I saw a meme on Facebook the other day with that quote. The Journey is the Destination attributed to Dan Eldon a photojournalist who’s life was cut short tragically. A book with the same title has been released based on his journals. As a motorcycle rider I certainly relate to those words but like Dan I also keep a journal. Mine would not make a good book but it does help me if I write things down. I have this section I labelled The Big Picture, where I am, where I think I should be going in life sort of thing. I came to the same conclusion as Dan that life is all about the journey and decided since I already spent a half century on earth not making the best use my time I better change how I do things.
I started questioning the way people around me chose to live. Their desire for ever more expensive real estate and more prestigious vehicles and buying lots and lots of stuff. Living to work. Living to consume. Acting like time is as plentiful as water from a stream that always flows and planning a whole other life after retirement as if they will live forever yet reality is men of my generation have an average life expectancy of 71 years. Of course I hope to beat the average, I’m fit and intend to stay so but by the same token am not living in denial like one of my mates who has a 99 year plan and gets very angry if you question that logic. What may be more difficult to beat is the drop off in confidence and desire to do stuff. I see it in most every guy I know mid 60’s. The motorbike stays in the garage or has been sold, the boat stays in it’s mooring. The idea of setting off somewhere has become too hard and too much of a hassle.
Of course getting old is not a bad thing – it beats the alternative right!? Interestingly I think for once I can kind of see ahead to a certain degree therefore I know in advance that time right now is extremely valuable. Too valuable to let slip by like it had been in my former life before leaving Australia. As if in conversation with a friend on a train then looking out the window to realise you have already reached the destination and the years are gone. Hopefully I made the right call to leave the herd and try achieve some personal goals for awhile. Could turn out to be my biggest mistake leaving a successful career, comfortable life but if Dan is right then surely it makes some sense?
So then less Facebook and more real life or Carpe Diem as Horace put it. I’m riding more of the beautiful Japanese countryside very soon on my biggest ride here to date if I can get a few weeks without a typhoon. Country pubs and dirt roads tour immediately following this when I revisit my home land down under. Then next year I will pull out all the stops to do some really special rides.
Ok, normal transmission about motorcycling will now resume here in a new wider screen format after this little interlude of my personal musings.
P.S. Please back up your blog if you have one. Completely. I found some of mine had been deleted. Not sure how, perhaps an automated process gone wrong. Fortunately not too much as far as I can tell but it has been a big wake up call that I cannot rely on Google to safe guard the data.