"I knew that ten or twelve thousand miles driving ... alone and unattended, over every kind of road, would be hard work, but to me it represented the antidote for the poison of the professional sick man. And in my own life I am not willing to trade quality for quantity. If this projected journey should prove too much then it was time to go anyway. I see too many men delay their exits with a sickly, slow reluctance to leave the stage. It’s bad theater as well as bad living." — Steinbeck, Travels
As I board my bike, start my engine, and drive down 395, across the 14th Street Bridge, and away from the District of Columbia—my home, my community, my family for these past four years—I want to take a moment to thank you.
This blog has been, more often than not, about me: about my tiny house, about my scooter trip, about my upcoming Camino, about the life and times and adventures of Jay Austin. But the truth is, really, it's about you.
I am the sum of the people I've met, the product of the friends and acquaintances and loved ones with whom I've shared experiences and conversations and life. Without the continued, impassioned, limitless support and advice and help and love and care and encouragement of each of you during my time, well, on this Earth, I'm certain that I wouldn't now have the tremendous privilege and honor and luxury of embarking on this journey, nor the courage and fortitude to follow through with it. Truly, sincerely, these adventures have been made possible by you caring—coming out to frame up a house in the sweltering August sun, lending some old road maps from your own cross-country travels of yesteryear, listening to my crazy schemes and philosophies with an honest ear and not a judgmental stare, just being a friend, an inspiration, a reminder that there's good and beauty and compassion in humanity.
This journey will undoubtedly be a lonely one, littered with stretches of solitude and seclusion, anxiety and apprehension, but that loneliness and that fear will be a little less so with the memories of good friends and good times tucked away with my cargo. I'm going to miss you dearly.
Thank you for everything.
With love always,