The Journey

The End

Well, you probably thought the last blog was the end, but as I sit here in the airport enjoying my last cold Pacifico, I’m inspired to write…

to write about the blue skies, the warm ocean water, the people I met, the places I rolled through and the thankfulness I have for being able to experience what I did. It was a wonderful adventure! I’m grateful for every bit of it… the heat, the cold, the wind, the rain, the flat tires, the messages from family and friends – new and old, the Monarch butterfly that followed me and made it’s last appearance on the Cabo beach this morning.

I’m grateful that I’m returning unscathed to the pouring rain in Southern California. It’s all good. It’s a metaphor for life. It’s the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the challenges and the conquests, the smiles and the tears… the balance of nature, the Yin and Yang of life.

So as we begin boarding, I thank you for following me and reading my rants. It’s been my pleasure to share my thoughts with you. Have a Wonderful Day!


The End of the Rainbow

It may be the end of this rainbow, but I’m looking forward to discovering the pot of gold waiting for me! 🙂

After rolling out of Los Barriles and reaching San Jose del Cabo yesterday, I wanted to share some pics I took around Los Barriles. According to the locals, it is a Gringo Retirement Community. Looking around, they’re right. But I would add “Active” to that. I see many American and Canadian men and women walking, jogging and biking. On the water, many kite board and wind surf. The weather here is opposite of the states and above. For the most part, it is great weather through the winter and then it gets hot! That is when most people migrate north to their other homes, only to return next winter.

I did see younger people and know this is a common thoroughfare for the hiking and biking travelers. To me, this town is ripe for a hostel. If anyone is interested in the numbers to determine if this would be a good investment, please contact me. 🙂

I also wanted to share some pics of the food I was forced to eat in this “3rd World Country.” Survival has been challenging. Lol

Thank you Sally for a wonderful stay in Los Barriles! I will definitely be back!

Thank you all for following me on this adventure! I’ll be flying back to Southern California today, where I’ll begin compiling a book of this adventure! Thank you for your words of encouragement. I’ll be sure to let you know when my book will be available! And back in a box she goes…

Next?

People keep asking what is next for me; what grand adventure is up my sleeve; what challenge(s) am I going to take on? I’ve thought about it quite a bit, and decided to take on the challenge of real life. Not that this isn’t real life, but the adventurer, the wanderer in me sometimes longs for the creature-of-habit patterns of the day to day grind.

For those patterns, those putting-in-the-time behavioral efforts are what get things done in this world. I definitely understand that and find comfort in behavioral patterns, but when I began this journey, my longtime roles of provider and protector were no longer needed as my kids are off on their own, living wonderful, productive lives – as they were raised to. I couldn’t be prouder of them, but I definitely felt a bit lost without them aound.

As I’ve wandered and explored, making connections with other adventurers and travelers, as well as artists, musicians, health care workers, innkeepers, vendors, chefs, fishermen, housekeepers, attorneys, craftsmen, jewelry makers, and even Unicorns – I’ve discovered that we are all the same, we are all looking for the same thing – our place in this world, the place we fit in; peace, love, happiness and a good wine to toast with when we find that place within our heart that tells us we’re home.

And so I will return in a couple of days to all of the gathered treasures I’ve accumulated through my life that are neatly packed and stored in storage, organized and labeled, inventoried and recorded in a wide ruled composition notebook.

And with these treasures I will begin a new phase of my life. I will determine what I no longer need. Well… after carrying everything I NEED with me on my bike, I should say, “no longer want.” I will determine which items are merely a reminder of a life that no longer exists and which items will help propel me toward the future I will be creating. It’s an exciting thought to start fresh, to begin anew.

As I will begin anew, I will be helping others begin anew. For those of you who may think I’m merely a story telling bike rider, I am a Real Estate Broker by trade. I will be helping sellers sell – to move on to the next phases of their lives, and I will help buyers find their perfect home that doesn’t exist – but will exist when we find a home that meets their needs and will become the perfect home when they add their own loving touches to it.

