When the unreasonable makes sense

If I’ve learned anything from pedaling thousands of miles around the globe, it’s that sometimes the unreasonable actually makes sense.

A few years ago if you had asked me if it made sense to fly back to the USA in order to pick up a bicycle wheel, my response would have been along the lines of:

Do fish fly?

Is it pleasant to swim with jellyfish?

Would I want an elephant living in my back yard?

Are you bloody nuts?

In today’s age of communication, where jet planes fly to the remotest corners of the planet on a daily basis, where FedEx and UPS ship packages overnight to anywhere in the world – does it make sense to fly back to the USA to pick up a wheel?

My answer to that question is yes. Sometimes.

The whole idea of gallivanting around the world on a bicycle, to some, would seem to make no sense. Why would one choose to pedal a bicycle the length of the Americas when it’s easier and faster to get on a plane and fly there?  Sometimes, it just makes sense – in its own twisted way.

As we cycled through Peru, we were stressing about tires – we didn’t have enough tires to get to Ushuaia. We debated for hours whether to fly to the US to pick some up or to have them sent down. There were pros and cons for each.

Ship them down

Either cheaper or more expensive (depending on customs)
Wait time unknown (depending on the mail and customs)
Unpredictable – no telling where they might end up

Fly to the USA

More hassle
Either cheaper or more expensive (depending on customs)
Wait time fixed
More secure and dependable
Could pick up other needed items at same time

We weighed the options for days – would it be worth it to pick up some cheap flightsand fly up for a few days? We had a bunch of items on our wish list – if one of us flew north, we could get them all in one fell swoop. The downside was the cost of a plane ticket – possibly more than shipping/customs. But then again, we had a number of friends who had been presented with outrageous customs bills for items they had shipped in. Would the plane ticket be more expensive? We didn’t know.

In the end we decided to fly back – it just made more sense at the time.

Nancy in Times Square

Nancy in Times Square in New York City

I think that’s one of the main lessons I learned from my time on the road – there is no one right answer. Think creatively. Think out of the box. Look at all the options and decide which one works best – even if it seems unreasonable.

There are times when unreasonable actually makes sense.

This a sponsored post.


books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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One Response to When the unreasonable makes sense

  1. Bluegreen Kirk July 11, 2011 at 5:16 am #

    What makes sense depends on the person and the event. Like in your case you needed tires and had other things you needed to do. Many would have assume it made no sense to do all the biking you did with the family but to you it just made sense to do it. Everyone will not understand why but it doesnt matter if they do or not. How long did you stay when you flew back?

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