To all those who have been asking me why - this question I can hardly find words to answer to. To all those who can't understand why in the hell would I leave everything behind, including people I love the most, to go on a solo road trip. And why this trip never ended.
Jedidiah Jenkins quit a job he loved to ride his bicycle from Oregon to the southern tip of Patagonia, alone with himself. Friend and filmmaker Kenny Laubbacher joined him to ask him the question: WHY?
Jenkins' answer is poignant.
The Thousand Year Journey is a sublime paean to travel & adventure. To LIFE.
"I've met a lot of older people -grandparents, teachers- who gave me the speech of "Oh my life ran by so fast, just yesterday I was 19 or 25 and now I don't where all that time went. I just blinked and I was 80." I think about that I'm like: What a strange way to be alive?
Back in California I had this fear of building this routine in my 30s and then suddenly the decade is gone. So I promise myself I would do something radically different, and I'm gonna do something that scares the crap out of me and see if that changes my brain chemistry.
I've been living on my bicycle for a year now. Bike from Oregon, down America, down Mexico, Central America and the South America. And people ask me : why do you live on a bike, why did you quit your job, why are you doing this?
My answer is this: The routine is the enemy. Of time. It makes it fly by.
When you're a kid, everything is astonishing. Everything is new. So your brain is awake and turned on. Every passing second, your brain is learning something new, learning how the world works. The muscle of your brain is activated. And as you get older, and you brain has figured out the patterns of the way the world works - this is how I make money - this is how you graduate school - this is how you get a mortgage - this is how you have kids - I've got that unlocked and and I know my car and how to go to work everyday and I gotta check out. All these things.
And once your brain established a routine it stops. The alertness goes away. The fascination with the way the world works. I think that's what travel in general does: it wakes up your brain.
I'll go into a new country into Panama, Colombia - these countries I'm scared of because of the news. And... I'll find it beautiful and shocking - every hill I cross over is insanely awesome. My brain is fascinated.
I didn't know my brain could be so turned on. I wanna be aware of every day I'm alive.
And I want to make it to 85 and be exhausted -because I have been alive and awake every single day. And that, I think that's the duty of being an adult is when you're a kid everything is new so you don't have to work for it you're just astonished. Once you're an adult that's a choice. You choose adventure for your own life. But it's not about the bike. It's about getting out of your routine. And that could look like anything.
And that's what I'm doing here, that's why I'm on this bike trip. Because I don't want my days to control me, I don't want the calendar to be my boss. I wanna control my days. I wanna choose the adventures that I go on. And I wanna choose a mind and a soul that's wide awake. Because innocence turns your hundred years on this planet into a thousand."
©Jedidiah Jenkins - Follow his adventures @jedidhiahjenkins - Director ©Kenny Laubbacher
NOW, it's me asking you a question: where is the greatest happiness and fulfillment to be found during this life? What makes you come alive?
I hope that this film is a healthy nudge for you to shake up your life a little bit. To get the hell out of your comfort zone.
Believe that it's possible, no matter what happen. And if that scares you, it might be a good thing to try.