I have had several readers asked if this journey has been what I have expected. I mostly tell them that it has been and much more. When I started this journey, I did not know what to expect. However, I did notice that life is interesting when you expect one thing and you get another. This journey has been full of them.
For example, I have always thought that Los Angeles had the worst drivers but I was proven wrong on Route 9 in Massachusetts. I have been cut off and tail gated more times than I could count. In addition, there roads were in horrible shape. The pavement had tire grooves in them. Something I would expect on a dirt road but not on pavement. According to Allstate Insurances, the top 10 cities that has the worst drivers are:
1. Boston, MA (which I now have personally experienced)
2. Washington, DC
3. Baltimore, MD
4. Philadelphia, PA
5. San Francisco, CA
6. Los Angeles, CA
7. Pittsburgh, PA
8. Miami, FL
9. Oakland, CA
10. New Orlean, LA
Another thing that got my expectation distorted were two museums that I visited back to back. The first one was Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) house in Hartford, CT. I was pretty excited seeing how he lived and where most of his stories came alive. So I cringed when the cost was $25.00 for the tour but decided it will be worth it. Boy I was disappointed, our tour guide was boring and spoke in a monotone voice the whole time. Then we were not allowed to take pictures inside the house which I couldn’t understand since the entire inside were reproduction so the flash wouldn’t have ruin anything.
So the next day, I did a tour of the French Azilum in Towanda, PA which only cost me $5.00. When I walked up to the house, it was in sorry condition and worried that it wouldn’t have much to see in it. Boy, was I proven wrong. I got there late in the day and was the only one in the last tour of the day. Lee, my tour guide, who just started two weeks ago was an amazing story teller. She and I had so much fun walking throughout the house and letting me guess what some of the objects were and allowing me to take as many pictures I wanted. At the end, she asked about my journey and shared her story as well. She was a school teacher and quit her job seven years ago to take care of her boyfriend who had brain cancer who is now in remission. After being a care giver for seven year, she wanted to start working again but didn’t want to deal with the politic of being a teacher again. So, stumbled upon this job as curator for the French Azilum museum. She is having a blast doing it. hmm…I could do something like this. Still thinking of what I want to be when I grow up.
I always knew that you get what you paid for but still it is still a shock when you pay $50.00 for a a major chain hotel room and you wondered if the sheet has been washed. Then when you have limited choices in hotels and have to pay $100.00 for one and you feel like a queen when you’re in a suite with a sitting area that is separated from the bedroom area. Wish I could afford the higher quality more often but I got to be more budget conscious when traveling since the estate still haven’t closed yet.
Now the last expectation is the hardest for me to swallow. Before, I started this trip, I thought I would struggle emotionally and mentally on this journey. I was worried that living a solidarity life would be challenging but actually I’m enjoying it. There has been times that I was itching to be alone after spending several days with families or friends. Surprisingly, it is physically where I’m struggling. I never once thought that I would be physically out of shape to ride every day. The vibration from the motorcycle is taking a toll on the arthritis in my hands. I have had arthritis for at least twenty years (too young to be having them). Right before Russ got sick, my doctor wanted me to make an appointment with an Rheumatologist to find out why I’m having arthritis and tremors for the last twenty years. Well, I never got around to with him being sick, then dealing with the estate and planning for this trip. Now it is catching up with me. Every morning and night, my hands are swollen and I’m chomping down on Ibuprofen just to get through the day. So now I wonder if I can physically make the year long trip or will it be cut short. Once I get back to California, I will need to make an appointment with the doctor. If it get cut short, how will it affect me emotionally and mentally if it has to be cut short. There are still roads and places I want to go to. I set a goal to do this for a year and now I may not be able to. I know it is irrational but it make me feel like a failure. Then once I get over that feeling, will I be content staying in one place again or will I be restless? So many unanswered questions playing in my head. I just got to remember to take it one day at a time and worry about it when the time comes.
As for expectation, I just need to remember to go into it with eyes wide open and just roll with the experiences that comes my way and learn from it.