Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Team Splits :(

Hi all,
This is most likely the last post from the road is west, but all is well and amazing. On November 3rd, Richard and I drove a long haul all the way back to Liepaja, Latvia to meet up with Jack who had been preparing his motorcycle for the past week. We had to sell the car because we ran out of money as a group, which unfortunately meant that the trip, together, was at an end. We sold it to our good friend Aldis in Liepaja who is going to sell it for us in Latvia. If we couldn't sell it then Jack, whose name was on the title, might not be able to come back to Europe after leaving. So it is good to have this important issue done and finished with.

I have decided to stay in Europe for another month or so to visit Rome, Spain, Portugal, France, UK, and Ireland. Traveling mainly by bus, but hopefully gaining the courage to hitchhike a little bit here and there. Currently I am in Cordoba, Spain. It is absolutely beautiful and I am loving my adventure in this part of the world, though it does get lonely without Jack or Richard around.

Richard made his way down slowly to Zurich where he stopped by a carnival, went to another zoo, and was accosted by three undercover swiss police officers at 3:00 AM. where he flew home on Nov. 10th and should be currently relaxing, eating chipotle burritos, and sleeping in peace in America.

Jack took a motorcycle to Germany where it broke and remains semi-abandoned in a Munich parking lot.  He then vanned/bused/flew to Paris, London, Paris again, Rome, Ireland, Boston, and home on December 11th.

Thank you all so much for the continued support and encouragement. Without our friends and family supporting us, especially during some of the more trying times on our trip, I do not think we would have been able to make it through to the last of our dollars:). There are too many people to thank, but thank yous will be happening over the course of the next year for sure. However, we must thank our families who made this trip possible for all of us and were influential in supporting us when things were tough. Thank you and we love you (and everyone else)

There were a lot of moments in which the trip could have ended sooner rather than later, and it shows courage and determination that it didn't. No obstacle was too great for us to overcome together, and there was never a time when we ever gave up hope, even when circumstances became dire. The places we traveled to together were remote, sometimes even dangerous, and this makes me thankful that we made the journey as one and not alone.  I am glad we were able to continue together for as long as we did. Our travel became possible from the love and support freely given to us from our families and friends, but I also want to recognize more importantly the love and support we gave to each other. This was a greater trip than I can put into words, with greater people than I can put into words.


Hey all.  We're posting this post post its proper time of posting because of me.  Sorry.  While this post-collegiate (hopefully not cliché) trip did not provide me with any epiphanic/life-altering moments I did learn a few things.

  • My opinion of a country is highly influenced by the availability of free WiFi.  
  • Friends are as important as anything if not more important than everything (family excluded).  If it weren't for Mihi, Hena, Misha, Max, Misha again, other Mihi, Mihi's family, Baagi, Bimba, Bimba's pet fawn, Chimga, Chimga's husband, Aldis, Christina, and Melisa, to name a few, we wouldn't have made it as far as we did.  
  • Language barriers will never stop you if you're patient.  But that's not an excuse to rely on English.  Accidents happen.  
  • Swedes speak better English than we do.  
  • There's no way to prepare for everything.  
  • It's good to try to prepare for everything.  
  • Sometimes tattoo covered Russians are trustworthy even when trustworthy looking Russians tell you they're dangerous.  Please take note of the "sometimes" as I am SURE this is not always the case.  
  • It's difficult (but very important) to determine when it's best to assert yourself/yourselves and proverbially (or not proverbially) take the wheel and when it's best to go with the flow.  
  • If you ever need a car to outrun a drunk Mongolian on horseback look no further than the Lada Niva (16 hosepower is faster than one horse).  Look further than the Lada Niva for any other purpose.  

While we didn't make it around the world "from Japan to Alaska" the Road is West was a success in every other way that matters to me.  We're all alive.  Aside from a tramp stamp looking scar courtesy of the Forester roll I'm no worse for the wear.  And even though I don't feel like we failed I have an excuse to try something like this again some time.

- Jack