Why, who, what, and where:
The stated purpose of this blog is to share my experiences riding my bicycle indefinitely while continuing to work and conducting an otherwise normal life. The point is not the bicycle, but the word “indefinitely.” Together, you and I will explore how a freelancer could truly live on the road. Only backpackers have greater issues of time, distance, weight, and logistic support than bicyclists. A freelancer in an RV (caravan), a boat or a car could easily apply the lessons here, perhaps with more slack about what to take and less stress about what to leave behind.
This is not the place to learn how to become a freelancer or why. There are hundreds of blogs on that and many of them are excellent. I will link to some of them as they touch on our journey.
This is also not a blog about long-distance cycling. There are many excellent blogs on that, too. And, yes, we will link to them as I share the things I learned getting ready for this journey.
This blog is about what is different about freelancing on the road. What to pack, what to leave behind, what support you need at first, how to outgrow that support – and, of course, what I wish I had not left behind and how I dealt with that. Every week we will discuss issues that come up in either endurance cycling or freelancing, but only as they help us make this journey together.
I do hope that we make this journey together. Your feedback will let me know what you want to know and, more often than you think, solve problems that I had not foreseen.
Let me introduce myself.
I am a writer. I make my living as a freelance translator (Italian into English). Translating involves writing somebody else’s material in a new language, so one has to be a writer first. I own a car (to carpool to Church on Sunday), but my bicycle has always been my primary means of transportation.
Other essential ingredients of “me”: Christian (Episcopal), father, widower, sailor (retired naval officer) and traveler. Physical details: 175 cm tall, 74.7 kg, body fat: 21%.
You can read the formal résumé on my website (www.scriptorservices.com) and LinkedIn profile (http://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanhinelanguagemediator), so I won’t bore you with it here. Similarly, you can get lots of pictures of me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/tradux).
The itinerary (more or less).
I plan to leave Charlottesville, Virginia and visit friends and family on a long loop which will include the Atlanta Association of Interpreters and Translators (AAIT) conference in Roswell, Georgia on 28 September, and the annual conference of the American Translators Association (ATA) in San Antonio, Texas, in early November. From there, I will make my way across Texas and around the Gulf Coast to Tampa, Florida. At that point, I will decide whether to go back to Charlottesville, and whether to do so quickly (train or bus) or slowly (visiting friends and family up the coast).
One of the key features of this trip is that it is not carefully laid out. Already, my departure has slipped six weeks, because our house renovation is running late. A bus trip to Chicago, Illinois, has been replaced by a more-or-less direct run to Roswell, Georgia, to make a presentation to the AAIT.
Where could this go?
As I set out on this odyssey, I don’t know. I have an idea that together we will find out how to live and work on the road, or we will know how and why it did not work. Of course, a personal emergency could stop the whole experiment. But I am focusing my efforts on a larger goal: becoming a true cycling nomad. If the Southern Swing 2013 is successful, then we will look beyond my present context of being an American freelancer bicycling around the United States.
Next week, I will explain how my cycling and freelancing lives came together – unless you have something more interesting for me in your comments and questions.
Smooth roads & tailwinds,