[Bicycle Diaries] 5 lessons bike touring has been teaching me

Bike touring through South America has been teaching me and/or reinforcing some very important lessons about life.

Here are five of them.

  1.  The importance of dreaming, and then having the courage and determination to take risks, face difficulties and failures, but keep working hard to make them happen. This is not an easy process, but it is extremely worth it, and rewarding. The dreams we have show our perception of the world, of life, so denying us the chance to live them, is to deny us the chance to become our true selves, to become the persons we are meant to be. We must listen less to what society tries to tell us, and give more voice to our heart. We must dream, and we have the moral obligation - with ourselves - to try to make them come true.
  2. About trusting people more, and fearing them less. I have been on the road now for almost three months and I have been lucky to only have good encounters so far. Of course there are some people with bad intentions out there, but believe me, they are a tiny, little minority. The absolute vast majority of people are good and willing to help. For some reason, society, TV and newspapers seem to want to create a state of fear, only showing the bad things, and that has been making people very suspicious, even afraid of each other. Obviously, this is not a good thing. We can only build a better society if we trust each other more, and then help with other more, and work together towards the creation of a better world for all of us. 
  3. About giving true value and appreciation to the seemingly simple things that are so part of our daily lives that we end up taking them for granted. Water always available, a warm, clean bed waiting for us at the end of the day, food anytime we want...life on the road while traveling by bicycle is a tough one, and it certainly makes you very grateful for for the life you have. I now appreciate those things as much as I have never done, and it certainly makes me a better person.
  4. Things do not always go as we planned, and that is ok. Life would be boring if everything happened according to what we planned or expected. And things are temporary, nothing lasts forever. The difficulties we face along the way are an essential part of our journey, as we only truly appreciate what is difficult to achieve, and they will not last forever. There will be always a solution around the corner, someone to help you out.
  5. We need opposites in life. Summer without winter would not be summer. It would just be a hot, unpleasant season, and we will be all dreaming about having something different. The same way, I only truly enjoy going downhill because I had first to face the struggle to go uphill. The opposites are what give meaning to each other. Also, we only know happiness because we also know what sadness is about. And this perception makes you accept the difficulties as something natural in the balance of life, and then enjoy even more the good moments.

I could go on and list many more thoughts I have been having on the road, but I am going to keep them for another post.

I hope everything is going well with you guys, and I will be back here soon!

Cheers from Peru!

Bernardo Salce