“You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself”
This is the credo of Matua, who will be traveling a long path starting this spring. I heard from Matua in the end of January. His first letter came to me a month after I had decided to complete the Peace sign this year. Now, I am always glad to answer questions about long distance scootering-I have some debt to pay off for all the people who offered me advice last year. Matua certainly has a long trip planned-30,000+ miles. But, it’s the message he promotes which really caught my eye.
The words in his first email inspired me so much that I’m going to share them with you:
I’m doing it for a multitude of reasons (partly to discover what America ‘really’ is – through its people and NOT its policies), but mainly to perform random acts of kindness. I believe strongly in making a difference. I think those that can should. I’m a Buddhist and a vegan, and try to live my life as compassionately as I can. I’m riding a scooter first and foremost because it is the most environmentally friendly means of motorised transportation (I had originally planned to walk the entire way, but it was logistically impossible). As I travel – strictly on backroads and two-lane roadways – I want to meet Americans in their element, living their lives, going about their days. I want to hear their stories and pay back their generosity of sharing by volunteering when and where I can in the communities I travel through.
Well, right on! Or Ride On…as his journey starts April 1, 2008 and continues….well…for at least a year.
When we first began corresponding, Matua had no scooter. But he had his sights set on a Vespa. In fact, he had the purdy logo all done before he even had the scoot. Thankfully, a sponsor stepped forward to provide the Vespa. In fact, within a two week period many sponsors have jumped on board. Matua is very ambitious, very determined; I wish him the best.
It’s been reassuring to know someone else is digging in their heels and grappling with the hundreds of preparation details. It’s also been really cool to see how thorough one can be given advance planning. Matua had actually planned for quite awhile to walk the route, through 49 state capitals and 8 Canadian provinces. He then recollected the pleasures of riding a scooter and like me, realized a scooter can bring you to just as many people, without harming the environment.
Our communication has so far been really insightful and we hope our routes cross at some point. We have some good ideas cooking for collaboration whilst on our prospective road trips, so stay tuned…
Both of us can’t wait until we are actually on the road-going and doing! I dub this form of social outreach, scoot-a-vism. One thing for sure, we invite you to Keep the P.A.C.E. (PEACE AND COMPASSION EVERYWHERE)
Last year, while I was scooting for Peace, there were 2 Peace Marchers walking across the country. I found a strength in knowing other people were also out on the road, going the distance to support change. Matua wants to make the road his home, replacing comforts with a call to spread kindness, compassion and volunteerism. Three things that help create Peace and strong community-so you know I’m all about it! You will see the similarity and interdependence of our goals and philosophies, but our routes and our approaches will offer unique perspectives.
One of Matua’s many cool designs asks, “What are you doing?” Fair question. My hope is that you will not just love your neighbors, but show some love to Us kind, homeless, traveling folk who might be headed to your town. Another guess is that you will be spending some time following the journeys of two scooterists out to make a difference.