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Living

The Rickshaw Run is the start of a 6 month trip for me. I’ll be in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh for 2 months, home for a wedding for 2 weeks and then off to Malawi to volunteer for a few months. I’ve been thinking about and planning this trip for over a year now. I’ve asked myself a myriad of questions along the way: When should I go? Is this the right decision? Am I running away from something? What will I be missing out on at home? If I don’t go, will I regret it? If not now, when? and on and on.

There will always be questions. There will always be doubts, but I can honestly say, I’m content with my decision to travel now. I’m 34 and single and it’s HARD. It feels like I’m being left behind. It feels like I’m getting picked last for the kickball team at recess, well actually, not getting picked at all. It hurts. It makes me doubt myself, the decisions that I’ve made and who I’ve become. It makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong. And sometimes it feels hopeless, like everyone around me is doing the thing I want so bad to do, but can’t. It’s hard to live a life I never, ever imagined.

But the thing is, I’m living my life whether it’s the one I thought it would be or not. So, I want to really live it. I don’t want to wait. Not waiting to live, but actually living. And right now for me, that living means traveling. That living is going out into the world, to see how others live, to eat different food, to meet new people, to see new places, to grow, to change, to hope. That living is doing. It’s trying. It’s experiencing.

I’m taking a lot of risks. I’m leaving my house in the hands of others. I’m quitting my job. I’m leaving behind everything that is comfortable: my friends, my city, my couch, my family, my kitchen, my car. I’m scared. I’m scared that my house won’t be the same as when I left it. I’m scared that I won’t find a job when I get back. I’m afraid of missing 7 months of my nephew’s life. I’m afraid of how I will or won’t change. I’m scared to see what my city will be like when I return. But I’m MORE afraid of the risk I take by not leaving. I’m more afraid of becoming complacent. I’m more afraid of becoming bitter and angry about the life that I never expected to be living. I’m more afraid of NOT changing. And so I go. I leave behind the comfort, the easy, and the known for the difficult, the hard and the unknown. I dare greatly.

Jen

India Flashbacks and Upcoming Events…

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been to India before. Sach and I were there for 10 days in 2011 to ring in her 30th birthday, and boy, did we, but that’s a story for another time. Instead of focusing on our alcohol consumption and the shenanigans that ensued I’d like to highlight a couple stories from the journal that I kept…

We spent our first couple days in India in Goa, which was hardly culture shock considering that the biggest decision we made there was whether to go to the pool, or beach, and what time we were going to do this. Goa is a hugely popular honeymoon destination for India’s newly married. When we flew back to Delhi I was fascinated by the number of young women wearing silver and red coloured bangles from their wrists up their forearms. Never one to shy away from curiosity I approached a young couple to get the scoop. They told me that the bride is given the bangles as a gift on her wedding day and that it was a Hindu tradition for the bride to wear the bangles for 40 days after the wedding. According to my journal (which I’m sure is accurate because I’m quite nosy and observant) there were 15 such couples on our short flight.

After arriving in Delhi quite late at night we hailed a taxi to take us to our hotel. Unfortunately, we didn’t think to check as to whether our driver spoke a lick of English (or even knew where our hotel was.) We also failed to write down the hotel’s phone number so the driver wasn’t able to call to get directions. Once we realized this was a less than ideal situation he was already swerving onto a busy Delhi road and didn’t seem too keen on stopping the car so we could get out or get proper directions. By some stroke of luck and our crappy Lonely Planet map, I was able to locate the road we were on and by an even bigger stroke of luck direct him to the hotel. Those of you who know me know that this was a true miracle, as I have zero sense of direction, and often get car sick trying to read a text message in a moving vehicle.

I have a memory of touring the Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi. This is the largest mosque in India and female visitors are made to don these bright polka-dot cloaks (please see photos for amazing Indian fashion). Whenever I’m traveling I always offer my photography skills when I see people struggling to take a photo of themselves or of their family. Its not that my skills are so advance (although my mom thinks I missed my calling), but that I know how frustrating it is to not have photos with your travel companions instead of separate ones of you and them. This particular day as we people watched in the courtyard of the mosque I saw a man trying to take a photo of his wife and 2 children with his flip-phone. I walked over and offered to take their picture for them. The man became very confused and thought that I was offering for him to take my photo, which he then did. Eventually I was able to convince him that I wanted to take their family photo and they agreed. They were from Kashmir and he then wanted a photo of me with his family, and then his wife wanted a photo of just the 2 of us. It was a really special interaction. I love that in the photo with her I have my arm around her, and she is patting my purse. Makes me smile every time I see this photo.

