The Happiness of Travel: Stability in Traditional Instability



I see my reflection in dented metal siding. My face is the borscht pink. My limbs and spine tingle with the weight of exhaustion and anxiety. There is a small, undetectable grin on my face, that even a ruler is placed up against my face may miss. Am I sick? Delirious due to the situational stress? No. It’s perspective.


That is the extreme situation. I understand why many would respond to that description with a big WTF. Being trapped in Russia due to a Visa violation isn’t Mardi Gras, but it’s still raw adventure, a story for the bulging back-pocket, for attentive eyes, for inducing salivation. This is short and sweet. Happiness cannot be dictated from the higher ups. They can inspire us and implore us, but ultimately it is up to us to define our own happiness. Even then, it may be considered beyond decision, something deeper, involuntary, and uncontrollable like flowing blood. And they will try. They will try to get you to conform to their smiles. To their tears. To their boxes. Don’t check them. Don’t live in them. Don’t pass it on to your next akin, with the preamble of “that’s just the way we do things”.


All versions of happiness are valid and are form fitting. When you are sitting in your version of a tent, rippling with blistering gales and pelting rain, your drenched to the apple core, and all your electronic devices are gasping for a last bit of life, as their non-water compatible electronic components drown in small pools as you sleep in every piece of clothing you have with you, that is happiness. Typing away at a report in some 4 by 4 cubicle well into the weekend, while your boss spends his Saturday, spending time with his kids….that also can be happiness. Happiness cannot be argued and if it does no harm to others, it should not be prevented. This post reiterates the obvious, but something that sometimes we need to be reminded of, to set long list of duties into perspective.


Pause. Put down whatever it is you are burdened by, whether it is thoughts or a stapler. Ask yourself:


Are you happy?


What can you do right now that will make you so?




Keep Pedaling

Each Mile

Finding A Voice – Out with the Forums, In With the Reddits (can you pluralize it like that, kids?)

Where are you, Mr. Cooper? Why haven’t you posted anything new? Well…because…I haven’t….The real reason is because I am still trying to figure out how to spread the holy gospel that this site exists and find a balance in my own life to keep posting, keep expanding and keep alive. What is alive? Alive involves a pinch of art, a pinch of socializing and pinch of school and WHOLE lot of cycling too and fro.


The world tour is still on and the new way I am accessing people to participate in building it’s itinerary is by ditching the forum and trying out the established thoroughfares of forum-like resources, such as Reddit. My issue though with this approach is how do I get people then to follow the site’s progress? How do a build a community? How do I get people to see the final journey of their suggestions?


Again, I need to keep abreast of technological trends and how social media is ideally utilized in my specific scenario. Why am I posting this? Because, I want this site and this trip, from start to finish, to be a dialogue, an interaction, a series of communications and cause and effects. I want you to see the large struggles and the minor hiccups and at the same time I want you to see the mountains and the river crossings.


For me, the travel part is easy. It’s the lead up that is my primary cause for concern. The online world is unfamiliar to me in this regard and I fear I shall leave on this trip with my own itinerary, on a trip that has little to do with a wider cause. And that’s not what I want to do. I do not just want to disappear for three years. I want to be your guinea pig. So let me.


Any suggestions are mucho appreciated, whatever they may be.



Thank you so so so so much already for everything.

Just Words – Professing Bikedom

There are many options to get from point A to B in our lives and various factors that impact our mode of transportation choice. While the bicycle offers a healthier, more eco-friendly method, the downsides of traveling via two wheels seem to outweigh the benefits, as most commuters choose alternative ways. The convenience of a car, the consistency of a skytrain, the viability of the bus make these ideal options. Each one of them, has a dry, warm interior and each one of them will speedily get you to your destination, with very little effort. These modes promise immediate results, which is perfect in a society with fast internet, faster food, one day delivery, carpool lanes. Yet this immediacy seems at odds with our innate, built in need to plan for the future, consider how what we do now effects our future selves. We don’t think about the long term effects of which mode of transportation we choose to use. Cars are time effective, getting you to the literal doorstep of your destination. Though there is a ridiculousness in their ease. A 5 minute walk, a chance to commune with fresh air, stretch atrophied, office limbs, is transformed into a minute car ride. We hit people with them, we drink and crash into inanimate objects with them, we relinquish the positive, upbeat moral citizens we are outside their realms, to become demons of speed, road rage and car envy. We rely on heavy machines, we trust them, put our faith in them to work, to go, to make it. We don’t appreciate the journey, the kilometers, the unstopped, flagrant flowers. Bullets. We want to see how fast we can make it there. We want industry, industry. Oil oil! No more truffula trees. And yet, we point towards China. We point towards governments. We are just homogeneous cogs. Patches in a social fabric. We cannot make a change. It isn’t about global change. It’s about self change. It’s about self empowerment. It’s about adrenaline over coffee.

In there a message in this? Is this simply a rant that comes out of an institution-sickened mind, where even if you don’t wish to conform, you are conforming to something? Well, I think we should inspire to conform to something a bit more agreeable, as incrementally small as it is. This isn’t a preacher’s door sermon. This is a challenge. A challenge to appreciate the way there. A challenge of organization, of mapping your time, of personal strength, of will power. This is a challenge to embrace time, not spar with it. A challenge to guzzle less and breath more. If your uncomfortable with the road, with the four wheeled charging minotaurs of the road, ride with me. Call me up, text me, email me, carrier pigeon me, message in a bottle me, I will receive it and you will receive me, at your door, two wheel pride gleaming. Let’s do it, let’s explore! Start with once a week. See how it fits. Maybe it won’t fit. Maybe you’ll hate me for it. Well, I will accept your hate, as long as you attempt to garner it from me. All over the place, I wrote this all over the place. In class, in bed, in my head, in a random notebook. Here it is. Now. Unedited. Spin out of control. Imagine two wheels, two wheels, the sound of nature instead of automobile infused nurture.