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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SomedayNeverMaybe Book Available & Pikes Peak Hill Climb Update...

Hard cover, full color book now available at Lulu link below (eBook coming soon).  Pick it up, enjoy the read/ride...  

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Two updates.  Book is now available for purchase at link above.  Note, this is full-color, and includes tons of photos, so not cheap.  That said, I set the price exactly flat.  I'm not making money off this, but want to share as I've had several tell me the book is enjoyable and inspiring.  So there you go...

Also, I wanted to include a link to the Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb race that I was asked to enter last June.  It was the most intense week that I've ever experienced.  Physically and emotionally draining due to the intensity of the race week + losing a friend up on the hill during practice.  I left my 'race' up on the hill that Sunday.  Hard to say if I'll ever grid up again.  In the end, I did well finishing fourth in my class, and top rookie in the order.  Anyway, video recap below.  Enjoy~

Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb /// June.28.2015
from David Mobley on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The End, Ende, FIN | Post Trip Wrap-Up...

A Photo Retrospective /// from David Mobley on Vimeo.

***Note - I arrived 'home' to Denver at the tail end of August, but have had a really hard time wrapping up this whole thing.  As you can imagine, post-processing a trip like this can be a bit of a challenge to say the least.  Anyway, I woke up this morning in a great mood and figured I'd post an update of where things stand.  

When I pulled up the Blogger page I came across this post, which I'd forgotten about and apparently never had the courage to publish.  Anyway, here goes nothing.  More updated info at bottom.***

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The final ride - Deckers to Denver, CO
So that's it, as quick as the whole thing began, it's come to an end.  I set off 10 months ago on the adventure of a lifetime, and now it feels like I've woken up and it was all a dream.

This will be my very last post.  I thought about not writing an 'ending', just leaving the whole thing open-ended for the few that have followed along.  However, I feel it necessary to wrap things up, for a number of reasons.  

First, let me summarize the feelings of being 'home'.  At first I thought the decision to quit an amazing job to take off on this crazy adventure would be difficult.  It was.  Then I thought the trip itself would offer up intense challenges along the way.  It did.  Ultimately, I thought the decision to just 'go', to leave, would be the hardest...  and while that was incredibly difficult, nothing prepared me for how hard it would be to return.  Nothing.  Post-travel depression is no joke!  Not only has this been the hardest part of the 'adventure' thus far, it's probably been one of the most challenging transition periods in my entire life. 

Enjoying Colorado before leaving yet again
To begin, let me backtrack where I left off...  About a month back, I decided to rendezvous with a group of friends, fellow motorcyclists, blog followers, and my mate Andrew (a good bloke from Liverpool who has been moto-traveling for 3+ years) in Deckers, CO to make the final ride into Denver.  It was great, and I was honored that anyone would care enough to even show up.  From there, my friend James had set up a BBQ in a park, which put a lot of my Denver friends together in one place.  I figured the group of us could ride to the park, which would give me a great opportunity to see everyone.  Not to mention I had visions of a grand and triumphant return...  me rolling up the conquering hero.  Well, it didn't quite turn out that way.  I underestimated how strange the feeling would be to see everyone.  

Catching up w/ friends at the mini-moto races
First off, the 'ex' was at the BBQ.  Yeah, how weird is that?  One of the main reasons I decided to set off on this whole thing was to clear my head after the break, and there she was, one of the first people I see upon my return.  It's understandable that she would be there as we share a lot of the same friends.  And quite frankly she can go wherever she damn well pleases.  I thought about skipping the whole thing b/c of the possibility that I'd see her, but didn't want to miss the opportunity to see all my friends.  To be honest, although a bit strange, it wasn't really that difficult to see her.  Even though she looked fantastic, and I a complete bum who'd just ridden a motorcycle for 10mos, 24k miles, through 16 countries (I definitely looked, and most likely smelled the part!).  Regardless, it was nice speaking with her briefly, and I'm glad that she is seemingly happy, healthy, and apparently in a nice relationship.  All I can do is wish her the absolute best, which I've done since.  

Great being back w/ family in Colorado after the trip
The rest of the time at the park I picked a seat in the corner and mingled with people one by one.  If any of you are reading this, I apologize for being cold, shy, and/or weird that day.  As you can imagine, I was a bit overwhelmed with the whole thing.  Being back, being 'home', seeing everyone all at the same time.  Realizing that half of my friends went and popped out kids, realizing the other half are up to the same exact things they were before I left.  I've since spoken with most of you after, and am glad I've had the chance to get caught up.  I missed friends and family while away, so it's been incredible to get back in the mix where we all left off.  

