What is normal?

The most generous people in the world are those with the least. Can you prove me wrong? More about that later, but first…

It’s really hard to put into words the past 6 months since returning from our halfway around the world cycling trip. Steve and I have both started trying to write a blog a dozen times, but we just couldn’t find the words. We have now jumped into what most Americans would consider a “normal” life, and we are trying to make it work.

But this is not normal.

Yes, we do our best to continue living by what made us happy on our trip; we live without a TV, with few additional “things”, without a car. But life here is not normal. Life in San Francisco is not normal. Life in the United States is NOT normal. Don’t get me wrong, we love our life, but we are shocked.

Normal is not seeing advertisements on every surface. Normal is not being unable to help the helpless because there are TOO MANY homeless, mentally ill, those who can’t afford their medication, and those who struggle with the impossible draw of addiction. Next to them drive millionaires in $100,000+ Teslas. This is not normal. Normal were our days camping in back yards, and smiling at strangers, and trying new food. Being welcomed by strong knit communities who take care of not only their own, but also honor the travelers and the transient folks in need who pass by. THAT is normal.

We can make a change; we all can make a change. We are SO incredibly fortunate, you and us; we love our home, and we love our family and friends, and we especially love our country and our state of California. And because of that, we again devote our efforts and (pretty much all of) our free time to train for the AIDS/LifeCycle! This has brought so much meaning to our lives, and we are so happy that many of you have joined us in supporting them in the past. We hope you will support us again.

We train with selfless individuals like Rob, who captivates other volunteer cyclists with his passion and love of life.

You may remember the woman in Bulgaria who offered us a cucumber from her farm, simply because we smiled at her and said “dobyr den”? Remember also the locals and shopkeepers in India and Turkey who stopped us on the road for tea, sweets, and holiday gifts? Remember the Thais who stopped us to give us mangos and water? Remember the Croatians who offered us a place to stay? The average wage in India is $2/day, but in these parts of the world, the people are the most generous we have ever seen.

If you make more than $2/day, you can be generous too. Help us help those in need. You can donate directly to the AIDS/LifeCycle ride here:

Tim: http://tofighthiv.org/goto/timnorman
Steve: http://tofighthiv.org/goto/scarnes19

PS The adventure is calling… More on our next trips soon. Love to you all,

Tim & Steve

One Reply to “What is normal?”

  1. We have had our values scrambled by the media. The media (95%)is owned by 7 major conglomerates.
    Life in the USA hasn’t always been this way…but you have to be old to remember what it once was. Perhaps we will reclaim the values that were so precious to us with the enlightened new generation. I hope for that kind of world again. We still have people doing kind deeds on a daily basis. We have a new breed of young people running for public office. But it takes a while for us old people to cut down on our ‘things’…
    Don’t give up hope. Keep spreading the good news…we need your optimism and youthful energy.
    Thanks for the memories of the trip that sparked lessons of love spread around the world.

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