So everyone wants to know how long I'll be gone. It's a question I don't have an easy answer for. I'd like to come back at the end of the summer, remodel my brothers bath, see you guys, and race a bit (for Atomic, of course). But there are several options:
The tiring option:
Jan 10th - May 09th 2009 - TdA, Visit Zambia, fly to Paris, May 31 to July 18 - Orient Express, back to Paris watch TdF, July 26th - Nov 12th 2009 - Silk Route, Dec 2009 Fly to Charlotte, Jan - May 2010 TdA again. July - Dec 2010 Vuelta Sudamerica.
That's way to much travel, but possible. I thought I'd only be in the Peace Corps for a year and look how that turned out.
The less tiring option:
I could always cut option 1 short and come home in August, work for the winter and head back to Africa in 2010. This option may or may not involve me selling the house and moving to Charlotte.
A likely option:
Jan - May 09 TdA, Visit Zambia, fly home in June, Remodel my bro's bath, July 20th - Dec 10th Vuelta Sudamerica, Jan 2010 - TdA again.
That's still a lot of travel but I get a few weeks at home in between tours. Nice.
My least Favorite Option:
Jan to May 2009 TdA, hate it, or they hate me, visit Zambia, stop in Paris to watch the TdF, come home and figure out something else to do. Most likely sell the house and move to Charlotte. Start the business up there and flip houses with my brother until I have enough passive income to try something like this again.
It's my least favorite because I really want this job to work out. I certainly could not complain about getting to travel in Africa, visit old friends in Zambia, watch the TdF and be home in time for my brother's birthday. Moving to Charlotte and spending more time with my brother and sister would be awesome.
Ideally, after I've done all the tours with TdA, I'd like to settle in and focus only on Africa. I'd like to help build support structures for the tour that can be run by locals and that locals can profit from. I'd like to expand the aid component of the tour and develop relationships with other organizations like, BikeTown Africa, Kiva, and others. I'd like to figure out how to have tour participants be hosted by local communities, instead of us camping isolated and by ourselves. I'd like to try and not to have to use giant overland vehicles to support the tour.
These are huge challenges and I will certainly not understand how to address them in the first 4 months. So first I've got to get the first tour under my belt, watch and listen and see how things go.