Podcast: Life is a Journey

Our worlds couldn't be any more different: however they were brought together this past summer, untied through our shared love of Surfing. I was first introduced to Ramjan during his debut on the Big Screen in a Surf Documentary called Gum for my Boat. At the time I would have never been able to guess years later we would be sharing a boat, moped, barber chair or waves on one of the biggest adventures of our lives.  

In this episode we spend some time exploring all of life’s crazy turns that brought us to this place. I learn about what life is like growing up in Bangladesh, how surfing was introduced and about his dreams of opening his own Surf School and Orphanage in Cox’s Bazar. Ramjan has dreamt big, so big in fact his project has found a special spot in my heart. Coming to learn about what a wide spread change has been created in his community though the simple sport of surfing gets me fired up.

People have been trying to talk me in to going to Bangladesh for years and it had gained zero traction. In spending time on this trip considering that sometimes identifying the things you don't want to do are exactly the things you should focus on doing helped reshape my perspective. I want to be a part of it…I want to go to Bangladesh and spend more time with Ramjan and his community building something special…I want you all to come with me. So who’s in? 

Life is Journey…Just focus on whatever’s in front of you

Podcast: It doesn’t take an Organization

In this episode Ferriy Bagus tells us about what he has done to create the change he wants to see in this world. He has taken to his network to fundraise the money to pay for the schooling cost for an amazing group of children at the Jewel of the Nation Orphanage. He has invited me to join him in delivering the fruits of his efforts directly to the people it is going to impact. He said something in this conversation that has stuck with me since. “It doesn’t take an Organization.” You can do it yourself. I realized I don’t need to fill out an application to volunteer with and organization, I don’t need to wait until the next facebook fundraiser to donate. I can do something right now.

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This day changed me. I loved all of it. I was so focused on the ride there on conditions and circumstances that had taken place these allow children to get there. I quickly realized after spending sometime with them that it didn’t matter. All I could see was the enormous potential in each of them. These kids where so full of joy and happiness. You could see it in there eyes and hear it in their laughter. I loved it and saw what amazing things Ferriy has done and what everyone involved with this organization is doing. I considered the fact that most of the people I look up to and enjoy learning from are not the ones who came from the perfect situations; they are the ones who have overcome adversity to do something special. These kids.

I might not change a million lives but I might be able to help the one person that does.

I want join Ferriy and lead along with him. I am putting out the challenge to my friends to partner with me in doing so. With the number of Downloads this thing gets we should be able to make a signification impact. I will match dollar for dollar the funds we raise to go directly to this great cause. Lets raise a thousand bucks together. My stretch goal is $10k. If we can get to Ten Thousand dollars I will take someone with me to give it to the kids. If we can get over $10k I will put all the names that donated (even $1) in a hat and I will take one of them with me for an all expense paid mission to Indonesia to deliver the money and meet my friends over on the islands.  Want to create change? I do.

Want to Partner with me and Donate? ---> davidrabe@gmail.com

http://www.lovingorphansglobal.org

Collect Experiences not Things

Last week my father said something to my brother that I couldn’t stop thinking about “I just sold the Corvette, it just didn’t bring me the happiness I thought it would.” Happiness… I had to ask my self; what was it about these machines that brings me such great joy? The simple answer was, not much really; usually these machines just cost more money than anticipated and result in busted knuckles most times I work on them. What brings me true heightened happiness is sharing a experience with my friends and family. There is nothing like it. Some my top memories of life are summarized by traveling open roads with the ones I love along side me.

No one person has taught me as many things as my father. I have become the man I am today because of him, Sometimes I frighten myself when I notice how much like him I have become. He has influenced me in many ways but most prevalent is my love for Cars and Motorcycles. It’s in our blood.

The love affair really took hold at the age of 16 with my brother and I got our Driver’s license and shortly after later our Motorcycle endorsements. As a family we have done cross country rides, camp trips to go ride dirt bikes and have even stood together in our garage to watch my mother try and win a bet that should could change a tire faster than we could.

I have had many smooth / easy moto trips, this trip was not one of them. I figured it was past due for one that was challenging both physically and mentally. The original plan was to travel from Orange County to meet my buddy Chris in Flagstaff, head to Durango travel through Silverton in route to Grand Junction, down through Moab, over to Zion national park and return home.

The first leg getting to Flagstaff was a quick reminder how tough the first 300 miles of a moto trip are. My bike had issues at elevation, I had already ran out of Gas twice; so it ended up getting traded in at the rental shop for an Ol Man Electra Glide that would double as a pack donkey for my buddy Chris’s gear since he decided to ride his custom build (by someone else) Café Racer. The forecast said there was a 40% chance of rain. While cruising towards Monument Valley we got to experience our first taste of these brutal flash storms and got quickly soaked through to the bone. When someone says “a 40% chance of rain” to me I take it as better odds than flipping a coin, come to find out a 40% chance of rain in reality means that; It is currently raining on 40% of the square miles of the area you are looking at a weather forecast for.

