So many loose ends.
There are just too many of them. So many conciderations to make. Plans to change, and the impact of those changes to concider.
I complained to my lovely wife about all the chaos (in my head, mostly), and how it kinda kills my creativity. “I want to wright” I told her. “But I can’t. There’s too much low-flying debree in my mind. Too much chaos..”. I was complaining over not being in total control of the rapid change of our project. I didn’t explain that, but the pretty girl with the maching ring gets me.
She sipped a little white wine, looked out over the waves and gives me the simplest, most inspiering advise I’ve had in a long time.
“Wright about that” she says.
“Huh” (mentally I had just bobbed-and-weaved out of the way of a train of thoughts whose intentions where to clarify imminent failiure)
“Chaos” she says.
We spent the last week together at Crete, enjoying the beach and very hot days and nights. We have both worked so hard, so many hours the last couple of years. We’ve been preparing for our 13 month trip, and our wedding, and in order to make it we just had to put our collective shoulders to it and heaved-to for what seems like a very long time. We (I) where (was) bone tired and in need of a break. When Tonje came back from her final backspecialist with a final diagnose (check out the post “Major changes to pretty much everything” for more details) she needed to do some “because screw it” shopping, and so she informed me that we where going to Crete. (Airfare plus hotel for two was cheaper than the last 25 minute back-specialist consultation, so screw it!) (also bonus points for Tonje who bought us a short vacation, rather than new shoes and a dress and what not..)
So, there we where. I was sitting on the beach, next to my love, focusing so hard on all the things I had to think about that I forgot to actually think. I spent so much time worrying about every little detail that I forgot to breathe, enjoy the view and just spend time with my wife, just being us. I lost track of all the little things, like the local beach salesman announcing “ffRRRREESH FRUITT!” WATTTERMELLONPLEASE!?”. Or the wonderful dinners we enjoyed after the sun had set and the temperature came close to 28 degreed C and the Norwegians had stopped melting.
I spend so much time trying to cover all the bases. Getting all my ducks in a row. Selling the bikes. Finding and buying a new car (everything now points towards a Pajero), packing down all our stuff into two piles; one pile for the trip, and one pile for storage. Renting out our apartment. Getting a USA 6 month tourist visa. Research. So much research. And so I worry. Tonje tells me not to worry but I do. She tells me it’s all going to work out, and I kinda know she is right, but yet I worry. All the chaos and all the loose ends paint a mental map explaining all the ways it’ll not work out, why we won’t make the deadlines, why I should just quit while I’m, if not ahead,- then at least not too far behind. I’ve always been a light sleeper, and if my ducks are especially unruly and just won’t get in a row, then I tend to wake up at night, head full of lowflying debree, chaos and loose ends. If I do wake up without waking the wife, I always scramble (quietly) for my trusty Kindle and read about something so far away from reality that it drowns out the background noise, the chaos. If me waking stirrs the wife, she talks me down, tucks me inn and I drift off again. And that’s pretty neat too.
Working as a Coach, I profess that “Never complain about what you can’t change; Instead either change yourself, change you goal, or accept the new reality and move on”.
It is also a well known fact that it is often easier to give advice to others, than to follow them yourself.
I truly don’t oppose change. I find it exciting. But just like with a rollercoster ride,- it’s great afterwards! However while underway, racing down a barrelloop while your mind is screaming about the near certainty that it’s all coming off the rails and the day is going to end badly,- then it’s not so much fun at all. You know for a fact that at the other end of the barrelroll going off the rails,- there will be ducks scattered everywhere, and not a single one alligned up to anyhting else. Loose ends,- or ducks. Chaos. But then, once you are out of the barrelroll-of-doom and most of your ducks are aligned (not all ’cause that will never happen), then it’s all kicks and giggles.
I breathe through my nose, smelling the salt and the sea and the sun, Tonje, my love and companion, made friends with Tony, the local beach restaurant wachdog, and did so with such ease that my ducks got confused and forgot to scatter about in a chaotic manner.
That night we took the bus with the locals into Platanyas, for dinner and drinks. Oh how it seemed like a good idea to get fruity umbrella-style drinks. It’s not. Ever.
