What, When, Where, How and What (a bit more)

I have updated the order of this post so it is shown at the top for a workshop I will be giving in Melbourne on bicycle touring with or without a cause: http://www.lanewaylearning.com/2013/03/13/bicycle-touring/

Hope to see you at the workshop and here is an earlier post of this blog when I was setting up for the ride and campaign…

This is an attempt at putting together all the aspects, logistics and details of my trip with a small plea for action in HOW…

WHAT: The gist of what I am doing in North America on a bike in April:

  • Riding a bike from Portland, Oregon to Whistler, British Colombia and back in April and the first week of May
  • Presenting for the Global Poverty Project and the wonderful 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation
  • Doing it eating on less than US$1.50/day (extreme poverty line) promoting the Live Below the Line campaign
  • WHY? To see more people engaged with the movement to see an end to extreme poverty and ultimately see those who live in extreme poverty have greater access to basic needs and opportunities
  • By bicycle there is also a strong environmental, health, sustainability and simplicity message

Doing what I love

WHEN & WHERE – Tour Itinerary and Map http://g.co/maps/94qsa

DATE PLACE LOGISTICS
Thurs 5 Apr Portland,OR Arrive Portland 10.55pm
Fri 6 Portland,OR Set up and Presentation opportunity!
Sat 7 Portland,OR Presentation opportunity!
Sun 8 Portland,OR Presentation opportunity!
Mon 9 Portland,OR Presentation opportunity!
Tues 10 Kelso,WA Portland+ 90km →Kelso,WA via Longview City. Pres opportunity!
Wed 11 Grand Mound, WA Kelso,WA+ 90km → Grand Mound, WA. Presentation opportunity!
Thurs 12 Kamilche,WA Grand Mound + 55km →Kamilche,WA via Olympia Pres opportunity!
Fri 13 ??? Kamilche,WA+ …km → ? on way to Port Angeles 170km away
Sat 14 Port Angeles,WA Continue of journey to Port Angeles
Sun 15 Victoria,BC Ferry to Victoria. Presentation opportunity in evening inVictoria!
Mon 16 Victoria,BC Presentation opportunity!
Tues 17 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity! Victoria+ 35km to ferry from Swartz Bay and ferry. Tsawwassen + 55km toVancouver.
Wed 18 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Thurs 19 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Fri 20 Squamish,BC Vancouver+ 70km → Squamish. Presentation opportunity!
Sat 21 Whistler, BC Squamish + 60km → Whistler. Presentation opportunity!
Sun 22 Whistler, BC Presentation opportunity!
Mon 23 Whistler, BC Presentation opportunity!
Tues 24 Squamish,BC Whistler + 60km → Squamish. Presentation opportunity!
Wed 25 Vancouver,BC Squamish + 70km →Vancouver. Presentation opportunity!
Thurs 26 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Fri 27 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Sat 28 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Sun 29 Bellingham,WA Vancouver+ 90km →Bellingham. Presentation opportunity!
Mon 30 Arlington,WA Bellingham+ 85km →Arlington. Presentation opportunity!
Tues 1 May Seattle,WA Arlington+ 95km →Seattle. Presentation opportunity!
Wed 2 Seattle,WA Presentation opportunity!
Thurs 3 Seattle,WA Presentation opportunity!
Fri 4 Portland,OR Train back to Portland to return bike, trailer and get organised for LBL
Sat/Sun 5/6 Portland & beyond? Make way to Calgary, Chicago or New York?
7-11 May Live Below the Line Where best to be for week of Live Below the Line?
3rd wk May Chicago? Europe Chicago 14 May for G8? Tour End – Depart for Europe

HOW I need some bonus support to make it happen in the best way possible

I do have a backup to all of these and I’m very self-sufficient but all my trips are done as a full-time volunteer. I have been volunteering for the past seven months and will be for the rest of the year in various education and advocacy work so anything will be a bonus!

