It was a simple question, asked in reference to what I wanted to do with myself after retirement.
“If money and the opinions of others were no object, what would be your wildest thing?“
I surprised myself at how quickly the answer to that question came to me.
“Ride around the country on my Harley, visiting with friends and writing a travel blog about my experiences. . . the food, the people, the scenery, and the background stories of it all.”
That sentence is verbatim what I wrote in my notebook during a Veteran transition workshop I attended in the lead up to my military retirement. I was incredibly fortunate to be accepted into the Pursue Your Purpose program administered by the Commit Foundation. I read that sentence aloud into my cell phone, then steeled myself for the cautions about feasibility and worthiness of such an endeavor that would surely come in the response. But there was no doubt or negativity in the reply. Laura, my program executive coach, came back with “tell me more” and “what’s stopping you?” Hmmm. The seed was planted. . .
Over the winter, I’ve been prepping for My Wildest Thing. I started a travel blog. I turned a whole wall in my house into a white board. I got a logo. I purchased a used motorcycle camper. I volunteered turning wrenches to build my bike maintenance confidence. I surrounded myself with self-assured, adventurous, girl gang bikers to keep the dream alive. And now, it’s time. This summer, I will embark on a 10,000 mile/100-day cross-country motorcycle trip, and chronicle the journey on my travel blog – FitHippie.blog.
Throughout the winter months, when I tend to turn into a hermit anyway, I’ve been plotting my course. Though I’ve had to be a bit more rigid than I like to be with my itinerary due to new National Parks requirements, my route is still a bit open on some legs of the journey. Here are the planned major highlights:
- Attend “Babes Ride Out” moto-camping event in NY
- Explore the Northeast
- Visit the land of my Acadian ancestors in the Canadian Maritime Provences
- Attend Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA) National Meeting in KY
- Spend 4th of July week back home in NC for annual party!
- Ride the Great Northern (Highway 2) westward
- Attend “The Dream Roll” moto-camping event in WA
- Ride the Pacific Coast Highway southbound
- Travel the whole length of Route 66 from Santa Monica to Chicago
- Visit as many friends, family, and National Parks as possible
- Eat delicious food!
A bit ambitious? Yes.
Am I biting off more than I can chew? Maybe.
But, as the saying goes… I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocracy.
Looking forward to seeing some of you along the way!