By Jasmine Wilborne
*Ugh, we haven’t posted in a while. Behind the scenes Seth is putting in tons of energy into graduating from Southern Connecticut State University this Fall! He’s got major projects that are squeezing every ounce of focus out of him, but he’s smiling through it. I, on the other hand, went to Vancouver last week to see a close friend of mine who was born and raised in CT Essex-county for 15 years. Also, I’ve been struggling with how and what I should actually write about- thanks for staying with us through the lulls of this pre-adventure.*
Now let’s get to the meaty meat of this post! I’ve been having a bit of writers block so maybe writing about the stages of this trip, I will have a new understanding of what to write next.
1. Stage 1: Eclipsed by excitement. This was in early September. I walked around my job like I was quitting the next day. I felt like I had a huge secret just waiting to bubble off of the tip of my tongue. I spent a lot of my time in a frenzied attempt to capture my thoughts through lists like these: 1. Dumpster diving will prove miraculous 2. Money must be conserved throughout all stages of the trip. 3. Consider self made crate box locks for panniers 4. Invite immediate community to contribute spiritually, emotionally, materially and financially 5. Create basic cheap food menu 6. consider bike trailer vs. panniers 6. Build a solar oven like these guys did on their bike tour 7. Create blog name- should be short specific and tell our story. For about 2 weeks I was totally into getting this thing off of the ground by setting up the blog, reading about other bloggers who were cycling, learning about the right gear! Whew, so exhilarating.
2.Stage 2: Doubt. This cycling adventure started off as Seth’s idea. As you know, I invited myself into it after a frustrating day at work and a culumination of thoughts like: feeling totally worthless at my job, feeling like I was living a life that was “too safe”, always wanting to do a bike tour and wanting to live up to the ways others view me. But then I felt like I was intruding. I felt like this trip was his and I was a sidekick. Seth never said or felt any of this, but my own insecurities set in. We worked through this issue in a rather dramatic flair of personal events, to settle on what was real: We are two best friends who desire radical untraditional lives and who are passionate about people and amazing environmental initiatives. Once I realized that this was a partnership and that I was a Co-founder, I began to take creative control and settle into my essence—dreaming and breathing through this trip.
3.Stage 3: Grooving. I went public with the trip. I told my parents, my uncle and let my immediate community know. I began to create a wishlist of things that we needed and I built up a reservoir of resources that I was into. I began to feel a good kinda “homeworky” pleasure on mapping things out. I fell in love with having a blogging community who read and commented on our blogs. I met awesome bloggers like Mimic Nature and Nepermahome. We had great consecutive Tuesday night meetings at the Southern Connecticut State University Library. We went to the Climate March in NYC. This part was about settling into our rhythm as partners
Stage 4: Contemplating the impact of our mission. I want this adventure to mean something, we both do. Inherently, it will mean something to us. But we both have a desire to contribute to the world around us in meaningful ways. We want to offer something that is vital. I think about this too, when I write a post I’m always thinking: is this the best that I can do? What is it that I should write about? My mother insists that I should vlog because she knows it is important for me as a woman of color to show my excitement about the environment and to help bring awareness to the wide scope of environmental activists. I want to come back learned. This trip is a research project on wheels, a social experiment in many ways. I want to know that the work I plan to do is necessary. I especially want to be able to bring environmental initiatives to the under served, the poor and the disenfranchised…in many ways my own brown community.
Stage 5: Planning Purgatory. In the beginning I was hung up on the how’s, the when’s, the where’s and the why’s. Now I am more zen. Haha. Simply, I know that this adventure will be an open-ended run on sentence. In essence, the sentence starts like this: Seth and Jasmine leave Connecticut on their bikes with a limited amount of money, panniers filled with simple gear and their first eco-village/farm/family/homestead/school to visit…… And then it will just bloom into a beautiful story of “going with the flow”. Simply, I’m not worried about the details. As long as I have a sturdy tour bike, a bike manual, simple gear and a positive outlook I know that all will be well. But….I still don’t have any gear other than a few items here and there and I’ve gotten really lax about worrying. Things will happen when they happen.
So there, that’s what the stages of this trip look like to me at this time. I’m excited for the next phase and am enjoying every one of them.