Here's the deal. I've spent my life fighting depression and bipolar. Travel was always a good outlet, but I viewed anything more extensive than a weekend of hiking as unrealistic due to financial constraints. Recently, though, I found out I have cancer. It took me from down in the dumps to depths I didn't know existed. Spending most of my time wishing I would get hit by a car and die, I became discontent and decided to change my circumstances. I truly believe travel can help me cope and come to terms with my illnesses. Not only that, but I hope to chronicle my journey, sharing the road, the towns and the people with anyone willing to read. Through this, I hope to offer inspiration to others with illness, whether mental, physical or a combination thereof. Not only this, but I plan to do it on a budget and offer tips for anyone else interested in taking on travel to help come to terms with their obstacles.
I am asking for $1000, as I have set it as a reasonable goal which many people can attain through proper planning and budgeting. I was able to put up more than that in savings recently, but unfortunately lost it all while trying to survive and searching for a job. The reason I am using Kickstarter instead of saving (like I claim is attainable) is simple, I don't have time. I want to get going before weather gets too bad so that I can still make it North before winter, then spend the cold months travelling in the South. But also, while attempting to come to terms with this illness, I am choosing not to seek treatment until this journey is complete.
I intend to set out by bicycle and do all long-distance travel on my bike. I will camp where I can, and take naps on park benches instead of sleeping full nights where camping is unrealistic. I will cook my food on a backpacking stove and gather water from whatever sources present themselves, filtering when necessary. This is far from a high-class journey, but reasonable on a budget.
Throughout this journey, I intend to keep notes, get to know local residents, and document through photography. These will all be formatted into blogs where internet access is available, then posted online to share with whomever desires to read them. No, this is not a profit-making venture. I only intend to help others cope with their illness by sharing my own experiences and answering any questions they may have. However, I think this can be a genuine benefit to any readers who may ultimately consider doing this type of travel themselves, or anyone who can simply find solace in knowing another soul is out there using any means necessary to cope with illness and difficulty in their lives.
Risks and challenges
Risks are fairly straight-forward with this project. Weather can be a big issue. As storms rise during warm months and cold weather following shortly after, long distance biking can be dangerous. However, I am accustomed to biking in winter, having spent my college years biking to class, work and social situations through intense cold and wind, as well as heavy rain and snow.
Another risk comes from other people. There many hostile drivers on the road, as some of my many bike accidents can attest. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done in this scenario. I am acquainted with defensive cycling, having even taught enrichment courses on proper cycling and bike repair during college. I can ride as safely as possible, but there is inherent risk which cannot be removed without cancelling the trip.
As long as I am alive and able to post, I will continue to document this journey and do my best to help anyone who feels the desire to contact me. I can not promise certain protocol as most businesses have; I can only promise my unwavering dedication to, not only myself, but anyone struggling.
- (20 days)