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These are just a few of the interactions that I noted in my travel journal from that trip. I’m sure that after we complete the Rickshaw Run I’ll have another journal full of such memories. Reading back through my entries reminds me of the importance of taking photos of such interactions when possible, as they provide a visual record of the memories that my heart holds dear.

On another note, I have been busy, busy planning a wine tasting fundraiser in the Kelowna area on November 9th. It will take place at Little Straw Vineyards from 4-7pm. The fundraiser will be a drop in event with a $20 cash only fee. For the $20, attendees will get a wine tasting, a glass of wine and tapas (yummmm). Jen is flying in from Seattle so she and I will be answering questions about the Rickshaw Run and why we would voluntarily drive 2500km in a country with the worst driving record ever. All proceeds will go directly to New Light India and we will have charity information on hand. We are also going to have a silent auction. Both Rollingdale Winery and La Cucina have kindly made donations. Little Straw will be putting together a basket for the auction as well, my mom is donating one of her skillful paintings, and we have several other businesses in support. It should be a really fun event!!

We are also busy finalizing our rickshaw painting scheme (otherwise known as pimping). My persistence and annoyance won out and Jen and Sacha have agreed to have the rickshaw base painted hot pink. I couldn’t be happier. We are planning on having a beautiful image of a traditional Indian woman on the front with the painted saying of “A Kiwi, a Canuck, and a Yank are Kickin it Sari Style.” Jen’s brother, Matt, who is a technology wizard, is helping us with this project. If it was left to us, we’d likely have crayola crayons and a glue stick trying to paste the thing together. It would make 3rd grade craft hour look legit. We’ll be sure to post a preview when it’s all finished.

Lastly, yes we know you know, but there is still time left to get in on our Intrepid Trip raffle/give-away. Tickets are still $5 and you have until Oct 31 (Happy Halloween India style) to get in on the action. If you’re keen, and we’re hoping you are click here and buy your tickets. If I were you I’d play it safe and buy more then one!!

Happy Travels….we’re leaving for India in 2 months!!!

Kristine

An Inside Look

One of our inspirations for doing the Rickshaw Run, Sarah of SarahSomewhere.com wrote a great blog post today. She and 2 of her travel blogger friends (Kim and Hannah) did the Rickshaw Run in January of this year and had a great time. She put together an awesome video to give us (and everyone) a better idea of what it was like. She also wrote a list of “must haves” and “can’t live withouts.” Who knew a “pee skirt” should be on the list!? Thank you Sarah for the inside look at your adventure and for your support of ours to come!

Her blog post is a must read and the video, a must see!

Lights, Camera, Bollywood!

Last weekend in Waipu NZ, we introduced the fantastic world of Bollywood! With a flurry of makeup, saris and dancing, the ladies from around the Waipu area had a fantastic afternoon and evening.

With the lead up to my fundraising event being unpredictable and stressful, I wasn’t sure what to expect when the day of the 5th of October rolled round. What was I thinking? I had decided to cook! The very limited few who have been subjected to that experience can tell you that it usually isn’t a pleasant experience. I’m definitely a bland food queen, so the fact I had made the decision to cook a couple of curries for the event was going to be interesting. I had also taken it upon myself to try to learn how to complete a Bollywood makeup look, also a talent which I don’t have a lot of. Makeup is not a daily ritual for me, but I was willing to take on the task!

The weekend before the event, was decoration time. Material was draped from the ceiling of the lounge (big shout out to my olds for letting me have a bunch of people to their house!), bright coloured coverings placed, a large Taj Mahal silhouette cut out was hung by the entrance (big thanks to my aunty) and of course there was a bit of cooking thrown in.

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The night before the event, my aunty and cousin came over with the intention of teaching me the Bollywood dance they had been working on. My mum had to leave the room she was laughing so hard at my attempt!!! With that, I knew the day was going to go well.

The big day arrived and being a little unsure of the numbers coming, I am ok to admit that I was nervous. This was quickly dispelled as the ladies arrived. As they started to mix and mingle, beaded shoes were being made and everyone was relaxing into the feel of the day. The ladies felt like they wanted to feel the part early on, so in a attack of material, beading and colour everyone quickly got into a Salwar Kameez or received a very informal lesson on how to wrap a Sari. A Bollywood dance lesson followed and I can admit, everyone picked the dance up a lot quicker than I had the night before! Bollywood makeup followed with everyone, once being completely done up, being a Bollywood star in front of the Taj Mahal.

