Riding and social media: living your own adventure

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Dear Lynda,

When I travel, I find myself lost in the moment until someone texts to see if I’m ok, or panicking because I forgot to hit the spot button at the end of my day. I also find myself torn between wanting to stop all the time for photos and wanting to just ride, ride,ride!  How do I find a balance of letting people know I’m safe and taking pictures and videos of my trip for memories, and not living my adventure for other people?

~Astrid

Dear Astrid,

Your adventure is yours alone, and it’s up to you to claim it. It’s your decision when to stop and take photos or simply absorb the experience of riding through stunning vistas and incredible sunsets. It’s also your job to set the boundaries on the degree of contact you’ll have with those not on your trip. Yes, you will miss some pictures and videos, and others will worry if you don’t immediately respond to a text, but perhaps it’s time for everyone to move a bit further into the discomfort zone to allow you to capture your journey in the moment the way that best suits you.

It’s perfectly normal for friends and family to want to know you are okay, especially if you are riding alone in foreign lands. But it’s also not your job to be constantly allaying their fears. Each time you reply immediately to a “you okay?’ text you are reinforcing their continuing to check up on you. Are you comfortable telling others that it takes you away from your experience and that instead you will check in on a pre-arranged schedule that you set?

As to Spot, what level of contact is comfortable for you to agree to? Whatever you choose, inform everyone and create a new expectation. No matter what you decide,set up reminders to make sure you remember to do so, less for the sake of others but for your own peace of mind. When I’m in a motorcycle rally I have notes on my windscreen to remind me of details I might forget when exhausted, and a calendar on the top of my tankbag to make sure I meet specific target deadlines.

Whether stopping for pictures or riding, riding, riding, you’ll miss out on one thing and gain something else. Being in the moment is amazing, and having photos to remember specific places creates a lasting memory. It’s often a toss up as to which is the right answer at what times, and experimenting may be the best way for you to figure out what works for you. Have you regretted not having a concrete reminder of an experience, or has the emotional memory of absorbing it completely without thought of stopping been satisfying? It’s never an either-or, and perhaps giving yourself permission to do both, at different times listening to different moods may be your answer.

~Lynda

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