The road less traveled

Motorcycle adventure through Europe. Sales and the Art of Asking: Adventures from the Road Less Traveled

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to adventure. 23 years ago this summer, I headed out on an adventure that would inevitably and irrevocably impact the course of my life. I traded the security of a life I knew, the prospect of marrying a predictable, good man and a stable future, and I chose instead the uncertainty of the road less traveled.  

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

After having looked down the predictable path as far as I could see, until it bent out of sight and I had no reason to believe it would change much, I chose the other road. The choice was a no-brainer to me at the time. I chose to follow my heart, to leave my native Norway and pursue a dream of seeing the world and of studying in the US.

And, I never looked back…

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

When I left Norway, bright-eyed and optimistic as only a 21-year old can be, I sought adventure, and adventure is what I found.

My life hasn’t followed the predictable and traditional path; that wasn’t what I wanted, and it isn’t what I got. My road has been full of twists and turns, bends and hills and hollows, and it has been oh, so scenic and interesting and rewarding in its own way. For me, life has always been more about the journey, and less about the destination. 

“Oh, I kept the first for another day!” 

And, guess what… it is time to head back out on another adventure — back to the beginning. Back to where I came from, to my home town of Oslo, Norway.

During the next 6 months, my partner in life, Maciek, (known to many as Mike), who is a professor at Montana State University, will be on sabbatical for the fall semester, and I am in the fortunate position of being able to do my work from anywhere that has good wifi — and so, over the past year, we’ve been dreaming about the possibilities for this trip. Now, it is finally here. 

What a ride it will be…

So far, the plan is as follows:

On June 16th, 2019 we take off. The first leg of the trip is comprised of four days in Paris, where Mike will be attending an academic conference, and I will be busy… ehm… eating baguettes and cheese and croissants, drinking wine, while bumming around the City of Lights (at least, that’s how I imagine life in Paris)… oh well, somebody’s got to do it.

While in Paris, I plan to make a pretty dramatic change in my life. Want to know what it is?!

Well, you’ll just have to follow this blog to find out 🙂 

From Paris, we fly into Oslo to drop off luggage, say “hi” and “see you later” to family, before boarding a plane to Warsaw with only our weekend bags. 

In Poland, we will pick up what will be our only vehicle for the next several months: a 2006 Ducati Multistrada 1000 DS. For someone who has only spent maybe 30 min at a time on the back on a motorcycle, this will be a new experience for sure, as we head out on a multi-day trek through Poland and the east coast of Sweden, before making our way back to Oslo. 

First, we will spend about a week or so in Warsaw, getting familiar with the bike and visiting with Mike’s grandpa, Jerzy. From there, we will ride west and north through parts of Poland. From Poland’s north shore, we will take a ferry over to the south of Sweden, where we will continue to ride north along Sweden’s scenic east coast. 

On the ride north, we plan to stop at a couple coastal towns, and if the timing works out, we will make a pit stop on the island of Gotland, where my sister and her family are vacationing. From there, the plan is to head on up to Uppsala via Stockholm, to visit family and celebrate birthdays with many of our loved ones.

At some point around the middle of July, we will reach Oslo where we will set up shop for a while, until we head back out on the road for new adventures!

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

Of course, any and all of this is subject to change. We are keeping our plans intentionally open, so as to remain flexible for new adventures that might pop up.

Along the way, I’ll be posting impressions, reflections and lessons from the road in my blog, ‘Sales and the Art of Asking: Adventures from the Road Less Traveled’. 

My goal is to observe human behavior — my own and others’ — while on the road, to glean as much insight as possible into attitudes, actions and accountability when it comes service and sales in other cultures.  

Want to come with me?!

I would of course love for you to come visit while we’re over there, so let me know if you plan to be in the neighborhood! If you are not able to travel with me physically, you can still follow along on my adventure virtually through the travel blog. 

You in on this little science experiment?

I will send my travel reflections directly to your inbox via email.

I am looking forward to having you along for the ride. See you soon!

Hannah


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