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The Experiment

So, I sold my truck! Here’s how the sale and drop rolled out. I stowed my bike in the back of the truck, did a Kelly Bluebook exchange with a dealer because getting that much cash from a private sale was probably not going to happen. I signed my wheels away and jumped on my bike to ride to the Port of Everett to check out boat storage on the hard.


It was supposed to snow, but ended up being a most excellent day with sunshine, birds singing, and I had a most excellent exercise high. Life couldn’t be better. The sweet smell of liberation from a vehicle. What could go wrong!? I was thinking this about a year ago in Greece when I took a spectacular fall riding from Athens to Corinthos and broke my clavicle.


Actually, nothing went wrong. I found an inexpensive storage place on the hard at the Port of Everett marina, had a Ruben sandwich, quaffed two pints of a heavenly IPA, and had a most exhilarating ride to a Hampton Hotel where I splurged, because damit, I deserved it!


Now here’s the thinking on top of the thinking. The next day it was snowing and I had to ride back to Seattle. I won’t generalize about human nature, but Frank nature would more than likely have gravitated for a vehicle if I had one…but I took that variable out of the equation. Yes, not using the truck most of the year was definitely part of the equation, but in eliminating a vehicle, I would also be forcing myself to bike or use alternative means of transportation instead of resorting to the easiest venue.


I have to admit, when I knew I was biking to Everett, I researched getting on the train if it snowed, which I knew was on the radar...but then I got to re-think my thinking on top of my thinking. This was the first entire day without a truck. If I went to all of this trouble to sell my virtually brand new truck to orchestrate riding my bicycle, then I would be copping out. I would be a hypocrite. I would be worse than the fake news next to the fake president. No, I was going to ride, and ride I did. No falls, no near accidents, my hands were cold, my feet were cold, and I was smiling the entire ride hoping I wouldn’t loose an appendage due to exposure.


Granted, I have quasi-did something like this before back in 2006 when I sold my first truck and bought a motorcycle, which was my primary means of transportation until 2013. That experiment lasted for a good seven years until I decided to get a fishing mobile. I loved that motorcycle and if I were to get another vehicle, other than my bike, it would be a BMW 800 GS Adventure. I really don’t need a motorcycle like that other than to do some cross-country travels. And considering the logistics and logic of buying a motorcycle, if I were to sail my boat later this summer and then meandering around the world, I really don’t need any motorized vehicle.


Which brings me to the main message in this post. I’m learning more about the relationship between the intention I put into the stuff I accumulated over the years, the kind of life I was living, and the kind of life I wanted to live. What I accumulated and what I did seemed like an intuitive process where my means of accumulating shit didn’t exceed my means to pay for it, carry it with me wherever I wanted to live, and facilitate my lifestyle and career.


But things have radically changed over the last four years. I left the educational career where I had the opportunity to travel all over the U.S., to have the opportunity to travel all over the world. This means the vast library I collected is now sitting in a storage unit collecting dust, along with some awesome tools. It wasn’t really difficult to part with my truck, but parting with books and tools is tough. Granted, the storage unit is inexpensive, but it doesn’t mesh with my evolving understanding of my growing interest in getting rid of shit.


Experiencing as much of the world and people is my main goal. Here’s an example of the spectrum of how I want to accomplish that goal. Option 1: the minimalist Jack Reacher style of carrying all the things you need in your pocket—foldable toothbrush, some cash, throw away dirty clothes and buy new clean clothes—is attractive. The only difference is that I would more than likely have a small bag with clothes and toiletries on the back of a motorcycle.


Option 2: I could end up gunk holing around the world on a boat with a bike and dinghy, carrying the things I need for survival and take my home with me around the world. This is the option I am gearing up for right now with solar panels, a water maker, a radar, and a dinghy. Yes, I am getting a little more shit, but with a boat, the shit is limited.


Option 3: I’m really thinking that I can do both options and alternate between the two. I can sail my boat down the Pacific coast from Seattle to an exotic destination in a foreign country, put the boat on the hard while I work for six months, return to the exotic location, rent a motorcycle for a few weeks, tool around, get back on the boat, sail her to another exotic country, put her on the hard, and keep repeating the process as I make my way around the world.


There’s still a lot more to do with this thinking, but I’m feeling pretty comfortable where this experiment is heading. I will keep you posted.