New Year is a time of fresh starts and resolution, the determination to do things better than last year. But 2016 feels different to me, as I am in the middle of things. Rather than seeking the new, I look forward to finishing what I’ve begun.
On January 12, 2016 I will continue my 48-state bicycle trip. I’ll pick up in Phoenix and travel along the Deep South: Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, to Miami. In the spring I hope to travel north through Georgia and the Carolinas and then pedal the ‘inner loop’ back west to visit Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, Jackson, Memphis, Little Rock, Fort Smith, Oklahoma City, Dallas and on to Levelland, TX where I lived many years ago. My route gets zero points for efficiency.
If I still have steam, I will continue to Albuquerque and back to Denver in time for the 2016 Courage Classic in July before the final stretch back east through Kansas, and Missouri, the Mid-West, Virginia and finally, up the Eastern Seaboard.
As always, I appreciate suggestions of people to interview or stay with along the way; and am happy to vary my route accordingly. Please send any referrals my way and I will seek out friends, family, and friends-of-friends along my route.
On New Year, I would like to share this poem that Mark Jussaume sent me about the nature of travel. Whether 2016 takes you far afield, or allows you to stay tight at home, I wish all of you and your families a very Happy New Year.
The Art of Traveling by Wilfred A. Peterson
When you pack your bags to explore the beauties of your own country or to travel around the world, consider these keys to a happy journey.
Travel lightly. You are not traveling for people to see you!
Travel Slowly. Jet planes are for getting places, not seeing places. Take time to absorb the beauty and inspiration of a mountain or a cathedral.
Travel Expectantly. Every place you visit is like a surprise package to be opened. Untie the strings with an expectation.
Travel Hopefully. “To travel hopefully,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, ’is better than to arrive.”
Travel humbly. Visit people and places with reverence and respect for their traditions and ways of Life.
Travel Courteously. Consideration for your fellow travellers and your hosts will smooth the way through the most difficult days.
Travel gratefully. Show appreciation by the many things that are being done by others for your enjoyment and comfort.
Travel with an open mind. Leave your prejudice at home.
Travel with curiosity. It is not how far you go, but how deeply you go that mines the gold of experience. Thoreau wrote a big book about tiny Walden Pond.
Travel with imagination. As the old Spanish proverb puts it, “He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.”
Travel fearlessly. Banish worry and timidity. The world and its people belong to you just as you belong to the world.
Travel relaxed. Make up your mind to have a good time. Let go and let God.
Travel patiently. It takes time to understand others, especially when there are barriers of language and custom. Keep flexible and adaptable to all situations.
Travel with the spirit of a world citizen. You’ll discover that people are basically much the same the world around. Be an ambassador of goodwill to all people.