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I was concentrating on the food, and thanks to those who brought along a curry or two! Even my curries were edible, and hopefully most enjoyed the feed!

After 7, the men started turning up and finished off the left over curries. The ladies then revealed (or subjected???) the dance to the guys that they had learnt through the day. All in all, a fun time had by everyone (hopefully!).

Thanks to everyone who came along to the fundraiser, I hope that you had a great time! Thanks to all those who couldn’t make it but donated to our charities anyway, much appreciated. Also to those who made it for a short time, it was great to see you and thanks for making it! Big shout out to my Mum and Dad, as well as my Aunty and my cousin for all their hard work and investment into making the Bollywood arvo/eve successful. You know how much I appreciate it.

Sacha

****Don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets for a chance to win a trip in India through Intrepid Travel!! The raffle ends on October 31st at midnight!

What Travel Teaches

“Eat local. “Rich” is a relative term. Eavesdropping is educational. Siestas are a civilized institution. Museums are a way of knowing. So are marketplaces. Don’t assume you know what you’re looking at. You have to learn to see what you’re seeing. You can go home again, but it won’t be the same. You’re not in Kansas anymore. What’s “normal” isn’t. You can’t trust a train schedule. Amtrak doesn’t do health food. Adventure is not comfortable. Expensive hiking boots are worth it. You can wear jeans almost anywhere. Courtesy is the foundation of international harmony. Not everyone wants to be American. Souvenirs are the opiate of the masses. Photographs aren’t the same as memories. Pack light. The past is present. All agendas are subject to change.”  -Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

This was written by one of my favorite professors in college. I loved it the first time I read it and I love it even more now. When I read this, at the young age of 21, I thought I understood some of the things she wrote. I thought she was wrong about some. I thought some were a given.

Yeah, of course I’ll “pack light,” I’m only allowed one bag. But after traveling to 20 countries in 6 months in 2007, traveling light took on a whole new meaning. Yes, I was so glad I only had a small bag with 25lbs of stuff in it. But I was also glad, as the trip progressed, that I let go of a lot of my expectations. “Packing light” came to mean flexibility, being open and letting people show me who they really were, without my assumptions getting in the way.

I thought “siestas” were a waste of time. Napping through the afternoon when I could be seeing so many more things, that’s ridiculous. Boy was I wrong! I couldn’t even enjoy the things I was seeing because I was so tired! I learned to allow myself some down time.

“You can go home again, but it won’t be the same.” My first thought was, “Of course it will be the same. It’s not going to change.” But after returning home numerous times, home isn’t the same. It’s not because it has changed so much as I have changed. The way I see the world is different. The way I relate to people is different. The way I approach life, in general, is different. I am different, so home will never be the same. It is different every single time I return.

The older I get and the more I travel, these statements take on a much deeper meaning. I have a story to go along with each one. Thinking of the memories I’ve made, I get excited about traveling again, about making new ones. Fear is gone. Anticipation and excitement take its place.

So, what about you? Do you identify with any of these statements? I encourage you to go, get out there. Experience something new! Whether it’s exploring a new part of your country or going to another one, do it. These statements will take on a whole new meaning. You will be changed.

Jen

PS…A shameless plug…Where will you go?! India, maybe? Don’t forget that there’s a raffle going on! It’s only $5 to enter to win a $1600 tour in India through Intrepid travel (Click here to enter.)

 

Win a Trip in India from Intrepid Travel

We’ve already given you all a wee preview into one of our official sponsors for our upcoming Rickshaw Run. We were super excited when Intrepid responded to our request for sponsorship. All 3 of us have had the fortune of traveling with them before. I traveled to Bali in 2007 with them, and this was my first introduction to small group travel. I was very new and nervous about traveling and this was the perfect trip style for me- having a knowledgeable guide, and having the accommodations and transport sorted for us. Parts of Bali are super touristy and this trip got us off the beaten track and into the Balinese culture. In 2011 Sacha and I did a short excursion through Intrepid and had a driver and guide take us around Delhi, to Agra, then Jaipur and back to Delhi. It was awesome! We had the same driver but a different local guide in each place. We had a Hindi guide, a Sihk guide and a Muslim one. This gave us a very unique perspective.

