Written By: Rosie Riot ~ @rosie_riott
Two weeks ago, it felt as if my life were something out of a dream. I was a traveler, a liver of life, a never ending risk taker. I went to bed in a different place almost every night and woke up every morning feeling A-OK knowing I didn’t have a single plan in place for the upcoming day. As an international adventure cyclist, I lived hour by hour, day by day, allowing my emotions to make the majority of my decisions, and if something didn’t feel right, I just stayed away from it. While I’d grown very accustomed to this, I knew life wouldn’t always be this way because as we all know, shit happens and whether we like it or not, our lives can change at the drop of a dime.
One morning, I received a phone call that did just that. My father fell gravely ill and I was called to come home immediately. At this point, I had already been living overseas, bikepacking for nine months.. Now it was time to go back to America! After receiving this call, there was no question on whether or not I should go home. My movements almost felt robotic. I was now on autopilot; it went something like this, “Book flight. Pack bike. Get on flight. Leave Vietnam. Enter America. See your dad.” Truthfully, it has all been quite overwhelming, but thankfully, my father’s health condition has flipped and he has been recovering faster than what was expected..
So now, here I am.. Back in America! I was not expecting this abrupt change, this intense culture shock! Now that I’m back, I’ve realized how much traveling has changed me. Being away put a lot of perspective in the way I look at things, in the way I approach things, in the way I interact with people. I had met so many wonderful beings, most of which had very little, but were happy, happier than I’d ever seen. Living nomadically, I experienced a different way of life, a simple kind of life where I lived out of two bike bags and was happy, happier than I ever thought I could be, truly. Seeing the way others live in the third world opened my eyes and taught me that LESS IS MORE, that language barriers only exist if you allow them to be, and that smiles and body language really do go a long way if you’re patient and kind.
Even though I wasn’t ready for this abrupt lifestyle change in coming back to America, I am glad to be back with the knowledge I have now, knowing that having gratitude for what we have will always trump longing for what we do not. True happiness comes from within, not from gathering possessions, and surely not from having expectations and yes, change may be hard, but life is what we make it, and sometimes we need a little change in order to see the bigger picture! Just remember to keep pushing!