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My period in Colorado is all about my transition from a vagabond to someone who can contribute to society in some sort of productive capacity again. I did not want to head straight back to Ireland as it is difficult to think ahead when you are on the road. Coming straight home would have been too much of a shock as nice as it would have been to reconnect with family and friends. I did not want to return on the back foot. If it weren't for the human relationships I might not come home at all, although I have come to my own conclusions about Dublin. The location suits me wonderfully but the mind-set of the people still makes me very nervous.

To a large extent the Bionic Dude evaporated in the thin air of Mile High Stadium. That Broncos game was the symbolic conclusion of the dude's adventures even if I must return to Dublin to officially complete on a round-the-world trip. However, the Bionic Dude very much lives on as a thought-form. Naturally his experiences have informed my world view and while the trip was supposed to be one big hoot on one level, it is impossible for someone like me to travel and not absorb and process so much more. Allowing myself the time to process the trip and think ahead is the essence of my stint in Denver. While I had my own agenda throughout to a certain degree, travel opens you up to so many things that I needed to stop and stew them all over. I view travel as an informal education much like a masters. Now all I have to do is write the dissertation!

I left Dublin as if on a whim. Certainly the trip was conceived and pulled together in the space of two and a half frenetic months. That period entailed requesting a sabbatical, finishing up at work, building a bike, figuring out the camping side of things, establishing a route, booking flights and insurance, moving out on my rental and of course, creating this web-site. However, my unease with the status quo was brewing for a couple of years in the back of my mind before I ever jumped on a plane to Kathmandu. My 13 month adventure on a bike as far as Denver informs only part of a fundamental shift in my thinking in terms of how I approach my life. I was once one of the most career-oriented and capitalist people I knew. My competitive tendencies made me appear A-type to a large degree. That was then, this is now. I shudder at the thought of being A-type these days. While I'm still familiar with that persona and maintain all its positive qualities, my outlook is much more whatever the opposite of A-type is – Z-type? The truth is that for me, there is a richer vein coursing through life than simply the one we see on the surface and I find my attempts to mine it intriguing. This sounds very abstract I know but I feel like I'm on a whole new journey chasing some other version of reality. I only have a sense of it so it may be pure folly on my part but it seems a lot more fun than the reality I left behind.

While the trip was a success in that I achieved what I set out to do and was blessed in avoiding mishap, the real success of the trip will only be learned down the road. It is how the trip informs my life one or two years henceforth that will provide the litmus test. I'm not suggesting that the trip could ever be viewed as a failure, simply that I am left with a choice. I can either row back to the reality of a desk-job or continue on a voyage of discovery with no sense of the destination. The way I see it is that reality is relatively straightforward. You make a decision as to where you want to live and what you want to do and you focus all your energies towards those ends. In this scenario, the voyages of the Bionic Dude would simply sit within parenthesis to the corporate life I left behind and then, re-embraced on my return (assuming somebody would actually hire me). It is a much more fixed existence but as my mind is in a state of flux, I think a more fluid life would suit me better near-term. The alternative scenario is to acknowledge that I have only seen a slice of the world and that there is still so much more to learn. I am pretty happy that I have a handle of all things geographic at this stage. Thus, I don't really feel the need to explore further the natural rhythms of the world that pulse and repeat around the globe. Of course, I find nature infinitely calming and it will always be a source of strength for me. When you have travelled largely solo across vast landscapes you realise how incredible nature is and how the human soul feeds off it. However, it is also clear that we need human energy to grow and blossom too. To a certain extent my travels by bike prevented me from really exploring this as I couldn't readily follow the flow of people I encountered. Now that I have had some time to recover and that the days are starting to lengthen I have found the strength to consider new adventures. I am not sure that any may transpire but I certainly would have the desire to travel with a merry band of crazies to explore the more human sides to life. It doesn't necessarily have to be travel, just some sort of project that is focused more on the people side of things as opposed to the money side.

As I wallow in a sort of limbo between the travel dimension I left behind and the real world I am expected to re-embrace, a large part of me says to forget about reality a little while longer as it's the easy option. It's familiar, and while it presents its own difficulties and changing scenarios I don't find it a particularly difficult world to navigate. That is not to say that I am successful in it. People will rightly point out that I'm still without a mate and I'm uncertain as to my vocation. However, in the greater scheme of things I am well and good. For that I feel very fortunate and while my star and navel-gazing may be particularly self-indulgent I do it with a great degree of calm. Serenity is a rare commodity in the real world so I see no need to rush back … for the moment at least.

Plans for the immediate future up next.

Mind how you go


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Reader Comments (1)

haha, that photo... definitely the dude,...!

February 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermike
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