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.



I LOVE YOU ALL



Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me: jason.chapman99@gmail.com


Goodbyes

As record low temperatures for August 28th began to fall, I was desperately trying to breath some warmth into the numbness of my fingertips and toes. The intermittment rain that started south of Jasper continued to Pocahontas, where I invariably chose to follow the neon 'Open' sign at the establishment just off highway 16. My gratitude was lengthened as the server in the restaurant surprised me by saying "You can stay here as long as you like". Welcome words, as I looked outside and saw the rain intensify. Hinton was as far as I could mentally see myself getting to that night, and the wonderfully warm and exciting ride through B.C. was a distant memory.
As I headed out from Hinton at 7 am the next morning with my breath billowing out of my helmet, I was spurned on by the thoughts of friends in Edmonton waiting for me. A nice, warm breakfast beckoned as well. The frantic driving to somehow beat father time created more than a few casualties: a backpack cover, a pair of pants, and a tent. The first two flew off somewhere between Jasper and Hinton, and the third was dragging beside the bike for a few minutes before a friendly motorist signalled to me with a gesture. It was Day 2 of a 7 month journey, and I had already experienced utter disappointment. My favourite tent, the one I hand-picked from MEC with $300 of my own hard-earned savings, was toast. Again, my thoughts came back to the wonderful friends waiting for me in the city.
Waited they did. 1 3/4 hours after our agreed meeting time at the famous Barb & Ernie's Guest House in Edmonton, I walked down the hallway only to see them coming out. "Thanks for joining us for breakfast, Jason" my friend sarcastically offered. They were not impressed. I pulled them out to the bike, now full of duct tape and looking a mess. All vehemence dissipated, and the 6 friends now were feeling quite sorry for me. Of course, we all had to laugh at the state of it. Rapid-fire questions ensued: "Why are you going?" "What direction are you heading?" "How long are you gone for?" I did my best to be patient despite my tiredness and physical pain.
The eventual drive to Stettler came off without a hitch. It included a friendly biker from Three Hills that stopped to make sure I was ok soon after the Bashaw turn-off. I told him I just needed to catch the sliver of sunshine that poked through the clouds, as it did more than warm me up. He ended up escorting me the rest of the way.
Rounding Buttermilk Slough, a most idyllic scene appeared. The grey clouds that sat in the sky had parted for a moment, catching reflections from the sun, which was doing double-duty by making the water shimmer. It was to be a sign of better things to come: within a couple hours of arriving at my parent's farm south of Stettler, 17 relatives showed up to wish me luck. The mood was so touching, I couldn't see myself getting back on that bike ever again. To have such an outpouring of advice, attention, and love was a warming feeling.
That was yesterday, and now today soon ends. The road beckons, and 24 hours of driving await me before my next destination near Gerlach, Nevada. This will be done in less than 2 days, but the memories of this day will accompany me on the road. As the sun was setting tonight, it caught the dandelions' fuzz and illuminated them as if they had an inner light. The stars soon came out and dazzled the sky. After such a harrowing ride, my body still feels a chill, but my heart is warm. The sentiment of 'There's no place like home' rings true, and will motivate me to come back in 7 months, physically intact with a smile on my face from a wonderful adventure.

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