To help me make this as successful as possible (and not just for my own endurance and fun!) I have a two simple asks:

  • For your support, suggestions and to pass my trip details on to others
  • Any possible in-kind help, support or sponsorship
    • In particular I need (borrowing best) for a month starting and finishing in Portland:
      • Bicycle, trailer (preferred) or panniers (for bicycle touring) and various bike bits
      • Network of hosts for presentations and maybe accommodation

In return I will:

  • Attract media where possible – particularly local media
  • Have room to represent appropriate sponsors on items and in the presentation
  • Be advocating on global, environmental and social justice and can add to the good work of others
  • Promise to return items as needed or replace, as hopefully not needed!
  • Happily present to your community or group of interested people

In particular and in the past the best kind of support usually comes from organisations and business like yourselves and:

  • Aid and development agencies
  • Education and youth sectors, especially global awareness groups
  • Cycling, environmental, transport and sustainability advocacy groups
  • Community groups and associations such as: schools, Rotary, environment groups, faith groups and even something like Scouts, fire-fighters, hospitals, councils and others!

WHAT else do you need to know?

Before Today – My Background and My Hopes for this Tour

My global education journey started as a teacher in a remote Aboriginal school in the desert of South Australia. Since then I’ve spent the past 11 years teaching, volunteering and learning in over 50 countries.

With these amazing rich learning experiences I mix information with inspiration and shared them with audiences in developed countries. Using my own personal stories and the Global Poverty Project’s 1.4 Billion Reasons interactive multimedia presentation we encourage people to go from knowing about the topics and issues on extreme poverty and the environment to taking action on them.

I have been a key member of the Global Poverty Project since the first 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation on 4 July 2009 in Melbourne, have delivered over 100 GPP presentations and initiated and managed the youth and schools program in Australia.

My previous presentation cycling trips include South Australia (2007), New Zealand (2009) and the East Coast of Australia (2009). Each with their unique blend of global and environmental awareness.

I am extremely passionate and excited for my first presentation cycling tour in the US and Canadato give your youth and communities an opportunity to experience a GPP 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation, to promote the Live Below the Line campaign in May and showcase environmental awareness and healthy lifestyles.

The Global Poverty Project

Our aim is not to fundraise or create resources, rather the Global Poverty Project seeks to inspire people to actively engage with the movement to end extreme poverty. The Global Poverty Project connects people with the organisations, initiatives, resources and actions that are already happening.

The 1.4 Billion Reasons Presentation and Engagement with Social Justice Issues

The strength of the presentation is to provide context and catalyse comprehensive learning and engagement with global issues. Through our partnerships and working relationships we can connect audiences, teachers and leaders to organisations working specifically on a range of social justice issues. We connect you with learning guides, campaign actions, and a network of active citizens that can help facilitate a pathway of learning and engagement.

Live Below the Line

My other focus will be to explain and inspire people to take on the Live Below the Line challenge of living on US$1.50 for food each day, for five days. Live Below the Line is a GPP initiative and was first run in North America last year. I will be doing the WHOLE cycle tour Living Below the Line. I hope to engage more people with this incredible campaign which will run again from May 7-11 this year.

For more information please go to:

Living Just Above The Line – I Think Is My Utopia

Day 25

  • Olympia, Washington State
  • Breakfast: my favourite steal cut oats, orange peel and water – cheap one so more snacks in the day
  • Snacks: ¼ banana, sunflower butter, ½ bagel
  • Lunch: lentils with dash of curry powder, 1 onion and 1 bulb of garlic (half), 1/2 yam
  • Dinner: lentils with dash of curry powder, 1 onion and 1 bulb of garlic, 1/2 yam and half a bagel

Rained non-stop, not even 1 minute break, for the whole day and I was very happy to be in a wonderful hosts house preparing for global polio eradication advocacy I will be doing in Canada this summer – a new role with Global Poverty Project! http://www.theendofpolio.com

If I could double my daily amount to $3 of food or even $5 I think I would be in utopia…

Live Below the Line has taught me so much on this journey and how to appreciate everything that little bit more and how special even the smallest things are… I love living with this appreciation but I would also like to do it where I can eat a few more fruits and vegetables.

Simple lentils and yam means so much when you have little – thats the way I like it… The bagel is pure luxury!