In 2007, Jen and 2 of her friends were traveling for 6 months and did a 25 day, 8 person group tour of Rajasthan, India. They got to see the Taj Mahal, the ghats in Varanasi, and took a camel safari in the Thar desert, to name just a few of the experiences they had. Their guide was from Rajasthan and took them to his family’s house where they got to dress up in saris and see his village. They traveled like the locals, in trains, rickshaws, buses and taxis. It was a great cultural experience!

So here’s the awesome part: Intrepid has given us a 15 day, small group tour of India to assist us with raising trip funds for things like, visas fees, petrol, spark plugs and the numerous breakdowns we’ll be facing, etc. Therefore, we are having a raffle! For $5US you can be entered for a chance to win this awesome trip worth more than $1600US!! Why not increase your odds of winning and spend $25US for 5 chances?! Anyone who shares Sacha’s, Jen’s or my last name (i.e. immediate family members) are excluded from taking part. The contest will run for the entire month of October and the raffle will close at Midnight on November 3rd. The winner will be randomly drawn and notified by November 8th, and then shortly they will find themselves in the land of curry dreams and chai sunsets. Or something close to that. Enter Here!

SO, HERE ARE THE RULES (yes, there are always rules)

The trip does include some meals, accommodations for 14 nights, some transportation, as well as numerous activities. For more details, please see the Unforgettable India Overview page

This trip does NOT include airfare, travel insurance, travel visa for India, your alcohol of choice, souvenirs or trinkets to decorate your pad back home. The trip is a one person- you, yourself and I endeavor, and is not transferable. You have to book the trip by August 31, 2014 and travel by Sept 30, 2014. This trip cannot be redeemed or exchanged for cash. The trip is subject to availability.

Best of Luck!!

Kristine

Goodbye Seattle…..

So last week I said goodbye to Jen, and to a city I’ve called my home for the last few years (off and on) and hello to my motherland of Canada. The weekend before my big move my friends threw me an amazing Canadian style going away party. I imagined them dressing me up in a camo/American flag ensemble, but somehow they acquired a bunch of Canadian decorations including a mountie hat and a stuffed moose hat. It was awesome!  Since moving to the US in 2002 I’ve moved a whopping 21 times between 6 states, and 3 countries. Yep 21. I’m clearly an insane person!

This move was in the works for a long time, but somehow that didn’t make the actual move any easier. I’ve lived in the US for the last 11+ years, so the majority of my adult life has been in the US. Even though I’ve always been a super patriotic Canadian, I’m used to American banking, American brands, paying cheap gas, and buying alcohol at the gas station. My Canadian friends think I sound American, and my American friends make fun of me for saying “sorry and eh?” Sometimes I feel like I’m caught between 2 different identities.

Its difficult to return to a place that you really haven’t lived in over a decade. Yes, I come home a few times a year, but being here on a permanent basis is another story. I do have friends in Canada, but often I see them for an hour or 2, a couple times a year so it’s hard to be back and try and fit back into their lives and me into theirs. I’ve also moved back to where my family is, which is quite a bit smaller than Seattle or the large US cities I have called home in the last decade. To give you an idea, the population of the Seattle area is somewhere around 3.5 million. The area that I’m now living in is around 180 thousand. That’s a wee bit of a difference, eh?

So why did I come back then (you’re probably asking)? It felt like time. I had been working in the US on a temporary visa and at some point, some border guard, somewhere, was likely going to give me a hard time about it. Knowing that this was likely to happen, I wanted to return to Canada on my terms instead of someone else making that decision for me. Also, I had asked all my friends for a green card last Christmas and none of them ponied up and since I’m likely too old to be a mail order bride, it was time to start packing my bags.

So now I’m back in Canada where we insert our bank cards (called Interac cards) instead of swiping them, gas is ridiculously expensive, and you pay a refundable deposit to get a shopping cart to prevent people from stealing them (USA you should look into this!). People are equally as apologetic as I am, “sorry eh” and our money does look like it came from a monopoly game. We have Tim Hortons, endless coverage of hockey, relatively free healthcare, and people don’t mock me when I drop an “eh-bomb.” And lastly, I’m back where my family is, and living where every rule and law applies to me because I am a Canadian in my own damn country and not the exception to most rules that I was when I lived in the US. CANADA- I’m home!!!

Team Kickin it Sari Style is now officially spread over 3 countries. We’re practically trilingual now!!

