So it’s finally time. The website and social media pages for 2hearts1horizon have basically existed because we wanted a place to share pictures with friends and family. As we’ve traveled more– and especially since Kate has gotten closer to graduation– 2h1hz has really started to grow some wings.
Since we’ve decided to take a sidecar around the country as a way to celebrate Kate’s new-found freedom, we started looking at 2h1hz as a place to document the adventure: not just for friends, but for anyone who wants to join us. This trip is many things for us. It’s a chance to explore and seek out adventure. It’s a chance to make memories and to poke around the many subcultures of North America. It is also a time for quiet reflection and to honor those who have helped us along the way. That also brings up the topic of loneliness.
With so many celebrities and thousands of veterans taking their lives in recent years, people are finally getting better about the conversation surrounding suicide. But loneliness is something we all experience at different times and to different degrees, yet we struggle to share these experiences with each other. That leaves people who feel profoundly alone, well… feeling profoundly alone.
We all treat loneliness as though we are the only ones feeling it, or we are too embarrassed to say we’re hurting inside when everyone around us thinks we’re happy, and outwardly perhaps we are happy. Depressed people feel joy, and lonely people feel attachment. It’s the difficulty in connecting to that feeling that makes extreme loneliness so unbearable.
While on our trip we want to investigate the topic of loneliness by visiting places and reaching out to people in general. The gas station attendant or waitress taking your order might be hanging on by a thread, just like the hitchhiker begging for change might actually be on the adventure of a lifetime and loving every minute of it.
And being on the road can have that same experience: the feeling of being alone, together. Especially with a sidecar, Kate and I will be sitting side-by-side for hours on end with only the wind or an audiobook as a companion. Loneliness is not an invading army that assembles on the borders of your mind and charges in. No, it works like a white-collar criminal, skimming a bit off the top without you noticing, always working from the inside.
Don’t worry though, the plan isn’t to make everyone depressed, it’s to provide real content, through stories and photos, that go way beyond, “what I did on my summer vacation.” Instead, we want to access the feelings that make our trip a story about humans and what it’s like to interact with the world around us.
It could be anyone on this trip, it just happens to be us. We hate travel stories that are nothing but well-composed photos of perfect-looking people in perfect-looking locations, with generic captions about living a full life. That kind of stuff is the exact opposite of a full life: it’s the hollow veneer of happiness with no substance at its core.
We’ll be camping on people’s couches and in their backyards when we aren’t out in the woods. We aren’t looking to explore the glitzy downtown metropolis’ of the continents most famous cities. We’ll be in the backwoods and in the small towns where people always have 10-minutes to stop and talk to a stranger, or to pull over and ask if you need help because they see you reading a map.
We’ll be circling the US in a vaguely clockwise fashion, dipping into Canada to see Montreal (the largest city we’ll go through) before heading into Vermont. This will put us in Upstate New York as opposed to the coastal clutter, letting us connect to the Blue Ridge Parkway and head to Asheville, North Carolina for a spell.
From there we’ll head to the coast so I can see an old friend and former mentor before wriggling down the coast to the Florida Keys. We’ll stick with the coastal theme coming back up Florida and skimming along the Gulf into Texas. Things get foggy by then because we don’t know what the weather will be like.
See, we can’t launch our trip until I get back from volunteering with the Veterans Charity Ride, which won’t wrap up until August 10th. That means a five-month trip puts us into January and the need to avoid altitude to avoid snow. This might mean simply plodding on home to California since we can’t see Taos, New Mexico or Flagstaff, Arizona. We’ll let the weather decide.
We also have to worry about money of course. We’ll be selling 2h1hz swag and we have a Patreon set up with different tiers for people who want to help support the ride. Kate will also be making jewelry from the road with items we find along the way at gem shops or cool trading posts.
We’ll both be writing a lot too of course. I’m sure Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys will want to publish some of our stories and I hope to get a regular serial going if people like it. We’ll be posting to our blog here and it’s set up to automatically send out a weekly email to people who sign up. And of course we’ll have plenty of updates for the Instagram page because it’s a pretty easy app to interact with.
That reminds me, I wanted to share the new logo. You’ve probably noticed it around the website, but we are much happier with this design’s symmetry and color palate. What do y’all think?
Alright, that’s all for now. Keep in touch as we show the bike we’ll be using, more ways you can follow, and for some posts of our local adventures as we try to soak up as much of the San Francisco Bay as we can before leaving it behind.