Bear with me as I fumble through this new dream and goal of mine.  Most people when they look at their bed, they see a bed.  I actually don’t sleep in a bed.  I sleep in a hammock.  But that is beside the point.  For me when I look at my hammock the first thing that comes to mind is only about 30 more years of sleeping in that (hammock) and then I die.  My point has nothing to do with death per se.  For me, it’s about the future and how 30 years seems like an unbearable infinity of time in a predicted future.  Now I realize that of course life is always changing and life is anything but predictable.  But all by myself in the moment I can’t see that.  Most people want a home and want some routine and predictability.  Part of me wants that too.  But the part of me as a single person at my age is terrified at the predictability of a routine life.  Thank goodness I live in a jungle where everything is anything but predictable.  I think I would go absolutely crazy in a bad way if I lived a traditional lifestyle in Canada.  I know that I would be depressed.  My mental health wouldn’t be able to handle the traditional, routine lifestyle that most people choose to live in a country like Canada (or the USA).

The other issue that what I am up against is the hardships of living where I do and the lifestyle I have living in the jungle.  Every day I fight the elements and all the aspects of life in a Developing country.  In one sense I live a very unpredictable life but because every day is so tough, I am finding it impossible to have dreams or goals.  I mean, I had dreams and goals about Belize before I arrived on my bike.  But being single and with no support my experiences tell me that the best, I can hope for is mere day-to-day survival.  My current goal is literally to get through the day.  After a full day of fighting the elements and then looking at my hammock in the evening, the only thing that comes to my mind is “Only 30 more years of this and that’s where I die”.  And don’t get me wrong.  Most days are awesome with adventure and seeing so much nature.  In the moment life is pretty good.  Looking to the future, I have no clear vision.  Like I said, survive the day.

I spent 8 years planning, dreaming, sacrificing, and working towards my goal and dream of my bike ride and now I find myself unable to dream or plan because survival of the day is my greatest hope.  I don’t get lonely.  But I am alone.  It gets dark at about 5:30 PM (to as late as 6 PM later in the year) and then all I have is my hammock for a long evening ahead.

For 6.5 years leading up to my bike ride, I was a long-haul truck driver.  That meant a different city or town or state or province almost every night.  Then for 2 years, I lived on my bike.  Unless I was being hosted that meant a new city or town every night.  After the combined 8.5 years on the road, I was definitely ready for a roof over my head and some regular life routines.  But I am finding after living my (life) routine at my house for the last year that it’s actually kind of tough for me.  I miss the road, badly.

So, I have a new dream and goal.  Now in full disclosure, if my attitude and feelings change or my life circumstances change and living in my house is not so bad after all then I am happy to give up on this goal and dream.  But I find what I need most in my life right now is a new dream and a goal.

Get to the dream and goal already

So, my new dream and goal is to leave Belize in 5 years when I turn 55 and bike tour crisscrossing North America as many times and as long as I can physically do so in my time remaining on this planet.  I want to visit many of the National Parks that I have never visited in the USA.  I would like to revisit some of the National Parks I visited.  I want to bike to the Alaskan Arctic Ocean.  I would like to visit Mexico again by bike.  After doing at least one more winter biking in Canada I think I would bike in the US and Mexico over the winters.  It’s hard to explain if you have never bike-toured.  But once you have done your first it’s hard not to keep doing them.  It’s a way of life.

My first big goal in this new dream

I want to bike the longest route across Canada that has ever been biked.  I suspect (yet to be confirmed) that I need to bike about 16,000 kilometers between Atlantic Canada and the West Coast to bike the longest bike ride across Canada in a single bike tour.  As I mentioned, I want to spend at least another winter biking through Atlantic Canada.  My thoughts are if I start in Atlantic Canada in late summer or early fall of 2028 it would allow me to spend more time in Newfoundland (than my last bike tour) and then follow roughly the same timeline as my last big ride, I think I could reach the Canadian Arctic in very late summer and then make my way to Vancouver from there.  And from there I could spend the next winter bike touring the entire outer perimeter of the USA back home to P.E.I.

What about my original bike ride route down to Argentina? 

Truthfully, at this point, I don’t have the same motivation to visit those places anymore—one of my biggest takeaways from biking Mexico which was epic to put it mildly.  The people were amazing!  I want to go back.  But over time I found myself mentally fatigued by the language barriers and lack of food variety that I eat.  And English was not overly difficult to find in Mexico and I realize Mexico has a huge selection of food but when you don’t speak Spanish and you are an ultra-fussy eater like me.  During my last bike tour, I would go hungry regularly (even starving myself by the time I left Mexico) because of a lack of desire to eat.  I was eating an average of 10 meals a week of ½ a chicken (just meat, nothing else).  (90% of my meals were ½ a roasted chicken, 5% tacos, and the remaining 5% pizza for an entire 6 months).  There are 3 main aspects to bike touring for me – scenery, meeting people, and the lifestyle.  I can find a lifetime of all of that in Canada, the USA, and Mexico.  And Mexico was so awesome that I find it hard to believe other countries in Central and South America can even compete.

There are other places around the world that I would love to visit.  I would love to see the Amazon rainforest and go to Holland, the Holy Land, and Australia.  Truthfully, I suspect that I would have a greater chance of visiting those places if I was based out of Canada again.

What does this mean for Belize? 

I don’t plan to change anything.  I have too much invested at this point.  And anything can happen in the next 5 years.  Wisdom dictates to keep moving forward as planned and see how life plays out.  A new and exciting opportunity could present itself here in Belize that makes sense to pursue instead.  I am not expecting, planning, or pursuing marriage but stranger things have happened to people.  I almost lost out on my last bike ride due to a marriage.  I suspect that I would have to sell the farm to do this new bike ride but an opportunity could present itself that allows me to keep ownership of the farm.  There are too many unknowns.  Best to stay the course.  Daydream about the future, plan my future routes, and research exciting new destinations.

For the first time in months, I am excited because I have a new dream and goal.  At 55 to spend my remaining days bike touring North America.

Written January 5, 2023

February 2024 Update

What a difference a year can make.  In December 2023, 11 months after I wrote this post I ended up with a “roommate” that is interested in starting a hot sauce company on the farm.  With a roommate, I am now planning to bike tour the entire country of Belize incrementally starting soon.  This April my neighbor and I are planning on canoeing the Belize River in its entirety (290 km).  There has even been a suggestion of jungle cabanas being built on the farm.  Saying all that I am always taking notes and screenshots of interesting places to visit in Canada, USA, and Mexico when something interesting pops up on Facebook.

What would my older self say to me today

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