Taking That First Step

I first met Wendy and Jim Pearson two years ago. The couple contacted Steve and I after reading an article in The Denver Post recapping the adventures of The World by Road a few months after we returned to US soil. Jim, and experienced adventurer in his own right, was already planning on taking time off work and setting off on a road trip with his wife through Mexico and Central America. Somewhere along the line, Jim got distracted and decided to go big or go home; the journey through Latin America would continue all the way around the world. I know how that goes. Wendy on the other hand still needed a little more convincing, but when Jim placed a copy of our Denver Post article in front of her, a few of her fears subsided. Wendy thought to herself “if these guys spent nearly three years driving around the world, arguably through some pretty sketchy places, and nothing terrible happened to them, maybe Jim isn’t that crazy after all.”

A few weeks after they reached out to us, I met up with Wendy and Jim at Jax Fish House for oysters and beers so they could pick my brain. We discussed the experiences I had, the lessons I learned, the ones I didn’t, and I tried to answer questions they may have had. There are so many variables that go into planning something like driving around the world, the list of questions can be endless. Steve and I got a lot of general advice, learned common pitfalls, absorbed kernels of wisdom and received overall encouragement from people like Harold Stephens and Jim Rogers, adventurers who set a high bar and helped push us to achieve our goals. At the end of our conversation two years ago, I hoped I was able to help Wendy and Jim out in the same way. If anything, I hoped to convey that although it might not be easy, following their dreams in this case was certainly something that was possible.

Fast forward to last night. Attending the Meet Plan Go event in Denver, CO I ran into Wendy and Jim once again. We had sort of lost touch, but I quickly realized the two had been very busy. Not only were the pair attending the event, they were also speaking at it and rightfully so. In three weeks time, on November 11th, 2011, yes 11.11.11, the two are embarking on a three year around the world road trip in their customized Ford F550. You could see the excitement on their faces and hear it in their voices. In an instant, it brought me back to when Steve and I were just about to depart on The World by Road. So many emotions were going through my mind at the time, everything from excitement to fear. I knew Wendy and Jim were experiencing all of those same emotions but more importantly though, was the fact they had committed to the trip and were about to take that first step.

Looking back on my own experience, it was certainly filled with challenges. Uncertainty was a constant and doubt frequently crept into my mind. However, after completing the expedition, I realized that one of the most challenging aspects of it  was actually taking that first step, simply getting out on the road. It sounds cliche but it’s often true; the first step is the hardest. Once you commit and determine that a dream or a goal or an endeavor is not something you want to do but something you are going to do, a mental shift takes place. No longer are you coming up with excuses not to do it, you are working towards making it happen and more often than not, that mentality will help you see it through to the end.

I am so excited for Wendy and Jim. Excited that their own expedition, Global Road Trekker, will become a reality in a few days. I’m also quite a bit jealous and wish it was me who was once again setting out on a great adventure. I like to think Steve and I had a hand in inspiring Wendy and Jim to pursue their dream but the funny thing is, when I saw them again last night, they inspired me. I have been toying around with a few ideas for future adventures myself, but never really committed 100 percent to any one of those ideas. Once again, it is time for me to take that first step, time to take the advice I gave Wendy and Jim two years ago, time to stop making excuses and time to start making things happen. Stay tuned…

In the meantime, if you are in Denver, join me on 11.11.11 in wishing Wendy and Jim a safe and spectacular trip. Global Road Trekker is having a launch party at Braun’s Bar and Grill on 24th and Blake downtown. More info here.