Last Friday, I sat down to my morning routine of writing in my journal, and as I penned the date, realized we were only three days away from the anniversary of our departure on the Tour. Well, what merits a blog post more than that?

Setting out, with everything looking new and bright and shiny.

August 18, 2011–Setting out, with everything looking new and bright and shiny.

So here it is, a tribute from three years later. I can’t help but remember how I felt that day. Nervous, mostly. Were we really doing this? Were we ready? Would I survive? I know, that last one sounds a bit dramatic. But on the front end of our journey, I was dealing with a lot of fear. I think that’s important to note about our trip. People would tell us “Oh, you’re so brave,” as though we left on this thing with no doubts or fears in the world. But that wasn’t true! And I would say to anyone out there reading today: you can’t wait until you feel “ready” to live out your dreams. You can’t wait until all fear is vanquished, or all the details make sense. If you wait for those things, your dreams will never happen. It was months into our journey before I stopped feeling afraid. But… isn’t it great that I did? I stopped feeling afraid! (Roughly when we finished Central America…) I was finally able to simply embrace the joy of the life we were blessed to be living.

I also distinctly remember our conversation as we were leaving the driveway that first morning. Dave looked over at my bike and made an off-handed comment about needing to “move some stuff around.” I knew he was referring to how much weight was on his bicycle (roughly 90 pounds, more if you include the bike itself!). He wasn’t trying to imply that I didn’t have enough weight… although I think I wrongly took it that way. But the reality was that we both had VERY heavy bikes and were learning to adjust to our new loads. It was different. We had done a few test rides, but this was the real deal. But that heavy bike played into my fears as well… only instead of fearing for my life, I feared I was inadequate. As we pedaled over some decent hills that day, I wondered if I really had what it took to survive doing this daily for the next two+ years.

So proud as we crossed our first state line!

So proud as we crossed our first state line!

But in the end, we made it. One day at a time, one city at a time, one state at a time, one country at a time. I learned to stop doubting my ability and just do it, ignoring fear and inadequacy and any other voice the enemy might try to use to keep us from making our dream a reality.

I asked Dave tonight if he had any words of wisdom for this post, looking back on the beginning of the trip. “It was worth it,” he said. Yep, I’d say that sums it up!

And here, I’ll close with this quote from the Odyssey, which I also used in my first post that I wrote once we had set out–three years ago today! And I believe these words are truer now than even then… it’s never too late to seek that newer world. In fact, I feel that’s exactly what we’re doing with our new home here in Montgomery, with our new baby coming in December, with so much life ahead of us still. It’s still time to push off!

“Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset… till I die…
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Taken September 28, 2013--the last morning of our World Tour. We made it!

Taken September 28, 2013–the last morning of our World Tour. We made it, and we finished different people than who we were at the beginning.