Two people, two Suzuki DR 650 motorcycles, and the spirit of a dog named Ducati, have completed a trip around the world! Yep, absolutely captured my attention and I began my dive into their full-circle journey. Meet Mike and Shannon, who are the first to let you know, “at first glance, it seems the bulk of our lives are spent with some kind of ‘Trust Fund’ wealth and ample time to handpick adventures. Sadly, this is not the case.”
They both work full-time jobs requiring the standard 40+ hours. “And being the suckers we are, we also chose the non-profit world. We will be the first to tell you that no one was getting rich in our line of work and that fame and glory never happen in places like this.” It started off small, with micro-adventures, away for the escape on a weekend. Spending time camping in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, but it was here that they caught an exotic parasite! “A strange thing happened, some exotic parasite was eating the parts of our brain in charge of security and stability. The trips got longer, the distance farther, until one day, after a month-long haul to the Arctic Circle via the Dempster Highway, we returned home and, with hands-on-hips, just stared at our house from the street. At that moment all either of us wanted was a hot meal and more gas for the bikes. The gypsy parasite had completed its lifecycle leaving us same-same but different. And like the earth’s magnetic poles flipping, or animals suddenly talking in English, everything changed for us.”
When you read their recollections of 3 years on the road, they talk about the amount of life that they packed into the 1,100 days of a journey around the world. People always ask what has changed after such a journey and they beautifully detail it in one sentence: We have been changed by this experience, we are kinder, tougher, more thoughtful, and I think, we are overall better human beings than the two who headed south from Seward Park on 6 September 2014. When we think of thriving and living our best lives, adventure truly cannot be discounted.
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers,
the mountains and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters,
and teach some of us more than what we could learn from books”
As their multi-year adventure was coming to a close, they did something unique…instead of shipping their bikes back to their hometown in Seattle, WA, they chose instead to ship to Vancouver, Canada. And it completely makes sense. “We knew abruptly ending our trip at the airport in Seattle, instead of riding home on our motorcycles, would cause irreparable sadness and despondency. We wanted a month in the splendor of the Rocky Mountains, camping, and slowly riding for home on a protracted schedule. We wanted a few weeks riding incrementally toward home so we could acclimatize our psyches to the inevitable ending of the greatest trip of our lives.” The planning and mindset to head out on a big adventure is just as important for the mindset and reintegration that occurs once you return.
But where did the Sustainable Unaccountability come to play in these adventurous lives: we thought we should have a vision/mission/tagline – as we walked [one] chilly morning Mike thought since we were both employed at nonprofits and all the rage in our world at the time was “sustainability” we should toss that one around a bit. So, we thought to ourselves, how about sustainable paired with something not so savory, like ‘unaccountability’. A zig and a zag. And, there we were – promoting our vision of sustainable unaccountability – which in essence means that we follow our vision to learn, grow, and put positive energy into the world and we don’t have to be accountable to anyone else’s expectations of what a middle-aged, married couple in the United States should do with their lives.
So, I hope you read this and find inspiration to live a life of unaccountability and to accept that there are parasites that are positive that help you grow as a person! See you out there on the road!
For more on these two adventurers and to get inspired to get out there check them out: http://www.smboilerworks.com/
Written by Danell Lynn, www.danelllynn.com Guinness World Record Motorcyclist, writing on local in Japan while living a life of an adventure. Photo Copyrights Sharon and Mike, S&M Boiler Works.