Right Back Where I Started From!
Trip Start Aug 09, 2008
47Trip End Oct 08, 2008
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It's been 7 ½ weeks of riding over 8000 kms through 10 countries, walking hundreds of kms, staying in innumerable beds, meeting 100s of people and experiencing so many amazing new things. I saw so much and missed even more. My travels on the motorcycle ended the way they started...in the rain, on the autobahn, lots of wind...only worse. I was hoping that my cycling stuff would stay dry today as it will stay packed in the panniers until I get home next week. Packing wet stuff for a week isn't good. I now have to try and dry everything satisfactorily and hope that it doesn't rain during my ½ hour ride in the morning as I drop the motorcycle off at the shipping company so that they can do whatever they have to do to get it ready for the plane ride back to Calgary. Then I will catch a train to...
I have finally figured out where I am going after I drop the motorcycle off and before I catch my plane back to Calgary next Wednesday morning. Before leaving Calgary I had thought of heading to Vienna. My travel agent had printed train, accommodation and sights information for me. The more I thought about that and the more I looked at maps the more I realized that maybe that wasn't the place to go to. I had some interim plans of also going to Prague, but you need a Visa for there. Then I thought of what do I really want and need at this time? I also thought of what I had originally set out to do on this Expedition and still haven't done.
I had estimated, before leaving, the distance I would travel on this Expedition according to the places I wanted to go to. I had estimated travelling 8000 kms. Hmm? That's exactly, within 25 kms, of what I've actually travelled. The thing is, I had planned on going further south so that I would have travelled through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria. I really wanted to ride my motorcycle through the Alps. I did detour to Oslo, which added a lot of unplanned kilometres, but in the end, am still within 25 kilometres of what I had estimated travelling. That's less than a .3% variance. Just a coincidence...Right? I am really amazed at how my life is going these days. How is it that my thoughts, what I think, and what I write, actually ends up happening?
Tonight I'm staying at a hotel in a town 20 kms west of the airport, which is about the same distance as downtown Frankfurt. I had planned on staying at one of the airport hotels but the cheapest room there was over $300. So, as I'm trying to decide where to go for a week by looking at maps and train schedules (by the way, one of the train stations in Frankfurt is located at the airport) I have determined why pay for a hotel room the night I get back to Frankfurt. Why not make sure the train I need to get back to Frankfurt from wherever gets me here in the middle of the night? I have to be at the airport by 5 am anyway. A hotel room won't do me much good!
I'm not too sure if I've mentioned it yet (in my Journey blog, or in this blog) the story of when I came up with the name for my business and how this whole writing as a career (why write, I did) came about. On April 22, 2007 I took a drive out to Kananaskis Country west of Calgary. I had a decision to make due to the way my health had been during the previous few months, and driving and being in the mountains helps me clear my head and inspires me. I had also decided to bring my camera and take some photos. It was during this drive when the name of my business, "What? Is!' came into being. It was also during this drive and at my destination, where I took the majority of my photos, that the purpose of the business started to take shape. I was somehow inspired during this drive, and at my destination, a place called Interlakes because it's between two lakes.
Why is that story important at this time? It's important because of where I have decided (or more appropriately, am being led) to go.
I am going right back where all this started.
You may be asking yourself how? I'm in Europe and not in Alberta. Something I am getting use to doing, especially after having read something in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, is not spending too much time fretting over decisions or in the getting of information. If the right decision or information I require is not obvious, all I do is wait and the "correct" information will be provided to me when the time is right. I pulled out my planning map of Europe out for a third or fourth time and started looking at cities and towns in Switzerland and Austria that I might want to visit. I had also thought of going to Munich for the end of Oktoberfest. I was also using my Europe tour book to see what the "experts" had to say about what should be seen and where. I had also clarified what I wanted and needed for this last week of the Expedition.
Vienna wasn't looking very promising, nor was Zurich or Bern. They all had awesome touristy stuff to see but what I was FEELING was that I required a place in or very close to the mountains. I had to be near nature and a place that was inspiring. The problem with that would be train connections and travelling time. I didn't want to spend the majority of my time trying to connect and travel by train to some out of the way place. The answer came in my Europe travel book. The place? Interlaken!
Now, how does train schedules work for this place? I had also crossed off the other places because the trains getting me back to Frankfurt didn't do it as I had hoped. That is, in the middle of the night. Guess what? The train from Interlaken arrives in Frankfurt at 3 am, but at the downtown train station. Perfect! I still have two hours to get to the airport. Even if the train is delayed I have some leeway as my plane doesn't leave until 7h45. Also, for some reason, the fare is cheaper to get there then to the other places. Hmmm?
So now I'm heading to the foot of the Alps, between two lakes, for a week of RnR. Coincidently, or not, the name of the place, in Swiss, is the same as where all this started almost a year and a half ago. As I'm riding today another thought comes to me. What if?
Last year, in October, during my Journey of Discovery I wrote that I needed an inspirational place to write my book as my house in Calgary was not it. I wrote in "The Futility of Life" entry, what if, somewhere during the remainder of that journey I met some Hollywood actress and she fell madly in love with me then whisked me away to her chalet in Switzerland so that I could write my book. This was before knowing Alyssa was the one. Something else I thought about today is that it will be 3 years to the day, the day I return home from this Expedition, since my car accident that started this journey and my "new" life.
Throughout my Journey and my Expedition I have written about "coincidences" and probabilities of meeting people in the most unlikely circumstances. Do I honestly believe that I will meet Alyssa at some small town in Switzerland with the same name as the place I was at when I thought of my business and just because I wrote something to the effect (not exactly) that some actress would whisk me away to her chalet in Switzerland and also (I haven't mentioned this yet) the day I thought of writing to Alyssa about the Meaning of Life is quite possibly this very same day (the one I went to Interlakes) as I had seen her on TV in a Veet commercial and then, for some reason, decided to Google her and found her website and slowly (extremely slowly) started FEELING that she might be someone I was MEANT to fall in love with and be with?
I really don't know about this "theory". Anything is possible with God! The Universe can create any situation! But from my research (done after writing the previous stuff) the odds of Alyssa being in Switzerland are between slim and none. She's been signing autographs this past week throughout the U.S.A for her "Touch" clothing line and is slated to be signing autographs in Los Angeles on Saturday. I can make all the assumptions and try and "guess" what the Universe has in store for me using all these "signs", but all I can do is live each day as it comes and see what happens.
Think It! Feel It! Live It!
PS. I'm already booked into a hostel (with Wifi) in Interlaken. All I have to do now is get to the train station and buy my train ticket. Love to all!
PPS. I haven't forgotten about Luxembourg. Monday when I arrived it was beautiful out and I walked around (no camera). Tuesday it rained all day and so I spent the morning inside a museum reading about the history of Luxembourg and checking out a temporary display they have about the history of tourism (quite informative). Then I did some shopping for a jacket. I'm planning on leaving my motorcycle jacket in the panniers. It's too cool out for just the hoodie I have and keeping the motorcycle jacket was an option I preferred not to have. I found an awesome wool jacket at exactly the price I said I wanted to spend.
PPPS. Time to try and sort the: "keep with me, from the store in the bike", stuff. Hopefully the German shippers aren't too strict with the "only" motorcycle gear in the panniers rule. I now have to carry my stuff around.