PATRICK • AVENUE • MELISSA
Before Melissa and I met we were both subconsciously gearing up for a new way of life. Melissa had caught the travel bug and I always had another bike tour on the back of my mind. Our philosophies on humanity, health, and happiness were evolving and converging to a place of present consciousness. We had also both been deeply changed from Eckhart Tolle, more specifically his book The Power of Now. [The Power of Now PDF] Preparing for this trip took a lot of communication, cohesion, and determination. To read more about the details of the tour please CLICK HERE.
How We Met:
The two of us have know each other since grade school but we never had much interaction until 2009. If you were to tell either of us that we would end up together we both would have laughed. After I completed my first solo bicycle tour across the United States in 2009 I was eager to share my experience with others. I created a video to capture the tour and shared it with everyone, hoping to inspire others to live adventurously, simply, and consciously. Please see video HERE. I shared this video with Melissa and she was convinced she would eventually do some similar epic adventure.
Over the next few months our paths crossed more frequently. Coincidentally the weekend I brought Avenue into my life was the same weekend that Melissa and I realized we had a spark. We were out to dinner in Salt Lake with mutual friends and a few of us decided to continue the night at Melissa’s home. We soon forgot about everyone else after about an hour of us going back and forth showing each other music, conversing about spirituality, travel, and life. The next thing we knew the sun was up and we were still talking. Before this night we had both painted such different pictures of each other yet we’re both blown away to discover that we connect on so many different levels.
As a kid I never cared for dolls and barbies, in fact I was bored out of my mind if any of my friends wanted to play with them. I wanted to be running around outside exploring and on the search for new and bigger trees to climb. My feet were always black by the time I would go inside at night. One summer I set up a tent in our backyard and turned it into my bedroom, I have always felt I belonged in the outdoors. I am convinced I was an indian in a past lifetime, perhaps in the Pocahontas days… Okay okay I’m kidding. Well, only about half kidding.
For the past 6 ½ years I have worked as a hairstylist at Jagged Edge Salon. Although, I never really “worked”…I got to hang out with my favorite people all day and play with hair, I wouldn’t really call that work. I loved my career and saw my future in the salon industry until a few years ago when I discovered my love for traveling. I started going somewhere new almost every month. Since I had a clientele at the salon I could only be away for about a week at a time, which was only a tease. Long term travel was calling my name. So…after 2 years of saving and getting things in order I sold my car, rented out my house, and said a tearful goodbye to my salon family. Selling my car was the most freeing feeling to me. Leaving my house was easy, the hard part was leaving my 3 kitties behind (that’s right I’m a crazy cat lady), but I know they will be in the best hands and happy as ever with my good friends that moved into my house while I am gone. I am officially a bum and it feels fabulous. So now I get to explore, get dirty, and live in a tent, just like I did when I was a kid.
I am a web development specialist living in a tent traveling the world on two wheels. I currently contract with a company back in Salt Lake City, The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts where I was a “nine-to-fiver” for a little over a year and a half. I developed two wedsites for them and now maintain both from my computer and solar panels from the road. www.QuickReadBuzz.com and www.TheCTIblog.com. It’s funny to see peoples face when I tell them I am on a conference call while biking along with a dog in the trailer, but hey, that is my office and I have no complaints
I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT and from a small age I was always pushing the envelope in skate boarding, snow boarding, long boarding, biking, running, etc. Seeking new thrills and learning how to apply my body in new and extreme ways was my outlet, my freedom. Before the days of Redbull, wing suits, or GoPros I was immersing myself in the world of the limitless. As a kid I lived on a quarter pipe in the backyard of Jeremy Jones and JP Walker’s home who rented the house directly across the street from my childhood home. Watching videos of them plow the fresh powder of the Utah mountains was my answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up” and that answer is, free. From 540° backflips on trampolines to carrying people on poles while unicycling, I was born with a “go big or go home” attitude towards life.
Sometimes this extreme nature landed me in the hospital with head wounds, open gashes in my knees, elbows and hands. Other times I found myself driving over gigantic speed bumps with friends surfing on the roof of my 1991 Subaru wagon, white knuckling the snowboard rack. This crazy behavior was not out of the ordinary in my group of friends…I wonder sometimes to this day how I am alive.
I can even remember the first time I took flight.
My friends and I were at an elementary school which had a huge open field on a plateau elevated five to six feet above the parking lot. What others saw as a baseball field we saw as a landing to a gigantic car jump. We settle in the little Geo Tracker, buckle the weather worn seat belts, and peeled off directly towards the grass jump. Once the speedometer reached 50 MPH you knew the jump is only milliseconds away. THA-THUMP…then silence. Time goes by very differently when you are 15 feet off the ground launching over 50 horizontal feet in a car. Good thing our bones were strong at a young age because my colar bone was brused for a week with a nice purple seat-belt-tattoo. Point being, I love the thrill of unconventional fun. I can say now that my extreme has gotten more mellow than launching cars or sliding down 200 foot water treatment plant runoffs. My extreme aim at my ripe old age of 26 is to live unconventionally, consciously, and to the fullest.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from David E. Shi in In Search of the Simple Life:
The world is in chaos. Honorable dealing is deteriorating, good friends are few, truth is held in disrepute, good service is underpaid, poor service is over paid. Whole nations are committed to evil dealings: with one you fear insecurity, with another, inconsistency, with a third betrayal. This being what it is, let the bad faith of others serve not as an example, but a warning. The real danger of the situation lies in the unhinging of your own integrity: accepting less than your best, being overly tolerant of stupidity, forgiving incompetence, fraternizing with the non spiritual. The man of principle never forgets what he is, because he clearly sees what the others are.