I can see myself Live Just Above the Line on many occasions from here on. When I did LBL last year for a month I continued to do LBL every Monday for the few months after. I think I can take it to another level this year – not by doing LBL more as I really need to put on a little weight but to live, eat and act simply, meaningfully and appreciatively.

Less if often more as you will have gathered in my posts to now but Live Below the Line has given me an avenue to pursue and enjoy it in a way that I haven’t been able to do as easily in developed contexts.

I can only encourage others to think about doing a Live Below the Line meal, day or week – anytime and then enjoy the satisfaction of it and think about how you might look at doing it on a more regular basis… or I could sell this with – save money, eat healthy and feel great about the world around you!

Everything I could ever want in life – transport, accommodation (tent) and freedom to do it…

Then to tie it all back into the Live Below the Line cause – imagine what it would mean to someone who lives in extreme poverty FOR LIFE to double their earnings… and the scary things is it doesn’t usually go into food but to education and an attempt to create access and opportunity… amazing eh – they put up with so much and are so powerful to overcome these things everyday – that is my greatest appreciation from this trip so far!

Not much but means so much – access, opportunity & the future without extreme poverty…

$1.50 a day is small change for a major change…

Day 23

A portal in the clouds for a Seattle sunrise!

  • Seattle sunrise and back to Olympia
  • Breakfast: Whole-wheat bagel with lentils on top!
  • Lunch: Leftover corn bread and ¼ cold boiled yam (not boiled in cold water, cold after boiling the day before)
  • Dinner: Bagel and sunflower butter – bit crazy on the bagels but can’t carry them all now back on the road travelling and ate less than I though I would so far!

A fantastic presentation at Washing University with International students – they all want the Global Poverty Project in their home countries including Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil and many more!

Live Below the Line is proving to be quite transformational for me again this year and it has me renewing my usual crazy New Year Resolutions and looking at some new ones or making certain promises and commitment to myself that I would like to perpetuate in everyday life that I have learned so far on this trip.

  • Eating to live as opposed to living to eat is a healthy attitude from time to time – to take a step back from having fantastic delicious meals all day everyday and to appreciate some simple beans and rice or lentils and onion
  • Walking, riding and swimming are worth spending time on – the days where I walk or ride for at least 4 hours have been great and has been time well spent
  • Healthy body… healthy mind… allowing myself to take time to do things, exercise and time to think, contemplate and reflect
  • A great diet, maybe not enough, but certainly a good basis for healthy eating on oats, lentils, vegies, rice, pasta etc… would be nice to have more fruit though!
  • Eating locally, in season and unprocessed  -basically you can’t afford anything that is pre-made and it all comes from natural basics – basically nothing from a factory or using heaps of resources to produce or be shipped
  • Interaction – with people and nature. The simple free things in life become important, meaningful and fulfilling – especially meeting people and talking
  • Transport of walking or riding to get from A to B I have been loving – even if it will take a couple of hours or a day. Best when the weather is nice but humbling when its not and I like making the time and enjoying the trip

I will be banging on about the richness of simplicity in the next few blogs so I’ll save those thoughts for now.

  • Did I also forget it is extremely powerful for insights and understanding in to how 1.4 billion people live everyday and how your efforts can made a massive difference to them in advocacy and sponsorship!!!

All I can say is that Live Below the Line is one the most transformational experiences I believe you can have in the developed world to understand, appreciate and be inspired by the way people live in the developing world.

Are you doing Live Below the Line NEXT MONDAY? You should – it’s a life changer and a great one at that!

Sign up through the Global Poverty Project http://www.globalpovertyproject.com and find out more here http://www.livebelowtheline.com

OR have you sponsored me yet…?

Australia: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/lunnylbtl

US: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/uslunnylbtl

The Global Wealth Project…

Day 16

  • 21km walk from White Rock, Canada to Samiahmoo Marina, USA – or 1 mile if I was allowed to swim or could fly…

    The little bit of green on the other side of the water is a short swim or 20km + walk!