We made it to Monument Valley in the late evening and were to tired to set up camp. We crashed right in the dirt which was fine by me, or at least I thought so at the moment. A few hours later I awoke to the sound of an animal in camp, I couldn’t stop laughing when I noticed there was an Australian sheep dog licking Chris’s head, attempting to determine what flavor of hair product he used the prior morning. No big deal he seemed friendly enough. One of the last things I have ever considered when choosing a camp site is whether or not it was in the middle of a horse travel path. Well this site ended up being just that, a few hundred horses passed around us as we had ignorantly chosen to sleep in the middle of their freeway. Regardless, all off the night time incidents were worth it, waking up to the towering rock formations located on the valley floor was pretty amazing.

We spent the rest of the day working towards Durango to see the town and take a ride over the Million Dollar Highway. As soon as we left Durango it started dumping rain. This particular stretch of highway is known to be one of the most dangerous in the world. As we traveled over the pass and the elevation increased, it changed. It changed from a rain storm into a snow storm. It didn’t matter in the moment, we decided that the best course of action was to push through, when I say best that does not equate to most intelligent. I have been in some dangerous situations but this one was extremely sketchy.

We made it over the pass and made it down arriving at dryer ground in the lower elevation. We celebrated that evening with a steak dinner reflecting on all of the reasons why shouldn’t have done what we just did.

The next morning the goal was to stay dry, stay away from the Highway Patrol and get towards Moab. We decided to take a side tour and rode through The Colorado National Monument as we passed by Grand Junction.

We encountered a little bit of rain as we headed to Moab to see the Arch’s. As we arrived at the entrance of Arches National Park we were greeted by Park Rangers informing us that the park was at capacity for the day. I have frequently been turned away from upscale night clubs but never before from a Geological point of interest. I was initially upset that we were not allowed in but after thinking about it for a little bit I was okay with knowing it was due to the best intended effort to preserve the area, which ultimately I support. Not a big deal there are plenty of other awesome things to see in the amazing state of Utah. 

Shortly after the picture above was taken we hit rain again. The rain we had encountered before came in short spurts, this rain just kept coming. It would not stop and it didn’t. We were headed towards the Grand Canyon when the sun set. We were nowhere near a city that had a hotel but we were close to Monument Valley where we knew we could get a camp spot.

We got the last available camp spot. Actually they had sold us a spot that they didn’t have so we set up in a location that could provide a bit of cover and keep us dry that night. Mike was cold and wet and had no interest in staying that way for the entire night. He was set on making the 200 miles trek to Flagstaff to get a room for the night. How he made it alone, in those conditions I will never know. Chris and I toughed it out and managed to stay fairly dry.

The next morning we geared up to make it to the last stop the Grand Canyon. I had lived in Arizona for almost a decade and the thought about making a trip across the state to visit a tourist destination was never appealing. I finally gave in on this trip, I was sick of having to explain to people why I had never see it. Once we arrived I could get a glimpse when riding by the vantage point and I was surprisingly shocked. It was in fact as impressive as everyone had made it out to be. After fighting though the crowds carrying an abundance of slefie sticks to get a view we noticed that just down the way the people barrier ended and we could climb out on this ledge to get a better view. As we came upon it I realize how slick the crappy rock was due to the mud, I became hesitant to scale the required boulders to venture out any further. There were a few family’s that did not and had no problem brining their kids across this slip and slide of death for a family portrait. A google search later that day supporting my decision showing record of a large number of tourist deaths each year right there at the visitor center. 

The final leg home coming off the Flagstaff elevation was on a boring straight two lane freeway back to California. It ended up being my favorite moment of the trip. We hit the basin floor, traffic faded away, the sky cleared up and the temperature increased. This encouraged us to twist the throttle all the way open. Mike and I were side by side pushing the limit of our bikes and our physical grip strength as we headed back to the reality of returning to work. I couldn’t see Mike’s face because it was being blocked by his helmet but my smile was so big it hurt. As the sun set it hit me, I let out a loud YEWWW, realizing that this exact moment will be recorded for eternity. This is what it is all about and these are the experiences that bring me happiness. No physical object can but sharing experiences and moments with my friends and family absolutely will. Till the next one.  

Good Young Men

This quote stopped me in my tracks today:

Instead of giving someone a piece of your mind, it turns out far better if you give them a piece of your heart.
— Ann Voskamp

If this isn’t something I need written on my arm I don’t know what is. I mostly read though the rough masculine perspective but not always, today after a recommendation I went and read a Blog post by one of my email authors Ann Voskamp (Author of 1000 Gifts Not my favorite book but one I will still recommend frequently). This particular piece is fantastic advise for Mothers or any parent who is challenged with raising a Boy like me.