Exploring Germany - post vacation, vacation
At the park, and since I've been back, everyone has asked the same two questions.  How was it?  What was your favorite part?  Both of which require incredibly long answers.  I could spend hours talking about the places I visited, the amazing people and friends I met along the way, the experiences that have changed me forever, the crashes, etc, etc, etc.  BUT, quite frankly nobody really gives a $hit.  And why would they?  Everyone has gone on with their own lives, and has their own stories to tell.  Good on em!  So, I find myself answering with short responses.  I'll throw out an "amazing" here, an "epic" there.  I'll share a few stories with people from time to time, but for the most part I find myself staring into space reliving the journey, and recreating the experiences in my head.  

Exploring Hannover w/ Nina
It's hard to describe the yearning and feelings when I look back on the trip, and the last year.  Sometimes I catch myself in a daze, with a deep, empty, sad feeling.  On one hand I'm so incredibly happy and proud of myself for taking on this adventure, on the other I can't help but feel like I could have done and experienced even more.  Why did I skip that place?  Why didn't I spend more time there?  Why did I wrap it all up after only 10mos?  Why didn't I invest in that beachfront property that I came across, build a café, and live out a carefree life?  How am I back in Denver after this whole thing sans wife, job, and house?!?!  With nothing but a pocketful of memories from this journey as a trade...?  

F all that!  I DO have a pocketful of memories from the journey.  Something I'll cherish for the rest of my days.  I did DO it.  And I'm incredibly proud of myself for checking this one off the list.  I think one of the challenges however is that this one, this huge item on the bucket list, was so big that I don't know what's next.  I've always had goals, and have ticked them off the list one-by-one.  I've run a marathon, earned a college degree, won a motorcycle road racing championship, traveled to 35 countries by the age of 35, volunteered as a mentor in multiple countries, swam with an elephant in Thailand, jumped off a cliff in Colombia...  a bridge in Zimbabwe...  and multiple planes, crashed a motorcycle at well over 100mph, learned to dance salsa, learned to speak another language, been thrown in the slammer (long story, don't ask), spoke in front of a crowd of 1k+, developed a solid sales and marketing career, made a ton of friends around the globe, fallen in love deeply, been loved deeply, and watched a loved one pass.  And now I get to add 'this' to the list.  This crazy adventure.  I get to strike this one off the bucket list.  All the while thinking to myself, "what's next?"  Well, there isn't a 'next' for now, and that's been a hard pill to swallow.  Not a bad thing, it's just strange that this particular chapter is over.

Con Nina en Deutschland
I think the best way to describe the way I feel is that I'm home, but 'home' doesn't feel like home.  Although I'm with friends and family, and have started sorting life out, I feel disconnected from it all.  To make matters worse, I've avoided talking about the trip in depth.  When I do so it makes me want to hop back on the bike and point the wheel south all over again.  So I choose to block it out.  I've chosen to try and regain some semblance of a balanced life again.  I've even stopped reading ride reports on ADVrider as they all remind me of the wonderful experience I just wrapped up.  I know that all sounds strange, but I guess just a testament of how powerful and amazing the trip was.  Talking about it, or even seeing pictures gives me a sense of sadness that it's over.  I've figured out that traveling, for a long period of time, changes you in ways you can't prepare for.  It changes your world forever.  It makes that place you call 'home' never really feel the same again. 

Partying it up w/ Daniel in Frankfurt
Another reason I wanted to wrap this up was to touch on the whole job thing.  I referenced getting my life in order earlier.  Well, within three weeks I locked in an incredible job, and moved into a new loft.  The Friday before I got home (arrived on a Sunday) I received a call from a recruiter.  We had spoken briefly a couple of times via e-mail about a position he felt I'd be a good fit for.  I'll spare you all the details, but I'm now in a position, at a slightly higher level than I was before I left!  The gig is amazing, home-office based, incredible salary, and realistic international opportunity in the future.  In addition to this offer, I interviewed with four other companies within the first week of being home, and had phone conversations with a handful of others. Some through recruiters, some through networking, and some through my own hard work.  I don't say this to brag, I say it to encourage others on the fence.  If you are worried about quitting a job, or that you won't find one when you get back...  don't.  Not to mention, I now know more about myself, what I want, what I'd put up with, and a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses.  So I'll say it again, live life fully.  Chase your dreams.  Life, and home will be patiently waiting when you decide to return.  If that's what you truly want.  

Beautiful Heidelberg
The new job officially started this past Monday, September 29th.  I know I'll be head down and busy the next few months, so before I began I decided to take a quick trip to Germany last week.  Why Deutschland???  Well, for those of you that have been following along, you'll remember Janina.  The beautiful girl I met on the boat from Panama to Colombia.  The one I spent time with along the way (Stahlratte, Cartagena, Bogota, Ecuador).  I needed to go 'see about a girl'.  And it was also nice to take a quick vacation after my vacation, and before I officially began life again, which I've since done.  

Beautiful Heidelberg
Upon arrival in Frankfurt, I met up with a good friend Daniel.  I met him on the trip in Oaxaca, Mexico.  We got on well, so decided to meet up again in Puerto Escondido, which we did.  Many pints and crazy nights later, we decided to meet down in Mazunte, where we hung out for several more days.  It was great to see him again and we had a great time kicking around his hometown for several days.  D Jen, if you read this thanks for the hospitality, it was great seeing you again, and let's figure out a way to hit some international beaches together again soon!  