So if you know anyone interested in buying or selling real real estate, I’d be honored to help them. I am licensed to do real estate throughout California and if you are outside of California, I can help you find a good agent in the state/area needed. Again, I’d be honored to help. Chris@RELUST8.com

As far as my bike, tomorrow, after covering the last 55 miles of this adventure and reaching the bike shop in Cabo where I know I can find an empty bike box, I’m considering another option… selling my bike to them. Who knows, maybe they know someone who is ready for their own bike touring adventure. This bike has been good to me. Not even one flat tire through Baja! But I know that I like my Scott mountain bike more. I like my feather light road bikes more. I like my fat tire bikes more. And I know this bike has given me memories that can’t be replaced… but my Tibetan Prayer Flag pole goes with me!

Thank you for following me on this journey. This journey of exploration – out, about and within. 🙂

Gold, Silver and Jewels

In the wee hours of the night, I lay here thinking about Gold, Silver and Jewels – about the things and people we treasure in our lives. I think about past relationships, those that had their days of glory and slipped away to become memories – those recorded thoughts that define our lives. I think about friends and relatives experiencing health issues, job losses and other personal challenges.

These thoughts have me tossing and turning in a little AIRBNB room in Los Barriles, a little town northeast of Cabo. I feel very fortunate to be here and to be feeling healthy enough to be on this journey. As we all age, we are all experiencing changes within our bodies. These bodies that were once younger, stronger and more durable. But as it’s been said, nothing lasts forever. All we have is now to make the most of it. All we have is now to appreciate our blessings, our loved ones and those around us.

This AIRBNB room is attached to an art gallery, which is attached to a little restaurant that serves healthy, gourmet food – not your typical Baja taco stand. This colorfully designed building is the realized vision of Sally Lask, a 68 year old Ex-Pat (the term used for Americans who checked out and moved to another country). Sally has lived in Los Barriles for over 30 years and has been exploring Baja with her dad since she was a child. She told me about her dad, how he once rode a burro from Tijuana to San Ignacio long before the roads were paved. She told me how he rode an old Indian motorcycle down here in the 50’s. She’s even gave me one of the last paperback books she has that her dad wrote. I look forward to reading it.

Sally has been sharing many stories with me while she painted her art – and I painted. I offered to help her fix a few things while I’m here, and one of the projects is repainting a couple of doors and door frames in the art gallery. She gave me creative freedom, so I’m having fun doing it. I guess you can say my paintings can be seen in an International art gallery! Lol.

Moments like these are the essence of this adventure; the opportunity to share thoughts and dreams with others; to see art – whether it be paintings or a wood sculpture of Don Quixote;

to ride my bike down streets in little towns with the cool air blowing through my thinning hair as I go to the mercado (market) for munchies and a bottle of inexpensive Argentinean wine. These are moments to treasure and make you want to shout out and share with the world – like time you fell in love with another person’s soul, knew it and couldn’t keep this revelation inside your head and heart.

Thank you for following me on this journey. I still have a few days left, so who knows what crazy thoughts will roll through my head before the roosters start crowing!

Leaving La Paz

Pulling out of the Peace Hostel was like many other places I’ve stayed at along this journey, places that after staying a few days becomes like a home; a home where travelers come and go, a place where you can meet and greet fellow travelers, a place that makes you feel comfortable and welcome.

I wrote about hostels before, and I can’t help but bring up the topic again after discussing them with other travelers. The misconception in the United States is just that – a great misconception. But then again, maybe it’s the perspective of those who walk through the front doors willing to learn, grow and communicate – and those who don’t.
The thoughts from many who haven’t stayed in a hostel is that hostels are similar to homeless shelters, a place where college kids go for cheap accommodations. The opposite perspective is seen from those who have stayed in hostels. From my experience, hostels are full of travelers, not tourists. Travelers who realize that a clean bed and a warm shower is all they really need, travelers who want their money to go further, so their adventures can last longer.

