Are we truly free? Think about it for a bit. A word that means so much to Americans, but are we truly free?
In a lot of ways we are free, in this country we have a lot more freedom than anywhere else on the planet. How many other countries people get to choose their leaders every 4 years? The sad part is most don't take advantage of our unique opportunity to clean house. But I'm not going to go there with this post, this is about freedom.
Don't believe me about Americans having so much freedom? Try living in a foreign country for an extended period of time. Sorry folks Canada doesn't count. Don't take that wrong, Canada is a great country, one of our greatest allies. Our brothers to the north have it together, they know freedom, things may be a little different up there, but they still have more freedoms than most of the rest of the world.
I'm talking about a developing nation, third world country, whatever you want to call them. I don't mean a week or 2 vacation either, I'm talking in years. I lived in Seoul, Korea for 3 years. Yup, they're a democracy, but they got a ways to go before their people have the freedom we do. I was there for their 1st democratic election, talk about an event! That was a long time ago, but to give you an idea of what it was like, here's an example. There were military checkpoint scattered throughout the country, quite frequently to be honest. They would stop cars, buses, trucks, whatever they wanted, at random, searching for North Korean spies and infiltrators. These guys were locked and loaded with automatic weapons, you did not mess with them. 99% of the time they would look folks over and they would leave, they never hassled anyone needlessly. But every once in a while they would take someone into custody. This was a daily part of life for the South Korean people, they lived with it, they didn't protest, they knew the danger of spies was/is a real and constant threat. Freedom? Most Americans have no clue because a lot never leave their home state.
Let's look at freedom differently. Ask a sky diver why they do it, ask a hang glider, ask a rock climber, ask a pilot, ask a biker, and you'll get a whole range of answers, but the one common statement I bet you'd get from all of them is "Freedom". I know that's one of the reasons I ride. No worries, just you, your machine, and the wind, free as a bird.
It is said "a man who lives his life without regrets is free". I would agree. I have one. Fortunately, I can change that. Years ago, when I was in the Army, one of my buddies that also rode made a plan. We were scheduled to get out at the same time and as a lot of Army buddies do we were making some grand plans. Our plan was to get out and take a month off from life and just ride around the U.S.A., no real route, a tarp and a sleeping bag and just ride. Well, the needs of the Army changed, we got sent to different units and places and lost touch with each other. I never did run across him again, that was before the internet and the age of instant everything. That was 26 years ago. I still have never heard from him or been able to find him. I hope life was good to him. I regret never having made that ride. It's not too late. The ride will happen, it may not be for a year or so, but it will happen. I'd love nothing more than to pick up tomorrow and head out on an adventure like that, but I have commitments that I will honor. I will however begin as of now preparing for that ride. Not really planning the ride, but fulfilling obligations and commitments so I can make the ride a reality. There are 3 others that in my mind have to go with me, I hope they say yes.
Live Free....Ride Free