OWL Interview with Zack from "I'm on a Bike"

Hola, Michelle here.  A long-time family friend, Zack Skerritt, is gracing our blog community with answers to some questions coming from our OWL peeps.  You may have noticed the link to Zach's website on the right hand side.  It's a pretty cool documentation of his adventures.  Check it out (www.zackskerritt.com) and enjoy this interview.  :)

What made you want to get on a bike and do what you're doing with your life right now?
The trip I am on at the moment was actually a last minute idea, and perhaps it´s spontaneity says more about the personal motivations behind it than anything else does.

When I left Australia, the only plan I had was to ¨travel around South America¨but first I was going to go to the US to visit and spend time with my sister in Southern California. Whilst visiting her, she and I went on a bit of a road trip and we were able to meet up with an old friend of mine (from my time living in China) who now lives near San Francisco. Over a couple of beers we caught up with each others´ lives and I informed him that I was going to be heading down to South America in the next month or so, that I had no plan yet as to where I would start, and that there was a good possibility that I would end up living somewhere down there at the end of my travels. ¨Great!¨he told me, ¨If you do end up living down there let me know where you are at. I´m actually thinking about riding a bicycle down there next year.¨

*Click* That sentence stuck in my head. It struck me as a very good idea. I mulled over it for the next few weeks, and then - once the decision was made - it took me less than two weeks to find a bike, fit it out for a long-distance tour, and hit the road.

That’s the way the trip actually came to be, but the motivation for hopping on a bicycle was actually far more deeply set in the desire to have a genuine adventure. I had travelled extensively (45+ countries on 5 continents) before this trip, and when you travel a lot you become obsessed with getting off the beaten path and finding more unique, more meaningful, experiences. These days it’s a crowded world filled with lots of adventurous people, so to break away from the pack you need to do something a bit more extreme. For years I had been trying to arrange a more adventurous trip - from a scooter trip from Hong Kong to Tibet to a sailing trip from Thailand to Turkey - but life tends to often get in the way of big plans so when an opportunity presents itself you need to be ready and willing to grab at it. After all, we only live once.

Can you tell us what was your transition like going into being able to bike "around the world" so to speak?
For me the transition was one that developed from years of travel experience, and years of scheming up big adventures. Travel is not just about exploring the far-flung corners of world, it is just as much about exploring the far-flung corners within yourself. It is about breaking out of your comfort zone and breaking past personal fears and self-construed personal boundaries. Hopping on a bicycle to travel through what are generally perceived to be “dangerous” countries like Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Colombia is in many ways a matter of faith. Faith in yourself, and faith in humanity.

If you could go back to yourself 5 years ago and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t worry about life getting ahead of you or about “falling behind”. Many of us come out of high-school or university feeling obliged to participate in this race toward societal success. In reality, there is no race and there is no finish line. Run on your own and enjoy the moment, because your life, your real life, is happening right now.

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

Project OWL Update - Exciting Evolutions

Hi, Michelle here.  Well, first I just want to say that I'll be submitting a story to SUCCESS Magazine about how the OWL project has been using the Success for Teens book.  We've given away nearly 50 copies of this great book and it has become one of the cornerstones of the Secret OWL Society along with SUCCESS Magazine itself.  Who knows?  They might publish our story!  I'll let you know when that happens.

Speaking of SUCCESS Magazine, I feel that we've reached a point in this project where I want to encourage everybody to subscribe to this great magazine or at least check out a copy at Bestseller Bookstore here on Guam (they just started carrying them).  It's only $35 for a year's subscription and every monthly magazine comes with a free (but priceless) CD that practically drips with golden, useful information from people who practice what they preach from health to finances to business to going against the grain.  It's great to share with your family as well.

Why do I encourage you to subscribe?  Because our OWL workshops are going to be centered around the monthly magazine.  We meet once a month and we've gone through evolutions of how we take in the information.  With everyone reading and listening to the same information coming out of SUCCESS magazine month after month, not only will we have something common to talk about and thereby be able to create more conversation and personal breakthroughs, each person will be able to keep that personal growth/self-motivation ball rolling for the other 29 days of the month when we're not actually together doing a workshop.  And that's where it counts.  The workshops are just the icing on the cake - being able to share and support, but having the information flowing into your brain when you're out in the trenches working on your dreams is the real need.  And a subscription to SUCCESS magazine definitely fulfills that need.

I'm on my second year with SUCCESS magazine.  I don't think this OWL project would still be here if it weren't for the inspiration and information I've received month after month this past year, not to mention a lot of other things I've achieved along the way.  Even if you never come to a workshop, please subscribe.  It will change you.  And as Jim Rohn says, "For things to change, you have to change.  For things to get better, you have to get better."  Go here: www.success.com
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