Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Adv #7 Continued: Finishing in Colombia

I'm here in Cartagena, Colombia!

Back in February, I arrived in Ushuaia, the southernmost point in South America, and here we are in December looking out over the Caribbean Sea. Having ridden South America now from bottom to top with a bunch of zig-zags in between....the continent has certainly left an impression on me.

My departure from Medellin a couple of weeks ago gave me more opportunities to see this fantastic country of Colombia. There is huge potential for tourism here, I am certain I'll be returning soon (in fact, I have some tourism work & plans lined up with a couple of guys I met here.)

The downside to this last portion of my ride though is that not many pictures turned because of the "La Nina" weather system this year and Colombia being pounded by rain every day. The result while riding is that I don't want to take the camera out in the rain, and when the rain finally stops, the lens fogs up so badly my pictures don't even turn out. Really though, the pictures aren't that important to me. These are images that will be in my mind for a long time to come.

I finished the cargo preparations for my motorcycle, and confirmed my flight; tomorrow I’ll be in Miami. Tomorrow I’ll be in the United States??? That feels very strange to say, having not been there for 2 years now.

(Puppers above, chewing on my turn signal while sniffing for cocaine. I have never, ever seen a more "happily employed" character than these drug-sniffing dogs. They are given a tennis ball with a little cocaine in it to help remind them what they're looking for, and I swear, some of that coke must be seeping through onto their tongues. Below: Anti-narcotics officers want to ride the big KTM, too.)

What's running through my head right now.....

Needless to say, I'm very much looking forward to seeing friends and family again. I also wonder if this is going to be "shocking" in any way, returning to my home country after all this time. At the very least, I look forward to blending in a bit better again. Must say, I've had enough of being stared at.

Feels like I've been watching what's going on in the U.S. from the outside, actually catching much of my news from Facebook. Seeing what friends are doing and saying about the issues of the day.

A million little thoughts, some happy and some sad are racing through my mind. For the most part I’m definitely a little choked up just writing this. The past couple of weeks moved very slowly with the ridiculous motorcycle shipping process, so my work on the project has been minimal.

As I walked through Cartagena tonight scouting out my dinner options, I’m thinking a little about “what if I had never lost my job in Atlanta?” Or, “what if I hadn’t bought my motorcycle, and instead just flew to California for my job with Suntrek?” “What if I had never met Peter, and never rode down here to South America?” It’s somewhat silly to even ponder such variables, but in moments like this, it’s unavoidable. “What could or should I have done differently while I was here?” “Instead of just changing my life, could I have done more to help others?” Again, silly to ponder…but….those are the thoughts and impulses that are coming to mind.

One things's for sure though: I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything else in the world.

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