guest blogger: jake wilcox - finding peace again.

Beginning this month, once a month Going Forth will feature a guest blogger from around the world. Someone who has received insight, empowerment and fortitude from going forth and breaking the mold of conventionality and mediocrity. 

I'm proud to introduce Jake Wilcox, full-time adventurer as the first Going Forth guest blogger. Read how his solitary journey across the United States has completely reshaped his thoughts on life, people and mission.

After you live this kind of vagabond lifestyle you can really begin to grasp what I'm about to say. Until then, don't just take my word for it, go forth, stay blessed & venture on , you won't regret it. I just recently took a solo bicycle trip across the US. It took me 60 days and forever changed my life. 

Before I embarked on my grand adventure, I was working at a job that paid the bills but I was not growing and testing myself which I have found is key to my happiness. So I decided to change all that. I didn't want to be jolted down the road with the realization that life had passed me by.

I set off alone and attempted to bicycle across my own country. I had little knowledge of the bicycle and it ways except a 500 mile trip I took the previous summer. But I was determined to learn along the way and if nothing else attempt something by human power that many think of but few actually do.

To say the least it was pure misery the first two weeks but I stuck with it and learned more about myself and being self sufficient then I could have ever imagined. I finally got the hang of it and learned to love my new found life. I would spend the next 60 days 8-12hrs, riding between 50-75 miles a day. In that time I would be alone for long stretches sometimes days without contact and nothing but my own thoughts to keep me company.

At first this is a big change from modern life with all our distractions from tv, video games, cell phones, friends, and everything else that makes life normal. When you are alone for long periods, in the presence of nature with nothing but the wind, stars, and animals to keep you company a wonderful thing tends to happens. At least to me it did. I found or should say rediscovered my true self. I found a peace again that was some where lost along the way. I didn't need the luxuries of home, a shower, a bed, and a warm meal all became foreign to me and really put in perspective what was important in life. I took the little things for granted and that is a big mistake.

Many people throughout the world don't get these things so why should I think I deserve them more then anyone else? When you think everything is a magical gift instead of just owed to you a big mental shift comes into effect and you appreciate life again. I also reconnected with nature which is a must these days! The traveling and living outdoors is nothing new to the human race, for as long as history goes back we have been living with little and exploring this beautiful home of ours called earth.

A life of simplicity is key and I have found like water we must be in a constant state of flow, if we stay in one place to long not testing ourself and growing we become stagnant. Which is no bueno for anyone or anything. The people you meet and the places you go will shape you and change you forever. I am happy to say i completed my trip and came up with a life goal to keep me going down the road of adventure and have a forever changing horizon.

My project is venture500 I'm now doing 50 non-motorized expeditions of 500 miles or more. My hopes are to inspire and educate the youth and everyone actualy to live a more active and outdoor lifestyle. I write this from a bar In the outer-banks of North Carolina I'm now half way through my 2nd expedition of walking 500 miles from DC-Myrtle Beach.

My life has went a complete 180 since making a choice to "go forth" and actually doing it. I still have rough days but I can honestly say my life is not boring or stagnate anymore. I now look at challenges with a new set of confidence that i can conquer anything that comes my way and if i fail just pick my self up learn what i did wrong and make it work. I hope this inspires you to do more, to be more, & live a life of your dreams.

If we do only get one spin on this earth why spin in one place? I will head to Haiti at the beginning of September in hopes of growing a little more and having experiences that i will remember forever. and nothing, not the dimming light of old age or financial ruin can take away from me. So dream big and dare to fail!