The Power of Sharing
It used to be that you just swung your leg over your bicycle and set out on a big tour. You could ride, photograph, write, even film, but none of it would be published until you made it home. Nowadays setting up a blog, Twitter Feed, or Facebook page is one of the first steps. Why? Because people are interested. People want to experience the highs and lows with you. Maybe they’re living vicariously through you, or taking notes for their own bike tour. Maybe they have no interest in touring themselves, but are curious about the places you’re going, or the strange situations you’ll almost certainly get yourself into. Of course, there are still folks who see touring as a deeply personal experience and don’t want to feel tied to a computer or compelled to report back on the experience. But just one look at the popular touring journal website, Crazy Guy on a Bike, confirms that folks touring without an online outlet for sharing stories are now the minority.
Sharing our touring experience with the online community is built into the very heart of The Geography of Youth. We are, as James Mills of The Outdoor Professional so eloquently put it, “aim(ing) to paint a portrait from the perspective of those who will shape the future.” But the second, crucial piece of The Geography of Youth is the sharing of that portrait. Alan and I are both storytellers at heart and we take the responsibility of sharing our discoveries, triumphs and failures very seriously. To that end, we’re exploring ways to deliver to you (via the internet) a daily package of photographs, writing, video, and sound that will enable you to come along with us. We’re hoping to get that together and begin delivering content to you a couple months before we actually leave so you can come with us on the fun part of the planning process (right now it’s mostly emails and phone calls to secure funding and sponsorships).
As we’re sitting here at our desks in the blustry Maine winter, we get little updates via Google every once in a while that tell us what the internet is saying about The Geography of Youth. Yesterday Mariana Blanco, a twenty-something writer from Mexico City posted The Geography of Youth promo video to her Tumbr. It was reblogged 16 times and comments ranged from, “I want to bike all across America! Someone do this with me. Let’s start tomorrow. Yeeaahh” to, “this inspires me and is making me excited for my future.”
Turns out it’s all of you who are inspiring. Your support is what keeps us picking up the phone to call new companies for sponsorship and what keeps us applying for grant after grant, working to get enough funding to be able to do the project. The more people who find out about The Geography of Youth and share it with their friends, the more certain we become that we’ll be making it around the whole world with you guys cheering us on... which will be important, because we hear there’ll be some hills. So, thank you. We can’t wait to bring you along on the journey.