Kristine (the proud Canuck)

Disorganization

I’m a traveler. Traveling is my bliss. My first trip was with my parents to Australia when I was 7 and that was the kick-start for me. I first travelled alone on a international flight at 14 to Australia after some long and hard saving! I was obviously staying with some family over there at that age, but it was the start of some independent travelling for me. At 17 I went and lived in Japan as a exchange student for a year, and I haven’t looked back. Being a Kiwi, completing a big OE (overseas experience) is almost a right of passage and is something that we take in our stride, which is why I’m finding it difficult to admit that when it comes to the Rickshaw Run, I’m struggling. It’s not the concept I’m struggling with, the idea of driving a Rickshaw the length of India is plainly awesome. What an opportunity and experience! If you have a crazy enough friend to do it with, I would suggest you jump at the chance. What I’m struggling with is the organizational aspect of completing the Run. I’m a organized person…to an extent! I can run my household, social life and flights well, but when it comes to traveling I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. I will happily land somewhere and be ready to go with the flow, to me, this is where you get the best experiences from. That’s why the idea of the Run is so appealing to me. A dodgy rickshaw, no set route (I would happily just have a basic map – no GPS required for me) and the opportunity to see and do whatever crosses our path. Bliss. But, there is certainly a aspect of organisation required long before we even set foot in India…

For me, the best part of completing the run is being able to give back to our charities. This is something that every team in the Rickshaw Run will do, and thank goodness for my organized team mates for shifting the fundraising into gear, because for a short term visionary like myself, the fund raising is something I could easily sit on for a long time until it becomes a last minute event! The (currently!) US based girls have been doing some fantastic fundraising and in little ole NZ I’ve got a Bollywood night planned for the 5th of October to get the locals in Waipu out for a arvo/eve of fun. Big shout out to my family who are a big driving gear and putting in a lot of time and effort to make this a successful day!!

Motorcycle licensing. This is something that I’m finding very ironic. Growing up on a farm, I learnt how to drive a motor bike before I could even touch the car pedals (more or less drive it!) but never went and got my official licence to drive on the road. Signing up to partake in the Rickshaw Run, I was unaware that we would need to have our full motorcycle licence to legally be driving the Rickshaw. Bugger!!! In a apparently cautious licensing system it takes around 2 years to get your full license in NZ. Thanks to my 2 counterparts who are acquiring their licenses from their countries we will have some people who can legally drive the Rickshaw! Dropping a hint for anyone thinking they might like to complete a Rickshaw Run in the future (especially if you’re from NZ), if you don’t have a motorcycle license (and want one!) then it should be early on the list!!

As a last minute (but extremely talented!!!) packer, the distinct lack of room that the Rickshaw provides is also something that I’m thinking needs to be looked at early on. Not being able to utilise my normal pack I would travel with, I’m pondering on the size of the pack I can take. I’ve even taken the time to stop and write a list of the things I think will need on the trip, which is showing to me that the piece of paper the list is written on is bigger than the pack I can take…Apparently all we need, though, is duct tape, clean underwear and maybe a bit of courage! Maybe packing will be easier than I expect. I might even throw some soap in, I think that Kristine and Jen might appreciate that.

Be us completely unorganized or organized months in advance, I’m sure we will get some unexpected and fantastic experiences on the road! Good luck to those completing the Rickshaw run, however you prepare, with making it to the start line and we will see you there!

Sacha

Lessons from the September Runners

As many of you probably don’t know, there is more than one Rickshaw Run. There are actually 3 a year in India and there is one going on right now. It started a few days ago and we’ve been following some of the teams. Here are some quotes, just to give you an idea of what we’ll be experiencing:

“Already nursing blistered hands, weak stomachs, bruised knees and sunburn, we leave after a party tonight which will test the mettle and the livers of all…”   -Baksheesh Bandits

“Made it to Mirza, but not before dark. Indian roads are made of potholes, held together by stray cows. Can’t believe we arrived alive. Power is out in our hotel, where we are all four sharing a giant room. Ready for an 8 hour nap.” -The Reading Rickshaws

Some highlights of the Jaisalmer Taxi Service:

  • Gave a ride to a Brit that got left behind by his team.
  • Dished out about 1,000 ‘high fives’ to little kids along the drive.
  • Got rained on in the mountains. Found out that our windshield leaks.
  • Got lost trying to find Guwahati.
  • Had full conversations with locals that spoke only Hindi.

Q: “What should we do to avoid bandits in Bihar?”

