Howdy Traipser! If you’re new around here, I’m Dakota and this is my newsletter about reclaiming creativity and ditching tired personal paradigms.
If this were ancient Mesopotamia, I’d have to learn cuneiform and bake clay tablets to create this 121st edition of Traipsing About, but instead I just typed it up on my old Dell laptop.
On another note, our friends Tyler and Anna just embarked on a multiple month bike tour of Europe. Brings me back to my and Chelsea’s first Euro tour in 2015—the excitement, the nerves, the open schedule with months of no plan but pedaling. Intimidating, and also a magic feeling.
In the meantime, their camper van Big Blue has an honorary parking spot out front. Always great to support a friend’s adventure however we can and pay forward the kindness that countless people have shown us.
This week on Sondering About, Edition #121:
Bikepacking on a plant-based diet
Ancient people weren’t stupid
Connecting with friends
ICYMI: last time I wrote about showing up as a friend vs. a buddy. It seems I struck a chord because I received thoughtful emails from a bunch of you. As always, thanks for hitting reply and sending me wisdom; it’s one of my favorite things about writing this newsletter.
Bikepacking on a plant-based diet
It struck me recently that I've bikepacked for over a year of my life. Starting in 2014, I’ve pedaled across states, countries, and mountain ranges, over a thousand hours of exertion and 10,000 miles.
Along the way, I’ve burnt a few calories.
I fueled all 10,000 of those miles following a plant-based diet. And since I couldn’t find a comprehensive blog post talking about this, I decided to write one!
My goal with this post is to provide concrete, actionable information about trying a plant-based (or plant-heavy) diet for your next bike trip.
I also want to say this: food is personal. I’m not here to tell you how to eat, but if you’re interested in leaning more plant-based on bike trips, you’re in the right place.
Truths about plant-based bike travel:
Bike touring on a plant-based diet is totally doable: I’ve found plenty of calories, balanced nutrients, and a high energy level were the norm.
There’s never been a better time to live and travel as a plant-based person. From rural greasy spoon diners to big city dining, I’ve located and enjoyed plant-based food options.
In foreign countries, the grocery store and restaurant treasure hunt is an enjoyable part of the travel experience.
If I’m kind and clear with my requests, people return the kindness and help get me what I need.
Staying true to yourself during a trip is empowering. I enjoy the opportunity to be an ambassador for plant-based eating.
Here’s the full post. Or check out the photo gallery. (Going through old trip photos made me both hungry and fired up for my next tour!)
A sense of sonder
I love the concept of Sonder, aka:
The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness.
In other words, while we’re working, traveling, loving, playing, raising kids, billions of people are doing the same. Trials and tribulations, victories, all of it. It’s probably why people-watching is so fun—we create stories about lives we know nothing about.
Even more mind-expanding is this brilliant edition of Everything is Amazing about how the 100 billion people who have lived in the past were a) likely just as smart brainpower-wise and b) lived complex lives, just like us. (Yup, while photos of them are in black and white, they even had COLOR.)
The author adds,
Really, this is about the way we treat difference. Different ideas, different technologies, different beliefs, every difference under the sun. Instead of immediately ranking difference (which is a curiosity-killer), we can respect it. Or at least try to.
Maybe past humans thought the earth was flat or believed in unseen deities or used leeches for medicine, but well, think what future humans will say about US! (Unseen deities, invasive surgery…)
Pair backward-looking sonder with the excellent book What We Owe The Future by William Macaskill (good summary here) to have your mind really blown. Think about a trillion people in the future, all impacted by the decisions and actions we take (or don’t today). Try not to mess it up, mmmk? No pressure. DON’T STEP ON THE BUTTERFLY!
A quick hack for connecting with friends
One of my favorite easy hacks for staying connected with friends is to always go with the urge to share something that makes me think of them. “Hey, this article seems right up your alley because…” or “Haha, I just saw this happen and it reminded me of when we…”
Another thing that’s handy is Google Photos featuring “this day X years ago” or “Dakota stuffing food items in his face.” Often those photos involved friends, so I simply say, “HA, remember this?” It’s fabulous for a quick moment of connection and often that memory isn’t one they revisit often, so it’s extra fun. Memory dividends paying out years later!
I think many people don’t share because “oh, people are busy.” Well, in a world where people are lonelier than ever, I’d tactfully counter by saying F THAT NOISE, send the photo. I’ve reaped many laughs and friendship-strengthening moments by doing so.
Traipsing About Tidbits
Last time a bunch of you appreciated the homelessness article I shared, so I wanted to also point you at the book Evicted, a Pulitzer winner. It’s a fantastic narrative story about an unseen aspect of this issue: people living in private housing and constantly on the verge of being homeless.
This free temporary email generator is handy for avoiding spam lists.
I’m so glad the photographers for the 2022 Audobon bird photos of the year lie in wait for days to get these stunning photos.
I can’t get enough of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words (Spotify) and am also digging Jamaican-American musician and singer Masego’s new self-titled jazztraphouse album (thanks, Don). I also love the creativity of Seven Nation Army played with household appliances.
Quote of the Week
A reminder from Emerson about true success:
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.
You’ve reached the end of Traipsing About newsletter #121.
This week’s unsolicited advice:
Send an old pic to a friend you miss spending time with immediately after you finish reading this newsletter.
Catch you next time!
P.S. If you’re like me, you’re searching for help NOT autocorrecting a favorite exclamation to duck or muck. Help has arrived.
Thanks for reading Traipsing About! I appreciate you taking the time to read it. I always love to hear from you, so hit reply and send me an email anytime. I read and respond to every one!
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Hey Dakota! I enjoyed your Traipsing as usual. I want to say, though, that if you were in ancient Egypt, you'd be writing hieroglyphic, not cuneiform. And if you were writing cuneiform, you'd probably be doing it on clay tablets, not papyrus, and you'd be in Persia or Mesopotamia or around there and not in Egypt. Check out hieroglyphic! It's fascinating. I suggest "How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs" by Collier and Manley for a quick intro or Middle Egyptian by James P Allen for more depth. If you want to write hieroglyphs, there's "Ancient Egyptian Calligraphy" by H.G. Fischer.
So good! And yes--send that photo! It’s my new fav thing to do via text (what I call mini digital postcards).⭐️👍🏻💕