Changing ponds

In my old small pond the idea of long term travel seemed like a big deal. I was a strange fish in that pond. It’s not that people didn’t think it sounded fun, just somewhat unattainable in their life.
In my new pond of travelers, I’m just another fish in a pond of weird fish. Many of us traveling in the low season are in the same place in our lives. Unhappy or unfulfilled by our previous situation, and retreating to a life of traveling hoping that something magical will happen and inspire us towards a new happier and more fulfilling future. No one that’s traveling has the answer to whether that ever happens, or a road map to having that singular magical experience. If they did they wouldn’t be traveling still, unless travel is their answer.
There are times that IĀ  feel like I’m running away from my 1st world problems. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate all the experiences I am having, but there’s still that nagging thought in the back of my head that asks “What if this is fruitless?” What if by traveling and seeing new things, and talking to other people with the same problem, I’m missing the experiences I really need? What if the experiences I need are the ones most people got in high school and college; like working in restaurants, bike shops, coffee shops, or doing community/social work?
What I can say for sure is that bicycle touring is hard work. It is oftentimes uncomfortable. Sometimes very uncomfortable. I appreciate this after the fact because it reminds me how impatient and soft I’ve become over the years. Little things that are just part of the reality of this lifestyle really bothered me in the beginning. But, those things are slowly becoming less significant and more acceptable. I know that this trip is changing me already, but is it change that will guide my future, or just short term adaptation to circumstances?
I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. For now I’ll just try to enjoy the ride and appreciate the kindness of strangers and the beauty that surrounds me at nearly every curve in the road.



Published by: Andrew Monfort

I am a former engineer who decided to follow my dreams. After 9 years of working as a process engineer in the oil & gas production and refining industries, I decided to follow my passions (cycling and travel) to see where they lead.

1 Comment

One thought on “Changing ponds”

  1. Aren’t we all looking for something? And aren’t we all–at one point or another–running away from something in hopes of running toward something? Nothing odd here. It’s all just amplified by the ability to let your thoughts wander while churning out the miles. Last night’s encounter gets replayed in your mind’s eye, something we don’t always have the luxury to do in our generally busy lives. And thus travel, if we do it right, becomes a time of sincere reflection and self discovery.

    I believe you’re doing it right.


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