Could a road rally change the world?
Every little bit of experience has the capacity to transform us...and not JUST us, but those connected to us. So, I've recently decided that if the world had more road rallies, maybe we might all have a better idea of how to get along. This summer, my kids and a girlfriend are on a crazy 10,000 mile road trip called the Mongol Rally, which takes them through about 15 countries, beginning in London and ending in Ulan Ude, Russia just over the border of Mongolia. And because of their globe trotting journey in a clown car with farcically small tires, my knowledge of some of the folks who share the planet with us has been upgraded.
I'm pretty sure our family has more creative artist genes than auto mechanic genes. So I was pleased when the guys hit up Amazon for a Dummies book on car repair and a tool kit, just in case. A week before joining the starting lineup along with the other 349 vehicles filled with future friends, the three of them took a few days in London to embellish their newly purchased tiny blue car with a bit of extra creative flair. They named her Blue Anu, which is the name of Miss Mongolia in 2015. At only 1000cc's, she is not mighty, but she is beautiful.
Since then, they have added over 5 thousand miles, what might be a donkey skull (?) on the front bumper (from a field where they camped), and a LOT of signatures from local supporters cheering them on whenever they come cruising into their small villages and big cities.
Last week, my 30 something year old baby bears joined a convoy of other determined adventurers to make the passage through Iran. I, Mama Bear, admit that I was more than a tiny bit apprehensive, so my call went out asking for extra travel angels to hitch along on their behalf. Facebook can't be used there, and sometimes wifi connection was impossible. So for 5 days, their dad and I received almost no information from them.
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo F. Buscaglia
Of course, the only thing we Americans ever hear from this part of the world is the worst of the worst news. So whenever worry crept in, I was determined to replace it with visions of lovely Iranian families eating breakfast with their families, going off to work, shopping in markets with smiles and laughter, and reading bedtime stories to their kids. After all, not everyone living there could possibly be the troublemaking versions that our hyperactive media constantly feeds us.
Sharing the following excerpt from my son's email seems important to me tonight, because I want as many people as possible to hear better news about the other folks who live in Iran...the folks not so very much different from us. The stories of the special souls who have showed up to help my boys along the way make me feel so incredibly grateful and happy about the world.
I hope this one inspires some good feelings for ya'll as well:
"Iran was an amazing country"
"Iran was an amazing country and maybe some of the nicest people we have met so far. Everyone was so willing to help and never asked for anything in return. Example: we were trying to change some money on Friday. Banks were closed and there were no hotels in the town we were driving through. We didn't need much, just some cash for food and gas.
One lady had us follow her to 3 places, asking people along the way and then offered us bread and yogurt, since we couldn't find anyone. A young man soon came up on a bike to practice English speaking, and then he asked people where we could change money. He told us to follow him. He pedaled so hard for a good half mile, while we followed in our car to a market where a guy changed money for us. He shook my hand and smiled, then biked away. All the while, the lady followed us as well, making sure we were ok and that we got our money and food. It was quite the show of humans being kind to one another.
The country is beautiful as well, and not at all what I was expecting. It's a shame the image of their country is so smeared by politics and media. We were all extremely happy that we got to experience it though."
Thanks Brothers Be Trippin crew for sharing your adventures along the way and for showing us a better version of our world.