  • Breakfast: BIG bowl of oats, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, cut up dried orange peel, teaspoon of nutritional yeast and boiling water

    Very apt sign for my day and all days of Living Below the Line

  • Lunch: ½ cold potato twice at different times, some bok choy and my last sardine
  • Dinner: Macaroni and cheese as a tribute to leaving Canada. Was loving those preservatives, they taste soooo good…

    Ahhh preservative goodness!

Love walking to cross a border as it makes the experience more thoughtful and exciting!

 

The volunteering and work I do for the Global Poverty Project is great and I am very passionate about seeing every human in the world have access to enough food, clean water, health, education and a fulfilling livelihood.

Still one of my greatest other passions is simplicity and live life more with less (as you will have gathered from this blog…).

My post today isn’t to harp on again about simplicity but to acknowledge the work I am doing with the Global Poverty Project which has taught me a lot about life and creating change. For many years based on the experiences I had in developing countries from around the world I would be judgmental, highly opinionated, critical, dogmatic, guilt charged and ready to criticize anything and everything about the developed world and how ‘rich’ we are… I generally now only reserve this for my family and friends!

I always felt like I was fighting the system and it was usually to people who already thought the same way or would turn off those as I was putting myself on higher moral ground. Since joining the Global Poverty Project in 2009 I have learnt to work within the system and give an inoffensive message and options for those who wish to take it on. Kind of laying out the topics, issues and actions on the table and up to others to try or ignore with no expectations.

It has been a very powerful and significant journey for me and I have really come across a lot of people who now know I am not to guilt them, smash them with a moral bat or ask them to do what I am doing from a moral high-ground!

As much as I would love to be trying to sell the message of ‘the best in the world is with less (when you get to choose)’ it is very difficult to tell people what NOT to do than offer simple small opportunities to change in their lives for the better of all. I have great respect for those people and organisations who are there to point the finger at consumerism, profit over people, materialism, etc and we need them for those who are ready to move along the spectrum into that realm.

I think if we can work from both angles of working inside out and outside in we can meet at a common ground that has everyone living with enough but not too much– that is my Global Wealth Project… not sure if I will have many followers though! This is leading on to something that has been a great part of this Live Below the Line experience – how to advocate without making people feel crap – next episode…

My accommodation for the night!

Life on a boat seems pretty luxurious but it pretty simple when living on one - just beautiful!

Simply Enough or Simply Not Enough?

Day 14

  • 8 km of walking after being too wet for extra riding around Whistler 😦
  • Breakfast: two slices of homemade bread with ¼ banana smooshed on top
  • Lunch: leftover pasta from the night before
  • Snacks: four slices of cut apple at the Tamwood presentation and porridge pancakes
  • Dinner: half packet of instant noodles at 9.30pm after the Squamish presentation

Definitely made up for my downfall the day before with very simple eating! Also had two wonderful presentations – one at Tamwood International ESL school in Whistler and one a community presentation in Squamish with a great turn out and a fantastic vibe!

My blog title for today ‘Simply Enough or Simply Not Enough’ is a great choice of thought and living that came into my head while walking with my Live Below the Line stomach…

We kind of have two ways to look at our lives when thinking about this:

  • Simply enough – with the basics in life we can be happy and fulfilled; or
  • Simply not enough – no matter what we have we can never be satisfied

The simply not enough interpretation can only be made if we are not faced on the extreme end of poverty where you might not have enough food, water, health, education or access to your rights.

It is not by chance that this popped into me head while I am two weeks into Live Below the Line (minus the damn beef jerky from two days ago!). Live Below the Line puts you completely into the headspace of simply enougheven when you go through hunger, tiredness, frustration and the occasional delusion.

Most people would think for Live Below the Line you would be of the mindset of simply not enough BUT Live Below the Line teaches you that you can have more with less and we sometimes don’t need all these foods or things to be ‘happy’.

I have been lucky that simply enough has been my life for many years now. It is something I feel very fortunate to have achieved and not only through hardship but through real and concrete experiences and happiness.

Some of the simple things in life are usually the best. A shared meal with friends is all anyone can want really...

