In a few short months I’ll be leaving my comfortable life in Taiwan to start the adventure of a lifetime. These last seven years have been good to me. I’ve enjoyed more freedom and enrichment than I could have ever hoped for. Amazing people, endless travel and exploration opportunities, and an ever-plentiful selection of new activities to try. Singing, acting, metalsmithing, yoga, Muay Thai boxing, surfing, rock-climbing, mountaineering, river-tracing, camping, swimming, running and cycling, to name a few. And of course, I’ve been tattooing a lot.
But now I’m at a crossroads. A lot of my friends have gone back to their respective corners of the world. The central core of my social network has all but been obliterated, for with the end of every school year comes the inevitable exodus of those who’ve decided it’s time to move on to the next phase of their lives. And this year, the loss has been greater than ever.
Sure, I could go back to Canada. Work in a tattoo shop, open up a shop of my own. Lay down some roots somewhere and maybe even convince a man to start a family with me. But I don’t really want to do that now… So I won’t.
I’m off to Europe instead, and I’m going to do it my way.
The Plan: To cycle east to west, starting in Turkey or Greece, and working my way across the land, one country, one village at a time, until I reach Spain or Portugal. I’ll be bringing a tent, my tattoo machines, and little else more. I’ll be leaving in early spring, 2013, and I’ll take as many months as I need…
I have no interest in getting this done as fast as I can, nor do I want to have a rigid pre-set schedule. Rather, I’m going to set short-term objectives as I go, a few days at a time, with loose longer-term goals to keep me going in the right direction! I’ll choose my route as I go though, mostly taking people’s suggestions into account, and going where the opportunities take me. Heck, I might even let the wind decide on some days… We’ll see.
The Goal: To tattoo people I meet along the way, and to share those experiences here. I’ll be couch surfing and meeting people that way. I’ll stop by tattoo shops along the way and see if they’ll let me do a few pieces while I’m in town. I’ll meet fellow travelers, and make friends with the locals as I cycle through villages. It’ll be interesting to see what will come of this approach…
And so the countdown begins. Only a few months left to wrap up over seven years of living in Taiwan, and to prepare for this next undertaking. Friends of mine have suggested that I look for sponsors… And so with a little help from those who know a lot more about this than I do, that’s what I’ll try to do next.
Let the odyssey begin!