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:

An old letter

February 10, 2010

Mr. Bryan Hudgin
Yamaha Motor Canada Ltd.
480 Gordon Baker Rd.
Toronto, ON
M2H 3B4

Jason Chapman
#6, 516 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 1E9

Dear Bryan:

It is not often that someone up and leaves a perfectly good job, sells everything he owns, and gets on a Yamaha motorcycle to travel over 11,000 km from Vancouver, B.C. through 11 countries to arrive for Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There’s one main reason most would choose to stay home: personal safety. For some of us though, there is a higher purpose that overcomes that fear. For me, it is the desire to use myself as an example for others, and inspire them to follow their dreams, and contribute to their families and thus, the world around them. This trip is much more than point A to point B; it is a journey of the soul, but more relevant to today’s times, a ‘journey to wellness’. I was elated to see your company sharing your involvement with CMHA on your website. Having struggled with social anxiety for over 30 years, this trip is also about conquering my own fears, and striking out into the world with a message of hope.

I remember, about 10 years ago, photoshopping a cigarette pack on the seat of a gorgeous black cruiser, as a motivation to stop smoking. Stop smoking; be able to buy a bike with the money saved. Seemed simple enough, but I neither bought the bike nor quit smoking! It was not until the middle of August 2008 did I make definitive steps toward a childhood dream of owning a motorbike. More than a break from my parent’s approval, a motorcycle symbolized freedom and personal self expression. I signed up for one month of motorcycle school starting September 1st of that year.

I researched motorbikes for several years. The V-star line from Yamaha always seemed to come out the leader in my mind. Performance, looks, resale, and available accessories were all statistics that shone out from any competitors. I did end up finding a sweet deal on Craigslist for a 2000 Classic model that already had after-market exhaust, windshield, extra chrome, a backseat, and saddle bags. By the end of 2009, I had driven over 10,000 kilometers between 2 provinces and 2 states, in icy snow, torrential rain, and billowing wind. Travelling on a Yamaha V-Star I realized it was the first time I remember ever being proud to show off my wheels. More environmental than a car, and arguably a much more interactive ride with surroundings, I didn’t even hesitate to ride over 3,000 km in 72 hours just to spend one day camping with my family back in Central Alberta.

She ran like a champ without fail until summer of ’09 when a cold start problem arose. For two months, my first ride of the day would involve a jump start, but she was fine anytime after that. I decided to take it into Daytona Motorsports in Vancouver in the fall of ’09 and ended up spending well over $3000 on new tires and a new battery, not to mention a particularly stubborn cold starting problem. I became a regular there and would often call Fenton, the shop owner, to get weekly updates. The bike ended up being the victim of a leaky valve inside the engine that Fenton had never seen in 30 years of the business. In fact, I was at a crossroads where I had to decide to ignore the problem, or fix it. Two days before Christmas, I had my bike delivered via the shop’s Dodge Sprinter, with me in the front seat. My 2000 V-Star Classic is as good as new, and looks fantastic thanks to the dealership’s detailing.

A big motivator to spend the money was the decision to ride to Brazil. The experiences to date have endeared me even more to the brand, and I am a proud supporter of Yamaha and V-Star. Despite having some bad luck in the shop, I unequivocally promote the name to friends, family and anyone who will listen. A by-product of my trip will be the introduction of many to the amazing experience of riding on two wheels, and I have no intention of being shy along the way.

Overall though, my goal is to share my ‘journey of wellness’ with others through my blog, that includes videos, pictures and regular journals. Riding a Yamaha motorcycle is indelibly linked to this journey in my mind. Since my motorcycle purchase, I have completed 61 days of Bikram’s Yoga in a row, fronted a band for a sold-out show, quit smoking for 5 months (so far), cut out wheat, pork and cheese from my diet, and entered into a relationship with an amazing woman. There is no doubt people are seriously interested in healthy lives, responsible environmental stewardship, and happiness, and these are the themes I’ll be writing about. Specific articles will also be published in newspapers such as the Georgia Strait, Vancouver Sun, and Stettler Independent, with Youtube links for video. Magazines such as Maxim and Playboy are on the horizon as well.

In marketing terms, my target market will be people interested in positive change, socially and personally. My friends and family, over 600 facebook friends, and almost 400 email contacts will be part of this too. We’ll be having a farewell breakfast on August 28th 2010 in Vancouver, B.C., a lunch in Stettler, Alberta on the 29th, en route to the Burning Man Festival near Reno, Nevada, and reach Rio late February 2011. I can assure you thousands of eyes will be seeing me throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration in this matter. Please feel free to contact me between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm PST if you have any questions or comments to share with me.

Yours Truly,

Jason Chapman
B. Comm., CELTA

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Videos of my journey