About a year ago I made a decision to go on an adventure. My entire early life had been a series of one adventure after another. Somewhere along the way I stopped. I got into a day job, got married, and raised a family. As life changed, my wife and I decided to move to Mexico. I left the financial security of working in the corporate world to teach English online. Mexico allowed me to live a simpler lifestyle.
The adventure was originally to leave in 2020 on a 4,500 mile sea kayaking trip along the entire west coastline of Mexico. However, after a series of surgeries and discussions with my wife, I decided that the kayak trip was not going to be possible either physically or financially.
Weeks ticked by and my unrest continued to grow. I started to recollect all of the travels around the United States I had gone on. I had hitch-hiked seven times, ridden motorcycles three times, taken a bus three times, and have driven many more times. Then it hit me. I had never walked across the United States. I immediately went to YouTube and watched every video possible of people who had made the successful crossing. I knew then that this was going to happen!
The plan: The mental part was a no-brainer (pun intended.) I have hiked a lot of the Appalachian Trail and several hundred miles of the Pacific Coast Trail and understand what long distance walking is about. The only variables that I have to deal with now are physical and financial.
This last year I have been invested in fixing up an out of shape body. After 20 years of little activity, surviving cancer twice, and having high blood pressure and diabetes, I knew I needed to make some major life changes. I stopped eating all animal products and processed foods. I completely stopped drinking alcohol except for tequila. (Tequila doesn’t count as alcohol because I live in Mexico and therefore, according to every Mexican I know, it is healthy for you.) I also began walking and stretching daily. And I bought some good walking shoes and started on short walks ranging from 2-3 miles to 10-13 miles. My weight dropped from 190 pounds to 168.
The financing of this trip should run, at the most, around $7,000. (Less than 1/3 of what the Kayak trip would have cost.) This will include equipment, airfare to and from my home to the start and finish points, and all the expenses on the road. OK, well the problem is, I do not work in corporate America anymore and the life of an online English teacher’s salary is pretty hand-to-mouth. Luckily… I will be starting the trip when I turn 62 and will be getting my Social Security. That money, plus money I will be able to save in the next 18 months, plus the much needed donations from people before and during the trip should make everything possible.
The Route: Too early to say. Many people try the AMerican DIscovery Trail which basically goes in a straight line from Deleware to San Francisco. If you know me, my mind is incapapble of understanding anything as a straight line. I am thinking about Portland, Maine to Portland, Orgeon. Or maybe Los Angeles. (It really depends on who I know would have the best “Congradulations” Chocolate Cake for me when I arrive.)
Moving forward from this point. I have created most of the Social Media I need so that friends and followers can read and watch as the trip preparations continue. I will post YouTube Videos and Instagram pics of 15-25 mile walks while in Mexico and link all of these to my Facebook page. I have a few Doctors I will need to visit to make sure my body is training correctly. I am mostly concerned with the feet, ankles, heel, tendons, and knees. And since I will be pushing a cart (more on this in a later post) I will need to have my wrists looked at. I fractured them last year when, while fishing on a jetty, a wave knocked me down about six feet between some rocks. I ignored the advice of friends of mine who are nurses and did not go to the hospital for x-rays. Another decision which I have already filed in Rob’s Life: Bad Decision Folder. (Very thick folder)
Lots of details I just don’t have at this point. But as my blog posts continue, there will certainly be fun pics and interesting videos. The trip will be a great read for everyone. But no adventurer can deny that the preparation is at least as exciting and as much fun as the actual trip!