5 and $20 per month, but less or more are both possible)
* Larger donations from individuals I’m calling “fairy godfunders”
I also need lodging. I am not a camper, and I have a very minimal budget for hotels and other paid lodging, so I am relying on both friends and strangers to host me in their homes for 1-2 nights per location that I visit. (I wish to stay two nights in each town or city, so that I can rest my body, enjoy connecting with the people I stay with or visit in each place, and spend a bit of time to enjoy each town or city as I pass through, visiting local parks, co-ops, and/or vegan restaurants!) So, if you know anyone along my route who might enjoy hosting me for a night or two, please let me know or put me in touch! I am looking forward to meaningful conversations with each host, about everything from their dreams and projects and how they can be most effective in manifesting them, to philosophical conversations about the world, humanity, the universe, etc.
Lastly, I’m always interested to talk to people–anywhere in the world–about their dreams and projects, so if you or someone you know would like a free one-hour talk on that topic, in person or via Zoom or phone, please let me know as well! The more people I connect with in this way, the more I can potentially network folks together, too, to increase everyone’s potential effectiveness in their goals. My own deepest dream for my journey is to build a network of inspiring people doing inspiring things, all around the continent.
If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for your interest and support! I hope to see you on the road!