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For Teachers

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For Teachers

Post  ChasingSanity on Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:20 am

For Teachers

I am on a self-supporting / self-sustaining bicycle tour around the world. That means I carry everything I think I might need with me, on my bicycle. There's a wealth of opportunities for learning here. These are some that I see.

What are my goals and why? Why am I doing it this way instead of another? What do I need just to survive and to accomplish those goals? What am I going to encounter along the way? How much am I carrying, what are the limitations of my bicycle and myself, how close am I to those limitations? How much do I need to eat and drink each day/week/month, how much of each kind of nutrient and where do I get that from? What foods survive without refrigeration?

Brainstorm what I might have needed before I left. Make a list. What don't I need and why? What items could I use that would be better? Lighter weight, multifunctional, less expensive, easier to replace, easier to fix, more durable, less likely to be stolen... are all good qualities. What is essential? What is truly, absolutely essential? What are the consequences of not having something? Prioritize. What work-arounds are there? Are the work-arounds realistic? What things am I actually using and why?

“What am I going to encounter along the way?” is huge. Geography, food, language, disease, architecture, history, art, music, social situations, weather, injury, personal growth, culture and sub-culture, belief systems, interpersonal/international/interspecies (a pack of dogs chasing me) conflict.

How hard is it to carry this much weight on my bicycle? I carry 150 pounds which includes the bicycle, I weigh 200 pounds. How much change is there going uphill, downhill, with the wind, crosswind, against the wind, stop and go traffic in the city, in the country? What is my caloric intake and output? What engineering/intellectual/emotional/nutritional/disease stresses are put on the bicycle and myself?

“What are my goals and why?” My goals are to see the world, become worldly, find and shed light on other, (possibly better) ways of living and “find my place in the sun”. Each one of those is a separate goal. I want to experience more of what life has to offer. I want to become wiser and learn to live more harmoniously and politely with other cultures. I want to live more harmoniously and politely with the natural world; this planet, it's resources and the other lifeforms on it. I am a tenant, not an owner of the planet. I want to find a community I feel most comfortable in and return to it after 'Ari's Great Adventure”.

“Why am I doing it this way instead of another?” Partly, it is because I started with next to no money and absolutely no income. Partly, because I am epileptic – I don't feel it would be responsible of me to drive. Partly, because bicycling is ecologically responsible/I like bicycling/socially accepted and respected throughout the world. Partly, because I can fix and maintain a bicycle myself. I really want to experience the Orient and I am only going through once; this is a once in a lifetime thing. If it is probably unsafe for me there, I am not going there. Latin America, USSR, most of the Middle East, Cambodia and the border between Pakistan and India are probably not going to “be blessed by my presence.” More precise decisions when I get closer to places and have more precise information. Freezing temperatures are a challenge to survive and uncomfortable anyways. A traveler spends a lot of time outside and I am camping most of the time. I could carry heavier clothing on my bicycle, couldn't I? You carry it.
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