From there I took a train to Hannover, where Nina is from, and where we decided to meet up.  I hadn't seen her in over four months, so it was a bit surreal when she came walking towards me in the train station as beautiful as ever.  Somehow she seems to walk in slow motion, with the sun catching her at just the right angle at all times.  Within minutes, we were back to 'normal', like neither time nor distance had separated us.  We spent several days in Hannover where I was able to see her childhood home, meet her father, and explore a part of Germany I'd never seen.  From there we hopped over to Heidelberg where she is currently living to explore a bit more.

To be continued...  

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

My new view/hood - BKLN, NY
...  Ok, I guess today is as good a day as any to get caught up.  I've been back from the trip around 6mos and have since sold the bike and gear to a nice gentleman who followed my trip.  He plans to take a journey of his own someday on Chloé.  Maybe when he returns he can sell it to someone else...  and on, and on.  Maybe somebody can write The Adventures of Chloé someday from her perspective.   

Several have asked, "what happened with Nina?"  Beautiful, sweet, kind, caring, and very lovely...  an absolutely amazing girl.  The distance was just far too great.  She belongs in Germany for now, and me Stateside.  Perhaps someday our paths will cross again.  It's interesting I write this now, as it's exactly one year from when I boarded the sailboat in Panama and we met en route to Colombia.  She is incredible and has a wonderful life ahead of her.  J if you read this, I'm honored to have shared time and memories with you, and wish nothing but happiness and the absolute best. 

My new view/hood - BKLN, NY
That job I referenced above in the post from a few months back.  Well it was great, but another landed in my lap and I decided to accept it.  I'm back in a very similar role to what I was doing before I ever left on this trip, and back in the same industry (wireless).  Don't worry though, the adventures certainly continue.  The position required relocation, so I'm currently writing this from my Brooklyn apartment overlooking the Manhattan skyline.  You read that right, I accepted the position mid-December, was splitting time between Denver and NY, and made the official relocation February 1st.  I'm a New Yorker now!  For those reading this from the cold northeast give me a shout and we'll grab a coffee.  

Such a trip, I've only been back six months but the adventure seems like a lifetime ago.  In the last six months I've sourced and moved into apartments in two different cities, sold my bike, bought a car, sold the same car, gone through two separate job on-boardings, and have started building a life in my new Brooklyn home.  It's been a whirlwind for sure.  Sometimes I think back on the trip and wonder "did that really even happen?"  Anyway, I'm so glad it did.  Although it's been incredibly difficult to 'pick up the pieces', I feel like I'm finally starting to do so, and that feels phenomenal. 

My new view/hood - BKLN, NY
I still struggle sometimes with what I've dubbed 'post long-term travel purgatory'.  A feeling of being torn and stuck in the middle after having experienced the beauty of both lifestyles.  On one side, a life of travel with every freedom imaginable.  On the other, a life of 'traditional success', which comes with benefits for sure (a relative sense of security, health insurance, a steady paycheck, etc).  There's beauty and positive in both for sure, but I can't help feeling at times like I'm stuck between the two.  A veritable Heaven and Hell.  Problem is, I'm not sure which is which.  Perhaps the grass is never 'greener on the other side'.  Perhaps the green can be found on both sides of the fence, you just have to be willing to look? 

I'd love to set off on another grand adventure someday, but for now I'm going to enjoy the present.  Enjoy exploring the new job, new home, new chapter, and new life.  I continue to meet amazing people along the way, and have already started building a base of good friends here.  

My new view/hood - BKLN, NY
If you've made it this far and are still reading, thanks.  If you've made it this far, are still reading, and are still on the fence about doing a similar motorcycle journey, DO IT!  Although it's difficult...  very difficult.  It's worth every bit of it.  Preparation, planning, budgets, obstacles, danger, emotions, loneliness, post-travel depression, challenges, etc.  All that pales in comparison to the people you'll meet, the life-changing experiences, and the memories you'll cherish forever.  Seriously, get out and do it.  I've said it before, life will be patiently waiting when you decide to return.

Good catching up, hope this post finds everyone well, 

~ David 

PS...  An interesting two wheel related tidbit, I've been invited to race the 93rd annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, June 28th.  Yours truly will be piloting a 2014 Yamaha WR450F in the lightweight division.  I fly back to Denver on the 19th for practice, qualifying, and related events the 20th-27th, then the race is the 28th.  Assuming all goes well, I fly home on/around the 29th.  For those in Colorado, come out and support.  I'll be flying my typical #78.  I'm also pitting with a couple of other great guys.  Carl Sorenson on a Ducati 848, and Jose 'Francisco' Guedez on a Ducati Hypermotard.