If education or intelligence of those who frequent hostels is questioned, let me mention Skye who is a retired City Planner who lived in Arizona, then Hawaii and now lives in a quaint colonial town in central Mexico, who now considers herself an Artist. Skye had an art gallery and displays her work in various countries as well as organizes artist retreats in exotic locations.
I should also mention Marco from Switzerland who has been a banking IT analyst until he and his wife Sibylle decided to quit their jobs and explore the world for two years. Right now, they are only half way done with their adventure and have traveled throughout South America, Central America and Mexico. In a couple of weeks they will be flying to Australia and New Zealand to explore that part of the world for a while before completing their journey by exploring Asia.

A couple of nights ago, I looked around the common area and watched travelers playing chess, word games, blogging, journaling, making jewelry from ocean treasures and speaking in multiple languages. I felt fortunate to be there, sharing our adventures.

Yesterday I shared a ride with Skye and Emma from Germany to go visit La Ventana, a town known for its afternoon winds ideal for kite surfing and kite boarding. I’ve never seen so many athletes on the water at one time! Poetry in motion! While there, I gathered little pieces of coral I found all along the beach for Amanda, an entrepreneur who is forming a sky diving company down here. She is the one who was making the jewelry. In gratitude, she made a coral pendant especially for me! In turn, I gave her my buffalo bone hook pendant that I bought in Alaska at the beginning of this adventure.

Last night, I took some time to talk with Alex from the Yukon Territory of Canada. Alex is 21 and has biked from there to La Paz. From here he will be sailing to French Polynesia with some friends. This has been his first long bike ride as well. I’m impressed with his young age and adventurous soul.

This has been my first time visiting La Paz. It’s a fun town with much to do. Along the Malecon (boardwalk area along the beach) there are many impressive sea sculptures I had to photograph…

Today, I am heading to Los Barriles, a little beach town on the way to Cabo. Hopefully there are some snorkeling spots to explore. Otherwise I’ll be forced to work on my tan and eat shrimp tacos for a couple of days. 🙂

Thank you for following me! Please leave a comment below. If you are new here, please click on the FOLLOW ME link above and enter your email address to receive future blog posts. Have a Great Day!

The End is Near

As much as I’ve enjoyed this journey, this exploration of the world around me and the time to search within, I’m looking forward to its conclusion. I’m ready to go back to the day to day living with peace, vigor and excitement. I’m looking forward to doing more real estate. I’m looking forward to spending time forming another business. I’m looking forward to writing more. I’m looking forward to all of the possibilities and opportunities ahead – including the discovery of rare jewels and elusive Unicorns.

This trip was much needed. I had to escape from reality to figure out what was important to me, what was worth fighting for, what I want and don’t want in my life. I needed the time to think it through. I needed to experience having very few material items to depend on, to living as primitive as possible, to discovering that I do like the creature comforts of life. I look forward to traveling as I have in the past – sort of. I will still fly places and sometime drive, but I want to rent and ride bikes if I don’t have mine, and stay in hostels when possible. I want the interaction of travelers and tourists.
I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that it’s not how you travel, but that you do travel. I’ve learned that every situation and experience is a unique opportunity to learn and grow. I’ve learned that everyone has a story, everyone is on a different journey, and no matter what anyone thinks – it’s their journey, there is nothing wrong with it and it’s right for them in that moment in time.

And so I will go forward, judging less and accepting more. Deaming less, planning more. Buying less, saving more. Keeping less, giving more. Being annoyed less and appreciating more. I’m thinking about everything I need to do to manifest the life I want.

I was just talking with Sky, a lady staying here at the hostel in La Paz. She told me about her chiropractor, a holistic kind of guy. He said that we are all like a GPS when life is not manifesting as we think it should. As long as a GPS stays still, it doesn’t work; it can’t find better routes to where we want to go. But once we start moving, the route options start opening up to us. Sometimes we have to be willing to move forward even when we don’t exactly know where we are going. And when we do, life will show us the way.

