Memorial Day Weekend 2018
The week days before this Memorial Day weekend was stressful and emotional for me. It was me fighting the human condition of high emotions and insecurities that I have at times. In a serendipitous moment where I reached out to a friend in Baltimore about a favor to pick up a motorcycle part, he invites me to join him, his fiancee and friends to a lake cabin in New York.
I can tell you that I needed this. Traveling to places, especially places I have never been gives me space from the things that causes me stress both physically and emotionally. Traveling on a motorcycle in particular gives me perspective that has a resonating impression. These new experiences and perspectives allows me to continue my path of growth, gratitude and empathy.
Let's start with I should have planned my travel a little bit better. I didn't because when I looked up how long it would take to get from Philadelphia, PA to Roscoe, NY on my GPS (google maps), it told me three and a half hours. It wasn't three and a half hours, after 3-4 stops, it was more like four plus hours. I don't stop that often but I had a few situations where I had to pull over.
One of the stops was a gas stop near Newark that did not have a food or bathroom area--the gas attendant was this gentleman named Keith. It was a hot mid-day Saturday and I drank all of my water. Keith was kind enough to give me some bottles of water from their employee lounge and we chatted about my trip, work, joked about me running away from the rain in Philly and joked about his little five year old daughter forcing him to work weekends to afford her lifestyle. I wished I had cash (I make the mistake often to not carry cash) to tip Keith but he was just happy to have a nice human interaction. These moments fills me with joy.
As I make my way up northwest, I enjoyed the ride and the scenic views of rolling hills with green lush forest, the bridges, the valley views, the fresh air, the sun and mountain rock cliffs on the side of the highway. I started to wonder where the hell I was going and not hearing my maps give any directions for a while (audio only), I pulled over and saw how much my bags were shifting.
So I unpacked everything and repacked it on the side of the highway. And this state trooper pulls up behind me and asks if I'm okay. His name was Steve and Steve was hot. What I liked most was our interaction, he was doing his job asking where I was going, where I came from and what I was doing--but then warned me about drivers and a gnarly accident earlier that day because drivers are not watching for motorcyclists. And I ask him whether he rides and he did until he had an accident with a deer that left him with some metal and screws in his wrist. After our bond over motorcycles, I asked him if he could assist with helping me merge back into the highway which he was glad to do. And it was another moment that gave me air--random people who want to help, who want to do a good job, and who want to connect.
I get to lake cabins and met up with my friends, old and new ones. It was chill and low key and everything I needed for a weekend away. It made me realize how important it is to reach out to people and how opportunities and adventures just come from it--but also how amazing it is for random creatives to come together in nature. I liked and enjoyed my host and my peers. This made me look forward to more in the future with them or others similar.
When I left on the bike, I got lost as usual. But I wasn't mad that I took the long way home. I rode through Delaware and Pennsylvania, through lake and river towns and farmland. At one point, I was riding through a part of Pennsylvania that I have never seen before--outside of the Poconos. It was amazing, sunny and green with views and heights that made me yell in my helmet that this was all so beautiful.
Gratitude and empathy is everything, both ways. Constantly am learning and growing, I can never learn enough about life that's for sure. All of this came from... Riding motorcycles, now that I think about it.
Anyways, thanks for reading my thoughts. I hope you enjoyed it and the photos.