So often, we take our dreams and stuff them into pipes; we say one day or some day, I wish or I hope, maybe or perhaps. I've been a victim of it, too, this aspirational musing; after all, it took me a quarter of a century to turn my one day into a this day and make it to Europe.
I started this blog to help others build a tiny house; it's wound up helping me build an examined, deliberate life. It's given me a place to put my unplanned adventures at their moments of inception, to write them down and share them with whoever cares to listen, to etch them into digital stone and be held accountable for making them happen. And with that in mind, here's another:
I was in the British Museum yesterday, here in London, up on the top floor away from the stair-scared crowds, and found myself ambling about a small exhibit on Japan. How lovely, I thought. You know, I've always wanted to visit Japan.
A place like Japan is to be explored slowly, carefully, quietly. I've crossed a continent on a scooter, crossed another aboard rusty rails ... I think it's time to take my bicycle out for a spin. And with that in mind, on the fifth floor of a great housed heap of stolen artifacts, I hatched a plan: next year, I'll cross the Land of the Rising Sun on two human-powered wheels.
I've traveled a lot these past two years, and though I aim to spread love and learn love wherever I go, I can't help but feel a little selfish as I wander, as I plan another trip for me to experience. So this time around, I'll be doing it for charity: asking pledges per mile and donating half the sum to the Homeless Children's Playtime Project—an absolutely wonderful local non-profit helping homeless youth in DC, an organization I've had the privilege to volunteer with for over two years—and the other half to a still-to-be-chosen non-profit over in Japan.
I like to name my adventures; it makes them feel real, inevitable. Puns and unclever wordplay are my weapon of choice, and this one's no different: chari is the colloquialism for bike in Japanese, and so I shall chari for charity: chari(ty). Groan, I know.
I don't yet have a date for this one, nor do I know whether it'll precede or succeed my upcoming island adventure. It'll be about a month, I know that much; these longer travels have begun to wear me thin. And it'll be this upcoming year.
And most importantly, it'll only happen—like every great adventure I've had since this little blog was born—with your support, with your encouragement and your urging and your asking: hey, so what's the latest on that trip to Japan?
So thanks, in advance, for that.
And thanks, in the here and now, for everything else.