A: “Bandits are everywhere. In Bihar, they just have bigger knives. Drive fast to get away from them.”  - The Reading Rickshaws

“Driving a rickshaw in India, hell yes!!! What a day. Too much to talk about. Epic kick off from Shillong, absolute madness. Glen ignoring the detour sign and making his own road, truck spraying exhaust fumes all over us, overtaking downhill, ran over a baby cobra (says glen), epic pot holes, rain, feeling like royalty, a guy almost running us into an off ramp trying to get us to pull over, driving the wrong way up a one way street and chucking a u-bolt to make a quick getaway and many more. This. Is. INCREDIBLE!!!!!” -The Brain Trust

I laughed as I read these and at the same time almost had a mini panic attack. Bandits?! (Mom, don’t worry, we’ll be in a totally different part of the country.) Stray cows?! (Yes, I know they’re everywhere.) Happy to be alive?! (Is this going to be our thought, every single night?!) We are doing everything we can to be prepared. We have lists of things we’ll need: duct tape, a funnel, tie downs, rain covers and so much more! We have a “rape whistle” which Kristine says she is well versed in the art of. We have sayings, like, “Stranger, Danger. I see you,” to ward off “strangers.” We’ve talked about taking a self defense class. We are voraciously reading other teams’ blogs to get the inside scoop. We listen to songs like, Brave, by Sarah Bareilles.

This is going to be a HUGE adventure and it’s going to be SCARY. I signed up for this to Dare Greatly, and daring I am, maybe more than I ever thought possible.

Jen

Motorcycle School

Those of you who know me may be shocked that I spent the last weekend learning to drive a motorcycle. I mean, do you remember the pedal bike crash of 2008? My face painfully remembers it, and driving over rail road tracks still causes me a tinge of anxiety. So now you’re probably asking yourself why I decided to take motorcycle lessons in the first place. It all started with a dream really….a dream to drive a rickshaw across India. This dream came with a mountain of paperwork and never ending to-do lists. On this list was getting an International Driving Permit. Apparently in order to do this we must have a 3-wheel motorcycle endorsement in our country of residence in order to be able to drive a 3 wheeled auto rickshaw in India. Who knew you even needed a license to drive in India? Well now you know, although I suspect for 20 rupees we could likely bribe ourselves out of a sticky situation, but we’re opting to play it safe. This is what led me to take motorcycle lessons.

IMG_0166To say that I have next to no motorcycle experience would be pretty accurate. As a child I remember riding on the back of my uncles bike. Once. Then there was the time last fall when I held on for dear life as I was driven thru the streets of Mandalay Burma. Then there was this past weekend…..

The Friday before class found me at Value Village in the market to buy a jean jacket for class. After sorting thru the racks I found a suitable one, and also an amazing leather fringe jacket. Not wanting to out shine the other students, I put it back and instead bought the jean one, but man did I look amazing in leather!!

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I always appreciate a good sense of humor and this class had no shortage of comedic entertainment!! Our instructor had been to India several times and was a near expert on the operating features of a rickshaw and even brought a toy rickshaw in on the second day. We split into teams at one point and my group elected to call themselves “The Rickshaws.” I asked one gentleman if his wife also rode a motorcycle and he replied “the only things she rides is……” I’ll let you fill in the blank, but I knew that with a sense of humor like that he and I would get along very well!

My classmates consisted of 5 men and 6 ladies. Yep 6 ladies. I was so impressed with this. I was the youngest in the class, and also strangely, the only person taking the class for the sole purpose of driving a rickshaw across India. There were married couples in the class, people who had a lot of 2 wheeled riding experience, and people who were revisiting riding a motorcycle after many years away from it. It was lovely to get to chat with the other women in the group and find out their motivations for taking the class. I was really inspired by the courage that it takes for a woman in her 50s or 60s to decide to do this. It’s such a  brave and daring endeavor that many people would be too scared to even entertain the idea, or would put it off until sometime later and would never actually follow thru with it.  It begs the question, “If not now,  when?” And this past weekend was the now.

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So here’s what I learned from motorcycle school. I am far more scared of perceived physical fears than I am of emotional ones. I’ll move to the Middle East no problem, but am terrified of falling something and physically injuring myself. You are never too old to try something new. The cost of not trying something and letting fear control you is so much worse than daring greatly and being brave whether you succeed or not. Riding a 2 or 3 wheeled motorcycle isn’t easy and I have so much more respect for motorcycle riders now. And lastly, the Spyder Can-Am (the yellow one above) is a sweet sweet ride, and I could ride one around a parking lot all day long. Needless to say I’m now rocking a Washington state 3-wheeled motorcycle endorsement all the way to get an International Driving Permit.

Happy Riding!
Kristine