Riding my bicycle across Vietnam
This trip has been a lot of fun so far. Seeing new sights, eating good food, and relaxing in the car; all great outlets. On Tuesday night, Mom and I stayed with some old family friends outside of Portland. It was a truly excellent evening, with food, fire and company. It was also our first home-cooked meal on the trip, and that made it special. Unfortunately our visit was too fleeting, and early Wednesday morning (following a breakfast of bacon and eggs) Mom and I had to bid farewell to our friends and start the commute into Portland. Wednesday mom and I toured Reed College and Lewis & Clark University in Portland, Oregon. Both were nice, but I thought that Reed stood out with its academic rigor and unique approach with the honor code. Yesterday, we looked at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Apparently, they don’t offer information sessions over spring break; that was very disappointing. Nevertheless, I got a good taste for the campus. Founded in 1963, it’s the newest college that we have looked at. The buildings are really beautiful, and environmental sustainability is a core of their mission. They also have a really cool dedicated bicycle workshop. Today, Mom and I are headed towards San Francisco. We are about to look at UC Santa Cruz, then University of San Francisco tomorrow. It will be really nice to be in San Francisco again as well. I should be meeting up with my friend, Matthew, for lunch, or at least coffee while we are there. Going from college to college is getting a bit routine for my taste, but I am starting to see some of the larger opportunity emerge.
Sometimes when I’m in bed late at night, just about to fall asleep, I think about the wonder of it all. In a bit over a year I could be going to school on the West Coast. In some ways, this is a really big step. In others, it seems only to be a natural continuation. I think about how independent I already am, and how I have benefitted from this independence. Spending so much time planning and executing bicycle trips and rock climbing escapades really helps me to feel confident in my abilities and in many different surroundings. In that respect, I am not at all concerned about going to college. Some of my peers are concerned with not seeing their parents or being away from home for such a long period of time. Or even having to make decisions, even easy ones like where to get food or what to do in the afternoon. Fortunately, I’m not so concerned with these aspects of going away. Concern isn’t really the right word, anyway, I think it’s more of the finality that I am in awe of. I’ve long been going on adventures, exploring the boundaries of childhood, and I think that all of it was in pursuit of a greater preparation. A preparation for the real world and all that it had to offer. Now, on this trip, the eventuality of access to the real world seems to be coming within reach. It’s tough, because I know that I’m not going to be leaving for another year and a half. And yet, seeing these colleges, touring the coast, and exploring each city, I can start to envision myself here. It’s really exciting. I’m not even sure how much I’m looking forward to it, at least now. I feel prepared, I feel excited, but I think it’s too early to really want the change. For now, the trick is enjoying the rest of it. The rest of high school, the rest of Cleveland, the rest of childhood. Ultimately, the trick is not to let the rest of these moments pass fleetingly. As good as it is to look forward; it’s just as important to enjoy what is now and enjoy what will be later. I’m not sure if that makes sense.