“How did you keep going?”
That’s one of the most common questions we get after Why did you ride your bikes from Alaska to Argentina? And How? And How did you keep the kids motivated?
Indeed – how did we keep going? I’ve been wanting to write a post on this for ages but, truth be told, I had no idea how we kept going. We just did. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I think I finally figured it out.
We kept going because we knew we could quit at any point.
Another very common question we get now is: How can you stay in Boise after living such an adventurous life?
And the answer is exactly the same: Because we know we can leave at any moment.
Every morning we wake up and make a conscious decision about what we’ll do with the next 24 hours. We can choose to carry on or pack it in. It’s our choice; nobody is forcing us to do anything.
It was that freedom that allowed us to push through the hard times. Making conscious decisions and knowing that we could change that decision at any point encouraged us to push on. Heading out there into Mother Nature’s great blue yonder was our choice, and our choice alone. Nobody forced us to go. Nobody threatened us. We made the choice and we could retract that choice. If we wanted.
It’s exactly the same now that we’re back in the USA. We’ve chosen to live in Boise, Idaho but we know we could leave if we want. We could be living in Mexico or Spain or Argentina or Thailand. We could, but we don’t want to. We’ve made a conscious decision to be where we are and, if we feel that our needs and wants will be better met elsewhere, then we’ll move on. Until then, we’re happy as clams in our little house in Idaho.
Amazingly, I think that’s the key to true happiness.
It isn’t travel, it isn’t some great adventure. It’s very simple actually: the key to happiness is living in such a way that you call the shots.
- It’s waking up every morning knowing that you get to choose what you’ll do with the next 24 hours.
- It’s knowing that you are choosing whatever your life is and that you’re not trapped.
OK, OK… I know it’s easy to feel trapped. You feel like you’re trapped in a dead-end job or you’re a slave to corporate America. You look around and realize you aren’t truly content with your life but don’t know how to change it and you feel as ensnared as a mouse in a mousetrap.
But really – are you? Or are you blaming others for the choices you’ve made?
Once we take responsibility for our lives and realize we are the only ones to blame, then… well, then we either embrace and love what we have or we change it.
And that’s exactly where my family is right now. Is Boise perfect? No. Is there any place better? No. For now we’ve chosen to call Boise home, but that could change any day. When we’re living purposefully and making conscious choices; when we know that whatever we’re facing today is what we’ve chosen, then it makes it a lot easier to accept.
When we were on the road and we faced a solid week of climbing from sea level to 15,000 feet in a mere 225 miles, we knew we had chosen it. When we battled headwinds for 1500 miles along the Peruvian coast, we knew we were doing it of our own free will. When temperatures plummeted in Wyoming or when they soared in Central America, it was a conscious choice we made to climb on those bikes and head out anyway.
And that choice gave us power. We could choose to continue on or we could choose to pack it in. Every single day.
In the end, we made the decision that the good parts of our journey outweighed the bad and we kept going. And that’s why we live in Boise now.
If the day comes when we ask ourselves that question and get a different answer, then it’ll be time to move on. But as long as I can wake up in the morning and say, “This is exactly where I want to be,” then I’ll stay.