So this is how it begins. I typed out the words “Motorcycle Sabbatical” at the top of this page, solidifying the start to my upcoming adventure. I do not know what is in store for me. How long I will go, where I will go, the hardships I will experience, and the life-long memories I will make. Right now I can admit that I am overwhelmed of my decision and certainly fear the unknown. Could it be the best decision for me? Am I giving up everything? But then I circle back to tell myself that it is a hard decision and I am not giving up everything. I am embracing life.
So to start, let’s understand my current state and the reasons for doing this. Currently, as I type this, I am working a nice CyberSecurity job paying very well. A job that many strive to get to and would love to have so that they can coast the rest of their life. I have worked hard to get here, certainly, and I have by no means been handed this. However the thing is, I am not happy with it. I joined the Marines in 2006 because I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life and didn’t want to waste time and money trying to figure it out, so the best course of action was to join the military for guidance and adventure. What an adventure it was. I rose quickly through the ranks to SSgt and lived overseas for 4.5 years. Japan, South Korea, Israel, Niger, and Serbia. Each destination bringing me more lust for exploring the world and its cultures within. While going through this journey, everyone mentioned that CyberSecurity is the job of the future and where the big money is at. They were right, and given the fact that I was great at IT, so I decided to work on my IT degree.
It was a strange time when I got out of the Military. The transition to taking care of my own life and not having the structure that was common in the Marines. I eventually found a good, basic, IT job that utilized my clearance. It paid well and was a great fit since I didn’t have my degree yet. Throughout the next 4 years I would earn my Masters in CyberSecurity, buy a condo, date wonderful people, get addicted to motorcycles, land a high paying Cyber job (just like they said), make supporting friends, and get a pet husky. This became a, sort of, generic lifestyle in the sense of cookie cutter: Good job, hobbies, friends, a home, dating, and a pet. It had a few bumps getting there and most of them were caused by myself and my failure to do just what I want. I have always been the type of person to just go with the flow. This ability comes with my laid-back personality. But with it comes issues. I find myself in positions that I really didn’t want to be in but just kept going. This is an issue. I need to be more selfish, without being too selfish, and know who I am. What I want. Very cliche, I fear, but I need to date me. I do not have that ability when in one spot. The only time I can get to know me is when I am on an adventure. So I have always daydreamed about a motorcycle adventure. I have daydreamed about a lot of things. Moving west. Getting a more satisfying job. Exploring outer space. Everything. But my key things are adventure and change.
My decision to do this sabbatical was rather sudden, to an extent. I have always thought of these things, so it really isn’t a surprise. It is just the fact that literally a month ago I was joking with my friends that my New Year’s resolution was to ‘Not become homeless’. Yet here I am on the path to selling everything and living on the road. (Constant thoughts run through my head, like: Why am I doing this. Can I do this? Will I fail in the rest of my life? I can’t wait to go! Think of the places I will see! Will I get attacked? What about my friends, I will miss them.) It all started snowballing the past month after really getting to know a close friend. She had gotten rid of everything and seized her dream to work around motorcycles. She does hard end jobs here and there, but her lifestyle is what she wants. Not the glamorous life that she was going with day-to-day. She struggles. (Forgive me if you read this and I interpreted your life wrong, it was just inspiring). But she really helped me see what I had known all along, that I should do what I enjoy no matter what.
What I enjoy currently, and for a while now, is motorcycles. Riding them, working on them, being goofy on them. I have 3 currently. One is in pieces in my living room as I rebuild it. One is a beautiful blue Triumph that I rebuilt after it was wrecked by the previous owner. And the last one is my first Triumph with a sidecar attached for the dog. She loves it. I love sharing it with her. I love giving everyone a good smile and laugh with the things we do on it (Santa, Elf, Presents, Christmas lights). With all these things I enjoy, I found that the other aspects of my life are being wasted. My motorcycle love is expensive when paying $2,500 a month for a condo I don’t really use, another 500$ for a car I don’t use, and my poor spending habits on the things in between. It was time to scale back and focus on me. To do what she did, all while still working the same job. Oh think of the money I could save and the adventures that could be had.
The car is a bit harder to get rid of without taking a big loss, but the house is currently taking the most money out of me. Speaking with my relator, I was given a timeframe of getting to market come February and might make some profit off of it. This got me excited about the upcoming change. Shortly after that I started to see jobs out in Colorado that I would be interested in. I have always wanted to leave the east coast, but I have felt tied down with my home. Yet here I am, selling it! Come April I could possibly load up a truck and head to a new job. I then started to think further, and by that I mean overthink and worry. What if I don’t have a job lined up, what should I do? After some back and forth I realized that it doesn’t matter. I want change. I want the new location and job. So why not take the little bit of profit, load up a truck and head to the destination I want. Rent a place until I find a job. Then I got to thinking more about it; If I am just going to figure it out, why not take this time to do a motorcycle adventure? How can I do this – I wondered – and still carry on with life? Then enter my brother Matt. He has a lust for adventures all the time but can only do so much as he has a wonderful family that depends on him. I now only have a dog. Matt gave me some encouragement on the choices ahead of me and offered help where he could. The biggest of which is to watch Kitiana and my stuff as I take an adventure. I know the boys would love her, but I fear it is a burden I will put on them. I also have my mom who can take care of her, but I will keep thinking about what to do. I love that dog.
Speaking with Matt things became clear: Sell everything, leave the pup and extra things with him, go on a long adventure, pick up my things, move to Washington State (I say ‘State’ because it’s a thing you do when living in DC), convince them to move up with me, and resume the typical real world. Selling everything should give me my adventure money to buy the right bike, explore South America, and then have some cash as a safety net and new start up in Washington State. We will see if that all happens. Looks simple in plain-text, but it’ll be a long and difficult path.
So that is where I am now. I am working towards my sabbatical and life change. The journey will be something to remember for a lifetime. My current plan is to get my place on the market in February and close by April. In the meantime I will sell / reduce everything, do my advanced motorcycle course in April, get to Utah in April, buy the new bike and get it prepared, Motos in Moab camping at the end of May (gear check opportunity), and then start my ride to Dallas. There I can adjust and order any last minute things before going South. All the way South.