I am sure that more people would be happier with less – I’m not talking about caves, sticks and water to live on. It is about controlling life more, with less to control. For example – I’m bored, I’ll go for a walk; I’m hungry, I’ll have an apple; I’m stressed, I’ll work less tomorrow. I sometimes think we put ourselves into excess far too easily and often with work, time, money and satisfaction. This is starting to sounds a little Buddhist and Nirvana orientated but it isn’t a religion it is just a way of thinking, practicing and acting and receiving the rewards.

I knew Living Below the Line for five weeks and doing a bunch of physical activity around it was only going to be a positive, inspirational and learning experience for me as I continue to love more from less (just have to be careful not to excess). I am as fulfilled as I have ever been eating on less than $1.50 a day for food and factoring in some cleansing healthy activity throughout the day whilst working/volunteering/giving very rewarding Global Poverty Project presentations to schools and communities.

Maybe this is a slight rant here that sounds like it has come from someone deliberately starving themselves but it is with wonderful clarity and appreciation that I believe less is more. I also feel and live this when I am privileged to be in developing countries or perpetuating that lifestyle in developed countries with things like Live Below the Line.

House, transport and nature doesn't get any better than this - maybe a few friends. If my transport is my feet then I'm on a winner also.

Lastly it is that time where I can’t advocate this campaign enough so I really encourage everyone to take on the Live Below the Line challenge for five days May 7-11!

http://www.globalpovertyproject.com and find your way to the Live Below the Line sign up!

This fun little video sketch is also pretty on the mark with this sort of thinking as well: The High Price of Materialism – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGab38pKscw

Am I Crazy or Is the World?

Day 6

  • 33km walk from Victoria to Swartz Bay ferry, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
  • Breakfast: oats, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, half a pear and boiling water
  • Lunch: ¾ cold potato and BOILED EGG (wow… saved up for an egg – sooo good)
  • Dinner: rice with 15c of beef broth and small handful of diced kale

Not sure if I have ever walked 30km and only eaten a cold potato for the whole trip – but I have now! The boiled egg on the ferry was a taste and energy explosion however. Then my lovely host in Vancouver, Jozi, had cooked me dinner within my 70c budget!

My dinner from the night before (rice and onion broth) and the potato cooked and my sustenance for the entire walk today

‘Am I crazy or is the world?’ was the theme of my walk – a lovely 33km walk from downtown Victoria to the Vancouver ferry at Swartz Bay (no swimming today).

It is Sunday, a beautiful sunny spring day on Vancouver Island, British Colombia, Canada and perfect walking temperature. I needed to get from Victoria to the ferry departure point at Swartz Bay before about 5pm. Now to me I couldn’t think of anything better than walking that distance through urban landscape, forests, coast and everything in between. Some people will think doing that is crazy but for me I think it is crazy that our society might consider that that’s crazy.

A part of the walk today that was beautiful and filled with walkers, cyclists and horse-riders - if you build it they will come and this could be our priority & maybe less highways?

The walk is purposeful, enjoyable, observational, contemplative, healthy, interactive with nature and others out on the trail and has many other positive benefits – why would I want to miss all that trapped in a machine to save me time do less purposeful things (usually no matter how important I think they are).

This is where I appreciate Live Below the Line because it slows everything down (except maybe me). Walking, cooking, talking, travelling and more. It does not waste time – the time spent doing these things is meaningful. Saving time is a great concept if you only have time to gather food for survival as you can then start to choose things like education, recreation and more, but I feel our developed world has taken it to a point that is so un-human and meaningless. Saving time becomes more important than time itself.

One of the essences of this concept of time and Live Below the Line for me is voluntary simplicity, basically ‘less is more’ and enjoying it. I love the idea of expecting and having less and being happy with that. The concept goes much further than this as it also represents a great connection to family, community, nature and the rest of the world. It is not easy for most but I absolutely love it and therefore appreciate the extra insights and skills Live Below the Line gives me.

I try not to tell people what to do and live life for myself but I can almost absolutely guarantee most people and the developed world would be happier, healthier and more humble with more voluntary simplicity in our lives. This is not about glorifying poverty just an acknowledgement of it when we are not forced into it.

