Thank you readers!
I’m overwhelmed and surprised by the support and encouragement Eric and I have gotten from our article in the Wall Street Journal. The response from readers around the world has opened our eyes to the amazing power and speed of the internet to connect people and inspire the human spirit. Writing this article has been an adventure in itself. In fact, had we never embarked upon our cycle tour, I might never have attempted to write an article.
Several people have asked how this article came to be so here’s the back story…
I was reading the January 20th edition of “Second Acts” in the WSJ about a couple spending their retirement traveling in a way that fit their retirement budget. I thought to myself that someone “might” be interested in our story. So I wrote an email to the editor listed at the end of the article. I also included a link to my blog so he could see what we were doing.
When I woke the next morning, I was ecstatic to see a reply in my inbox.
Me: Eric! Wake up! I got an email from the WSJ. One of the editors is interesting in talking to us!
Eric: That’s nice. What does he want to talk about? Is the coffee ready?
(Confession here… I travel with a Bodum French Press coffee maker. I can sacrifice many comforts of home except for my morning cup of coffee. The French Press is one of those cycling extravagances because of the extra weight and volume, but it makes living in a new place every night feel like home.)
Me: He wants to learn more about our cycle tour! He’s read my blog. He thinks I’m a pretty good writer. He can have someone write an article about us, or he suggested I can write an article for them.
Eric: That’s aweseom! And, thanks for the coffee!
After some conversations back and forth and encouragement from both Eric and the editor, I decided to try and write my first article. Isn’t this “cycle journey” really a metaphor for trying new things? And, wouldn’t writing an article be something “new”?
I gave it a go. I submitted the first draft in early April. There were revisions, clarifications, finding places to elaborate, giving examples, condensing. It was a good reminder of what my students go through when they write.
Fast forward to the article’s publication on June 1st…
I was surprised at how excited I was about seeing my first article in print. But I was even more surprised, overwhelmed, and grateful for all the heartfelt responses to the article and to our tour.
Writing an article and cycling touring have some similarities. Both can be a little scary. Putting words to paper is intimidating. Putting feet to pedals day after day can be both physically and mentally exhausting. But, for me, both have been rewarding because they are challenging.
Above all I have been thrilled to read that people are inspired by our trip. We have been inspired by so many people we’ve met along our journey that it’s exciting to be able to “pay that inspiration forward.”
So, again, thank you readers for giving your support. We’ll pedal on with a renewed spring in our shoes and fresh oil on our chains.