We finally settled on a nice corner restaurant, enjoying a little red and a little white, watching people shuffle by and marveling at the Crete driving culture. Or lack there of.
The last month, and the last 2 weeks in particular have been taxing. My wife Tonje and I have been planning to go on our 13 month adventure for about 18 months. An adventure riding around the world on two motorcycles. All the planning and all the gear was in place. Tonje took her license in october 2013, we bought two BMW F800GS, planned, prepared, researched, rince and repeat.. Departure where set to end of july 2014 at the latest. Click on this link for more information on our route and timelines..
DISASTER NUMBER ONE
Then in April 2014, around easter, Tonje fell of a horse-horse and busted her ankle. And people think riding a iron horse is dangerous? Right..
Let me also use this opportunity to mention that Tonje has extencive horse-horse riding experience. She was one of those girls that spent more time in the stables grooming and riding horses than she spent time at home, and that includes sleep-time. Or so I’m told.
Due to our adventure she introduced me to riding horse-horses so that we could expand our adventure in Argentina, Texas and other places. Also, I intoduced her to iron-horse riding, and she unflinchingly joined my adventure dream, so there where not really any way I could decline to at least try out horse-horse riding.
Did I mention that it turned out that I’m a Natural? And yet the pro (Tonje) fell off her horse. Jeesh..
At the emergency room it was determined that she had completely torn off 4 out of 5 ligaments in her right ankle, and rupturing the 5th along the length of the ligament. Also, she completely tore up her pants on the inseam form knee to knee. This made for a few awkward moments while I carried her in to the ER. The stuff you worry most about may very well not really matter in the long run…
The busted ankle in it self was no showstopper,- but it put us back a bit regarding training and preparations.
DISASTER NUMBER TWO
Tonje has a history with back-problems, spesifically spinal disc herniation. She had surgery for this 2007. The last six months Tonje has experienced increased back pain, and we both suspected a new spinal disc herniation. We have spent the last two months chasing doctors, MRI’s, specialists in Stavanger and Bergen and we even came as far as booking a new round of surgey. Due to this the departure date was pushed one month to septemer 1st 2014. Two weeks prior to the scheduled surgery, a new specialist apointment provided us with a new diagnose; MODIC CHANGES TYPE 1.
This is actually many micro fractures in two opposing vertebraes, that causes inflamation and quite a bit of pain. Some movements and angles has proved so painful that Tonje has had a few blackouts. The biggest problem is that there is no cure as of today. There is an experimentational treatment in Denmark based on large amounts of strong antibiotics over a 90 day period combined with laser-treatment, but its a coin-toss. It was clear to me that this is not a safe foundation for riding a motorcycle for 13 months over difficult terrain…
THE NEW PLAN
Dwight D. Eisenhower said: “Plans are nothing, planning is everything”.
I pressed this to heart and decided to suggest a big change in our plan. I still wanted to go on our adventure, but we had to do some serious re-thinking.
Irony has it so that I was worried about her safety and security, and she on the other hand was worried about ruining the trip. She is a fighter no doubt, but I had to draw the line in the sand. First I suggested, then I insisted, and finally I had to make the call for the both of us. The trip will happen, but instead of 2+2 wheels, we needed to go on 4×4.
Then followed two intense days of talks, discussing alternatives and hashing up a new plan.
The two BMW F800GS that I spent 12 months modifying and preparing will be sold ASAP. Click here for the sales ad. Instead we will purchase a Land Rover Defender some time within the next two weeks.
If any car can do the trip we have planned, that should be it. We’ll buy a used Defender, preferably with green plates (2 seater) and then kit it properly in Germany, on the road.
I am still super stoked, and we’re both looking forward to seeing Europe and all of Americas from Ushuaia in South Chile, to Inuvik in Northern Canada. It’s still going to be a marvelous adventure, 13 months on the road (or off the road) with my love. Tonje is having some trouble hiding her delight over a somewhat increased luggage-space. I know she’ll bring more shoes and summer dresses, because after all she`s a woman. And I know there is just no way I can stop her.
On the other hand there will be a lot more room for tools, so I’m not complaining 🙂
We will still atempt to make the planned departure date september 1st 2014.
That being said; they say that God gives you no more challenges in you life than you can handle. Apparently God thinks I’m a Bad Ass.