I’ve long missed spilling my thoughts out here in this small space and wanted to update why I’ve suddenly gone offline. 2015 will go down as a year of major transformation: my chosen occupation, the inheritance of wildfires, and an opportunity for some serious introspection have all placed my trip bucket list on hold.
I was surprised at how suddenly my new job in Spring of this year exhausted me, emotionally and physically. I was already acutely aware of how much dust was collecting on my draft posts immediately after I began working there. I’m eternally grateful to be looking for another position, as well as for the ability to put aside some money during the last job so that I could have a little bit of time to kick out these posts.
I also look back on 2015 as another tinder-dry year for Oregon’s wildscape. Before, I was pretty confident about which areas to avoid while riding the open road; this year though, at least one of the fires was instantaneous and vicious.
My retrospection revolved around ahimsa, that concept of compassion and “do no harm”. I already know I’m quite resilient in a number of unique and trying situations, but the longer I deliberately expose myself to dangerous or unhealthy environments, the further away I’m drawn from ahimsa. And, the idea of me not being able to ride out of a wildfire on a bike, on top of the stress of daily toxicities, seemed like a harmful risk to take.
Therefore, I’ve been turning to hiking this year instead of biking. Portland hikers enjoy a close proximity to pretty pristine areas with incredible viewpoints, and many offer carpool options to carfree peeps like me.
I feel as though I’ve betrayed my poor trusty steel, though, and I miss riding through the solitude of those hours on the road. Even so, it feels as though I’m being compassionate to myself within the given circumstances of this past season.