Welcome to the world of old school communication. This right here. The archaic writer to reader exchange. Pick up your head and have a look around. How many people in the room are glued to some screen flashing incoherent abbreviations, bogus english, and those bloody smiley faces? The majority? Figured. Put it this way, if I still have your attention using only words then consider your initiation complete. You are now, for the moment, a member of an elite league of individuals treading water in a sea of yellow emotion riddled spheres. It’s hard not to ask yourself “What the hell are we becoming?” How many days can be wasted watching someone else’s reality. Trading the real world, for a vicarious one of grumpy cats and beautiful locations where the sun lives on the horizon. Places people are convinced only exist on a screen. A fabrication of the unattainable… Or is it. How do we escape the mentality of the concrete jungle? What is the elixir of free spirit? Motivation, time, courage?
I recently had a conversation with a man who has been traveling the world for six years with more or less, no money. His story borders on cliche… worked with computers, got fed up, quit, and took off to see a world beyond the white walls. Here sat an individual casually telling the story of how a dockside conversation and a willing handshake quickly turned into a trans-Atlantic sailing voyage. This unassuming individual, with zero nautical experience, sealed the crossing on one of the world’s great oceans with a single handshake. As the stories thickened I couldn’t help but think he was surely part of some secret club of adventurous individuals. One that only speaks in inspirational quotes and includes the likes of Shackleton and Hillary. These are people who actually lived those “unattainable” stories and traded the vicarious life for a real one. The ones that took advantage of those chance encounters, conversations, and opportunities that the rest of us pass by with kinked necks and squawking screens. Well my friends, here’s to turning the page, putting down the phone, and embracing the real world. Pack the car, rack your bike, and enjoy the road for what it is… Open.
-Mike Hopkins, Diamondback Mountain Pro