I believe in not making simplicity hard, unwanted or a chore – I enjoy it and feel better for it in so many ways. This is not saying we can’t have anything or we need to live in yurts (cool), just a little contemplation on time and simplicity might be a good thing in our self-controlled but busy and complicated lives…?

For me walking is one of those great tools and I came up with this little quote on my walk:

‘The best TV shows are socks and shoes on your feet

and the stories on your street. Go for a walk and enjoy the beat!’

My Keens shoes have been walking me around for many years and are, a replaceable, but treasured possession as I know the joy and learning they give me.

Another fine spot of many along the walk

Below are a couple of resources and very cool people and organisations to check out if you think you might be keen to know about this concept of voluntary simplicity… I also have ‘Simply Happy – a lifestyle model and education project’ in proposal stage if people are keen for me to send it to them.

Samuel Alexander and Voluntary Simplicity and Simplicity Collective – http://simplicitycollective.com/

  • I have followed Samuel for a few years now as he did his PhD in this field and always has great blogs and e-newsletter

Donnie Maclurcan and a big team from the Post Growth Institute – http://postgrowth.org/

Michael Franti from Spearhead – http://michaelfranti.com

  • has been a great role model of mine for many years through his music and lyrics. I don’t follow his website much but you will be ‘richer’ from listening to him!

Other like – Buy Nothing Day, The Story of Stuff, Adbusters, The Moneyless Man, Ted Trainer, Grist and heaps more propaganda out there!

And to top it all off you must watch this clip of Bangladeshi girls from the streets in a refuge centre and I think this will make your heart sing showing that the best things in life are not things. http://vimeo.com/m/40064516

Big hugs from a tired, simple but very fulfilled man in this evening…

This is my enjoying walking but not quite working out how to use the camera face! Got the LBL shirt and yellow arm socks cranking as well...

I’ve Won the Lottery – everyday that is…

Why would you want to win the lottery…?

It has taken a while but I’m sure in the past 11 years I know that my happiness, well-being and security is not bound or bolstered with false hope and fortune on something as ridiculous as winning the lottery.

I fell like I have won the lottery everyday and in actual fact I have. Had I been born into absolute poverty, conflict, neglect or any of these hardships I might have been able to do the things I have chosen to do, certainly not travel the way I have and do.

‘But if I win the lottery you could help so many people…!’ Well help people anyway. You don’t have to wait till you have made your fortune before you can start to give something back to others. There is a huge amount of joy in both giving and receiving. In my experience the more you give the more you get back from the gift of giving (self-fulfilment here folks not things and money).

My theory is, live life like you have won the lottery but not dependent on ‘happy’ items and events. As the bumper sticker says ‘I want to want less’ and the less you want the more fulfilled you can be and then winning the lottery doesn’t become all that wonderful, important or necessary anymore.

To tie this back into my adventures for next month (cycling 1000 miles in North America Living Below the Line – eating on less than US$1.50/day) I know that I will have the choice of rice, oats, beans, lentils and little else but I also know I will learn to live and appreciate all of these things because it is what I will have access to. This is what people in extreme poverty also have to do but the difference is they will never have the opportunity to want because they still have needs that aren’t being serviced…

Really can’t wait for the big jump I will make along my spectrum of simplicity, learning and appreciating more from less – it is gong to be a hell of a Live Below the Line for me.

I can’t advocate or encourage enough for everyone to sign up for Live Below the Line (May 7-11). You will get: a great appreciation of how people live in extreme poverty and more than that

  • how happy you can be with less (not glorifying poverty here just showing how far beyond need we have grown),
  • the clarity of simplicity and sense of time it provides,
  • the amazing conversations you will start and
  • the inspiration you will give to others…

If it is not your bag, no worries as I am not here to tell anyone what to do but I think it is one of the best campaigns, challenges, learning experiences and reflections I have had in a developed country…

And if it is still not your bag, how bout donating to the cause to see those living in extreme poverty to live with access and opportunity so they don’t have to decide over hunger or education for their children – https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/lunnylbtl

Save your money on lottery tickets and put it into choosing your fortune without needing luck or a million dollars or sponsor me on my ride!

xx

What more could anyone want or need, especially the freedom!