It’s done! After exactly 19,000 miles (such a coincidence, not a mile more or a mile less…), 68 days, 26 states, 4 Canadian provinces and a lot of espressos along the way, I parked the motorcycle in my garage a little before 7pm on Thursday, and finally reunited with my family. It was a very happy moment, and an intense one as well. It’s definitely not easy to be away from the people you love so much for such a long time, and being with them again feels simply fantastic. I guess they were happy and relieved to see me back in one (walking) piece, and I don’t blame them, because I have to say I feel relieved as well. After all, it’s a lot of miles riding in what is basically a little chair with two wheels and a powerful engine below it – just don’t let my motorcycle hear that… Having had no major or minor incidents after all these miles, not even a flat tire, is something to be very, very grateful for!
No need to repeat here what I’ve been posting these past few weeks on the trip updates. The cliches keep flowing naturally: trip of a lifetime, a one-of-a-kind-experience, an epic journey and so on, but labeling it now seems unnecessary. It was an experience that really goes beyond any words, and I have it forever with me from now on. The memories will stay, and I know I will learn a lot from them.
Right now, it’s still hard to believe I have done the whole journey, so I guess I will have to let time work its magic and slowly transport me from the open roads to “real life as usual”, for the lack of a better definition to my roles as a husband, a father, and a working man. I know it was a lot to absorb in such a small amount of time, but I trust I will discover the secret to making “real life as usual” benefit from these exceptional weeks on the road, thus making me a better partner to Nicole, a better Dad to Duda, Nanda, Gui and Ju, and a better professional to my clients. For now, the dust has to settle down, and most of my time for the next few weeks will have to be dedicated to catching up and getting back on track.
Before I sign off from the Alaska 2013 posts, a big thanks to all of you who followed the trip by reading the blog, it really made feel I wasn’t riding alone. I’m also very grateful for all the incredible new friends I’ve made in so many different places, I’ll be looking forward to meeting you again in future trips – there will be future trips! Finally, just as I wrote on the very first post about the ride, my love to my whole family for all the support and understanding. Without you, I can honestly say it wouldn’t have been the same journey, and you all were riding with me every single day.
I think about each and every day on the road, about each and every place I got to know and every person I crossed paths with. I think about all this with a lot of joy and gratitude, and I suspect now that I may be able to find a few good reasons for having done what I just did. One thing is for sure: I feel I’m a different man than the one who left home 10 weeks ago, prepared for the trip, but not knowing exactly I would face on the road ahead of me. I know now, and the world looks a lot friendlier and a lot more welcoming than before.