Posted onMay 30, 2017 by Shahla & Peter Nygaard
We’re coming up to the three-year mark after completing our ten-year global adventure and surprisingly, we still have no desire to be back on the road. That dream of discovering the world and ourselves has been realized and now we’re focused on accomplishing the next one: the removal of our support for the injurious forces keeping humans from attaining a healthy, sustainable society.
Our plan is to create self-sustainability on our piece of land while contributing any excess to our community. This became a goal for us while we were on the road but it’s even more important to us now that we have children. Our first daughter, Scarlett was born in July of 2015 and our second, Runa, was born in March of this year. As you can see, we wasted no time in becoming parents. Our vision is such that we provide an option for our children to escape the negative effects of consumerism if they begin to feel trapped by them. Looks like we’re in for another decade (or two) of discovery…
We finished our book, yet another dream checked off our bucket list. The book represents the product of our experience and the culmination of our writing efforts. We’ve attempted to portray the reality of life on the road for ten years. In this portrayal, we’ve clung to timeless truths that were continually reaffirmed to us throughout the journey. We hope that in doing so we’ve created a way for the reader to relate to how we felt while we were out there and how we feel now. We tried to reflect in our words the changes we underwent during the course of the voyage and we hope this is evident through the procession of the pages. While on the road our reading selection consisted mainly of classic literature from previous centuries (twentieth included) and while writing we enjoyed a soundtrack of predominantly classical music, albeit worldly. In the end, we’ve produced a work that we are profoundly proud of and are indeed pointedly pleased to present you with the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy our Decade of Discovery.
And now, in an attempt to lure you in…
“For the most part we rode through agricultural land. What began as rows upon rows of tea and tobacco were now oil palms in rank and file like an army marching to invade a rain forest. The crops had changed and the climate was different but the people were farming for the same reason: to sell the harvest. Money is needed to keep up with the modern age – whether for a car, motorbike, cellular phone or computer – but that is one of the better scenarios and many people here were only working for enough money to secure food, water and shelter for themselves and their families. Working in the heat all day is not an easy task and one that we had enough experience with to relate to the locals we cycled by. On a daily basis we would slowly pass people working in fields or groves and exchange sweaty waves with them. In those moments we shared the same feeling of exhaustion and maybe even helped to take their minds off of their work for a second or two while they thought to themselves, “crazy tourists on bicycles.” We understood that they had to work in the plantations and paddocks whether they liked it or not so we’d feel good when our smiles were returned too. We wondered if more people hated their jobs here than in Canada. It was funny to think about how the local farmers were in the fields during the day and then we’d inhabit them at night, carefully pitching our tent so as not to disturb any of the produce. In the morning we’d return to pedaling and perspiring on the road while our counterparts would return to sweating in the soil. Two sides of the same coin.
As the coin spun and the days passed, the two sides superimposed on each other. The steady rotation mesmerized us melding the two images into one. Colour and creed blurred into homogenized humanity. The differences that once caught our attention faded as our perspective evolved. We were Canadians who left Edmonton years earlier but had spent the time since soaking in society and had swelled into citizens of the world. With each step we took forward our perspective took a step back, surveying the entirety of our journey. The mountains, valleys, canyons and caves that we conquered on our quest were but a smooth surface on the marble when seen from afar. Every time our perspective shifted backwards it also dug deeper inside. The peaks and pitfalls, hopes and dreams of our tiny lives were as nothing and at the same time we felt they were everything. Were they not a metaphor for the journey of humanity? A paradox discovered by the Buddha for us to contemplate for eternity? We were going to need some time to reflect on this. Oh yeah, and we were out of money.”