It’s the beginning of July, and the MyPOWER team of Mereki, Tom, Anthony and Matt are still out there somewhere, pedalling away. Kind of comforting, isn’t it?

MyPOWER Meets Che Guevara 

It’s the beginning of July, and the MyPOWER team of Mereki, Tom, Anthony and Matt are still out there somewhere, pedalling away. Kind of comforting, isn’t it?

From the pen (keyboard) of Matt:
I hadn’t seen Che Guevara’s Motorcycle Diaries before. Tommy watched it on the big screen as soon as it hit the Sydney cinemas . . . suspiciously close to making a wild suggestion for us to get on a bike and cycle around the entire coastline of Australia. I think the furthest I’d ridden at the time was about 20km in one “sitting”.

As I sat and watched, the parallels that existed between his journey and ours were impossible to ignore. Every scene, every situation had a MyPOWER equivalent. Here is just a handful that stood out:

Companionship: the hard times that make the friendship stronger. Knowing we can look to each other for support through any adversity.

Begging: the act of asking a complete stranger to help you for nothing in return. All you can offer is a smile, a thank you and some conversation. I’m good at the smiles and thankyous – but terrible at the “beg”. Mereki’s skin is thicker than mine, so I guess in this respect he could be seen at the “Alberto” of MyPOWER

Spanish!: if you’ve been following our journals you’ll already know that we’re trying to learn Spanish . . . all I can say is that I’m glad the movie had subtitles.

Meeting people: familiar values and experiences become undesirable, and our curiosity is attracted to those with an alternate outlook on life.

The good times: riding dangerously fast down a dirt track into the unknown. The feeling of ultimate freedom.

Dreaming of the future: travel allows one’s ideas to break away from the rules and rigidity of a stationary life in society. Just as Che and Alberto dreamed of having their own hospital on the water, we too have many plans for the future of MyPOWER.

Money issues: all expenditure is evaluated with respect to the amount of tuna and pasta that could be bought instead.

How we are received by people: we have been overwhelmingly accepted by so many people; fed, housed, taught, and praised for our efforts. On the flipside, there have been a few people who have taken the “close your doors and shut your blinds” approach to our presence. (Either because we were wearing tights, or they believed we were Mormons disguised as cyclists!) Gladly we can count these incidents on one hand with fingers to spare.

Seeing the world for what it really is: not the TV or newspaper version, but a real-life experience of the diversity of people and places. I’ve learnt that an experience of a place is determined by your actions within it, and only conforms to the stereotype or preconceived expectation if you choose to create it as such. People respond to their immediate surroundings and there’s no way of pre-empting how a person will act in your presence.

All journeys will end: but the end of a journey is just a marker for a new one. Throughout it you will feel nostalgic about times that have passed, but also excited about the times ahead. Looking in the rear view mirror too much can make you lose an appreciation for what lies on the road ahead.

Quote of the Day: “Tell me this, son. Are you so evolved you can’t start a bloody fire?!” (From an eavesdropped father-to-son conversation at a roadhouse payphone.) – 

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