Thanks again for following me on this journey! Please make comments below. I very much appreciate your feedback! If you are new here, please click on the FOLLOW ME link above and enter your email address for coming blogs. Have a Great Day!

Pa Rum Pa Pa Pum

And so the countdown begins. Today is the 6th and I fly out of Cabo on the 16th. Considering I only have about 150 miles to go, I’ve decided to stay here in La Paz a few more days. It’s a nice town with much to do. I found the old town church yesterday and after asking a couple of people who do not speak English, I figured out the schedule for masses today. I think I’ll attend the 10:00am mass. It should be interesting as it will be in Spanish. Being raised Catholic, like most Catholics I can almost recite the whole mass word for word, so it shouldn’t be to difficult to comprehend… other than the sermon. That is where I will pick up a word here and there and hopefully get the jest of what he will be saying. Yeah, sometimes it would be good to speak Spanish.

There are other times when I find it best to not speak Spanish. Those times are when I go through the military checkpoints. I’ve heard from other bike riders that the soldiers went through all of their bags. They found nothing of course, but the inconvenience was a hassle. I’ve approached it from the “dumb American” angle, asking them for a cold cerveza with a smile on my face as soon as I pedal up. They laugh, and already think I’m crazy riding my bike through the Mexican desert. Once they realize communication isn’t going to happen, and it will be as difficult for them as it will be for me, they wave me forward, back into the desert, in search of that cold cerveza. Many people have said they are afraid of the armed soldiers at the checkpoints, but the reality is, they are there to maintain peace, not harass the tourists.

Yesterday was a fun day of exploring Playa Balandra, a local beach. I did a little snorkeling and took a few pictures. The water was clear and warm, very nice. Well, until the clouds blocked the sun and the winds picked up. At that point, it was time to head back into town.

A couple of nights ago at the hostel, there was a group of young Mexicans, all very well groomed and traveling to different places. One of the young men brought a large sweet bread/cake to the common area and started to explain the holiday approaching (which is today). This holiday is known as Rosca de Reyes. It’s a religious holiday celebrating the 3 kings who followed the star leading to baby Jesus. In Mexico, everyone gets a piece of cake and if they find a little plastic king in their piece, they must provide tamales for all. Marco, from Switzerland was standing near me and started to tell me about a similar tradition in Germany and Switzerland. There, this celebration is called Dreikönigskuchen (three kings cake). If you get a king in your piece, it is good luck. A world away and yet so similar. Christian backgrounds…

I attended the mass at the old church a couple of hours ago. An old Catholic church. Yes, I didn’t understand the words so much, but it was as it always has been. I knew when to sit, to stand, to kneel. And as expected, everyone around me, the young, the old, the well dressed and the not so well dressed, followed suit. So many thoughts raced through my mind, all related to church… My Mom’s funeral, my Grandparents’ funerals, my ex-wife walking down the aisle toward me, my daughter’s baptism and 1st Holy Communion, my cousin being ordained as a Catholic Priest, and a favorite story of mine being in church with my Grandparents… my Grampa pinching me and when I burst out in pain, he told my Gramma he was going to take me outside. Little did she know he took me across the street for a donut while he had coffee. Of course we made it back into church before mass ended. For someone who didn’t particularly like going to church, I will never forget there was standing room only in the same church – at his funeral. To me, that said it’s not about following rituals all your life, it’s how you live your life… it’s the joy and love you spread.

So this morning, as the church bells rang and the choir played the Christmas song about the 3 kings and a drummer boy… Pa Rum Pa Pa Pum… and the three young ladies sitting next to me recited the mass as they should, I saw the goodness of people, I saw a lady with a white beret who reminded me of an aunt who passed away, I saw my foundation, I saw the commonalities of people who gave up ego and joined together to celebrate a higher power. And me, who couldn’t understand – got it.

Thank you for following me! If you’re new, please click on the FOLLOW ME link and enter your email address to receive my coming blogs! Happy 3 Kings Day!