From 2011-12, I worked in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for King Saud University’s Preparatory Year.
During that time, I applied to the English Language Fellowship program, and I got notice of my successful application at the same time that the Preparatory Year wanted to renew my contract.
Riyadh was hot, dusty, and dry. Saudi Arabia was conservative. My employer (for one reason or another) never could seem to pay me on time. I was ready for something different.
The English Language Fellowship program wanted to send me to Mexico. I had no familiarity with the Mexican culture or the Spanish language. I wanted to learn about both.
So, inspired by a couple of skateboarders who bicycled across America, I decided to bicycle across the Yucatan peninsula. I did not own a bicycle. I had never been to Mexico. I had never ridden more than about twenty miles in a day before.
It will be fun, I thought.
I’ll learn some Spanish, I thought.
It can’t be that hard, I thought.
What a great introduction to Mexico, I thought.
I can do it, I thought.
I had these thoughts going through my head as I planned a solo bike ride from Cancún to Campeche.
As it turned out, with regard to all those things, I was right.
And I’m still riding that same bicycle.