BERLIN — Feeling worn down by the weight of an exhausting job and inescapable schedule, Dave Gill decided to break away from it all and embark on an 11,000-mile bicycle journey across almost two dozen states and two countries.
Early in his journey Gill came through Berlin and Snow Hill, claiming to have one of the best experiences of his entire trip.
“I love Berlin,” he said. “I’d love to go back.”
Gill spent a day going through the Eastern Shore last Thursday as part of his route down the East Coast, across the south, back up the West Coast, and through parts of Canada. The trip is set to end where it began in New York City.
“I don’t think anyone’s done the loop before,” said Gill.
While Gill’s trip is just beginning, he was adamant that Berlin has been his favorite stop since setting off from New York.
“It’s the best place so far … the people were super friendly,” he said.
Gill called Berlin a “model town” and grabbed a coke at Rayne’s Reef where he began chatting with residents. He admitted that in some places people find his decision to quit his job in television advertising to hit the road very strange but that everyone he spoke to in Berlin was both interested and understanding.
“Wasn’t feeling it today, until I met these guys in Rayne’s Reef, Maryland,” tweeted Gill. “Awesome gang. P.S. first impressions say Maryland is ace.”
According to Gill, he began his journey after realizing that he wasn’t happy stuck in a traditional work routine in a field that didn’t excite him.
“It just became a bit sour for me,” he said.
Feeling adrift, Gill revealed that he made the decision to cycle around America and parts of Canada in the hopes that the places he goes and the people he meets on the trip will help reignite his “spark.” Besides recording miles, Gill hopes to collect stories from people in the places his visits in the belief that new perspectives may help him figure out the direction that he needs to go in his own life.
“None of us want to plod along in life,” said Gill in a statement on his website. “Regardless of circumstance, it’s easy to question it. So this is a journey to meet those who know what they want out of life, or alternatively haven’t a clue, to explore some of those questions.”
Gill will be blogging about the journey on his website and filming the experience. As a former filmmaker, he hopes to turn the trip into a documentary and to possibly write a book about the experience. The route will likely take about 8 months to complete, Gill predicted. He began the trip with no prior training with long distance biking, but so far has surprised himself with how well he’s been able to do.
“I’m surprised at the amount of miles that you can do if you put your mind to it,” Gill said.
His new day-to-day has also been an extreme 180 from the business world he was used to.
“This is very different from that,” he joked.
These days Gill spends many of his nights camped outside or in motel rooms along the route. And everywhere he goes he continues to search out landscapes he hasn’t seen or people he hasn’t spoken to before. So far he’s encountered everyone from mayors to surfers to bridge workers.
“A big part of this trip is meeting the people,” said Gill, who called the coming documentary a “look at people’s lives” and how everyone has a different definition of happy.
For those interested in Dave Gill’s journey, he can be followed on Twitter at @dave_stepmedia or visit his website at www.vaguedirection.com.