This blog's for ME

Almost 25 years old, asking my parents if I can sleep in their bed with them. I had thought I was going to be the 25th Prime Minister of Canada. Things had changed. 10 years later, I was still a scared little boy. The time had come to slap myself awake. One Saturday morning, November 19th, 2009, I declared to the world I would be riding my 10 year-old motorcycle from Vancouver, BC Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and back.

The official departure was August 28th, 2010. A group of well-wishers saw me off at 8:03 am.

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 6 pm March 1st, 2011.

My return to Vancouver came on July 5th, 2011 about 2:00 pm.

Drug & alcohol abuse, ADD, social anxiety, health, chronic pain, night terrors.

So many concerns. But I am far more interested in this question: Do I have the capacity to make this trip despite all my shortcomings?

My mission: To inspire myself to face my fears, enlighten myself on how all living things can peacefully co-exist, enjoy every moment, and see the world as plentiful and generous.

Go ahead. Call me crazy. Call me anything you like.

I'm out to save my world.


Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me:

The Journey Of My Dreams

Pat was always a woman who knew what she wanted. It was certainly the case when she met Robert, and had decided within an hour she would be his wife. After raising two kids, growing a successful family business, and building their dream home in Beaumont, Alberta, Pat and Robert were looking forward to slowing down a bit and doing some travelling. Never the type to 'rough it' too much, the group touring option seemed to be a good fit for them: everything was taken care of and there was nothing much to worry about.

Shortly after joining a tour, Robert was quickly known as the group's quipster. He had a knack for pulling people out of their routines, and a gift for easy camaraderie. Their confidence in travelling ended up growing through several trips, not the least of which was Morocco. Consisting of a population that is 99% Muslim, Morocco was a far step culturally from small town Alberta. Despite this, Robert, while in his early 50's, was his usual light-hearted self before their departure. "You know what's funny?" he would say. "Pat will have to cover everything but her eyes, but I'll be able to prance around in my speedos!" There were chuckles all around.

Again, the success of their trip buoyed them to take on another adventure, and that would be Africa. Planning had begun, and arrangements were being made. Neither of them had ever let anything get in the way of their dreams before, but fate dealt them a deck of cards they were ill equipped to play. Robert was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He would die in less than a year.

The illness was devastating for Pat, but when the clouds lifted, she began to talk about making that trip to Africa after all. I had known the family for 5 years through her daughter Lisa, and had become a bit of a surrogate son of sorts. In a casual conversation on the phone one evening, Lisa had mentioned to me that her mom was thinking about bringing someone along with her, but she couldn't decide who. Being the ever-aware opportunist, I exclaimed "I'll go", a little more than half-joking. To my shock, Lisa said "Hmmm...... that's a good idea. She might just go for that." Within 6 months, I was on a plane from Edmonton, Alberta to Nairobi, Kenya with a battery of vaccine shots, 3 weeks off of work, and a mind full of possibility.

After my initial judgements wore off, I was able to bond with the group we joined, despite an over 50 year difference between myself and the eldest participant. Several of the group's members somehow knew that this trip would be the last, great exotic trip of their lives. It ended up being quite difficult for one elderly lady, who was confined to a wheelchair for most of the outings. In her mind though, these difficulties paled in comparison to the wonderment she saw around her: Africa.

Wildlife as vast and numerous as ants in an anthill, teeming over the plains, and crossing over rivers in mass migrations. Maasai Mara tribesmen opening up their huts to us, built entirely from the dung of their cows, of which they rely entirely on for survival. Five-star resorts with buffets that would shame a king. Dangerous checkstops in the middle of nowhere, our driver vehemently denying the young man with a semi-automatic rifle a toll for our passing. Abject poverty, and breathtaking reality. The sights and sounds from this experience are burned in my memory banks forever.

Somehow despite the obvious differences, the landscape often reminded me of my farm in Stettler. The sweeping plains, and short, sun-browned grasses, with a lone tree in the distance. The train of elephants on the horizon, or the pride of lions in the shade of the bushes, would snap me back to the reality of my surroundings.

Archaeologists have known for years that the human race originated in this region; I shouldn't have been so surprised that somehow it felt like home. Perhaps we were able to bring Robert's spirit back to where it all began, and maybe, just maybe, he was glad to be home too.

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Videos of my journey