Posted by Andrew Godlewski ● Dec 30, 2018 7:08:47 PM

Burning It All Down

It struck me while barreling down route 93 while staring through the fog that hung over Franconia Notch. The car was filled with the sweet tunes of Michael McDonald, as we’d all been on a Yacht Rock tear for the past 13 hours. Pondering the wonder of nature and the isolation on the cliffs above, I was transported back to excursions and adventures that I took across the globe in my early and mid twenties.

It was a fragile, fleeting reflection that immediately combusted into a fully fledged idea, which would alter the course of the next year for Suzie and I:

What if we burned it all down; left our apartment, sold our stuff, quit our jobs, and moved out onto the road for another cycling tour.

I think it's safe to say we all, at some point during our lives, enter a deep period of higher-order contemplation about our path in this world: is this all there is to it? What's next? Am I making the most I truly can out of this life?

Typically, it happens after a vacation or extended time away from the patterns of everyday life. The experience is transient, however: as quickly as it sets in and takes you seemingly over, it dissipates and fades behind the scenes.

For Suzie and I, we decided to grab hold of the unknown and chose a different path.

To put things into perspective, I work at a wildly successful technology company in Boston, MA. I’ve lived here for 6 years, and have slowly grown my career in the world Customer Success. My approach to work has always been to hustle, to be the first one in and the last one out, and to fully commit myself in helping my customers and team grow. Career progression and professional growth has taken the front seat for me, and I'm almost always looking for the next opportunity in line as I make my way up the ladder. I spent so long in this rhythm, that I somewhat "tricked" myself into blindly holding it self evident that this was a "full" life.

I won't lie, having a good salary, a nice apartment, and living in a city that is fucking awesome certainly feeds this myth. It’s a true saying that it is “nice to have nice things.”

Then came the fateful car ride mentioned above.

I've never bought into the concept of "epiphanies." My take is that consequential life changes are formed over a long period of time where a persons mindset is fundamentally altered into taking on a new perspective.

Sitting here months later, I can confidently say that epiphanies are possible. Within what seemed like seconds, I contemplated what felt like my entire existence; my system of beliefs, my outlook on the future, and my perception of the past. Holy shit, right?? It was intense, yet soothing at the same time. Soothing because.... I realized that I was the one that had control to act upon this.

Joseph Campbell wrote at length about "The Call To Adventure." It is a phase that every myth follows in its structure, whereby the hero of the tale is presented with a call to action to begin his journey. The call disrupts the comfort hero's ordinary world and presents a challenge or quest that must be undertaken. While I was not approached by a cloaked, mysterious figure from the desert, or confronted with a perilous disaster; this musing and the validation from Suzie that quickly followed was my call to adventure. Though the decision to embark on another, far extended, cycle tour would take some time to become finalized, the journey had begun.

We'll be writing a ton about the things that inspired us to travel forward into the unknown and why we hold firm the belief that growth is achieved by crashing through your comfort zone. I hope this at least starts to provide a bit of clarity into why we chose to "burn it all down" and embark on a 10,000+ mile adventure around the world...all by two pedals :)

Topics: Inspiration for Adventure