I was born in Goshen, Indiana to parents Eric Helmuth and Angela Gingerich — they divorced when I was pre-conscious and since 1995 I’ve been privileged to call Tonia Helmuth my second mother, by dint of her marriage to my father. I’ve been raised by a whole host of people, from parents and extended family to babysitters-turned-surrogate-parents. I suspect that the sheer variety of influences in my parentage have made me the varied person that I am today, in both my strength and my weakness.
I’m a Goshen College religious studies major on a one year break until May of 2013, when our trip begins. At that point I will officially cease to be a student at Goshen, and instead be a cyclist for a time.
I’m coming on this trip for several reasons. I look forward very much to getting to know even better my already good friends Michael, Levi, and Abe. I’m very excited to learn about South/Central America and Mexico as we move slowly through them. I’m excited to learn about sustainability during our one month stint at Hacienda Ilito in Ecuador. I’m excited to be “on the edge,” if you will — to be doing something out of the ordinary. These things give me life.
(I suspect also that I should say something about cycling: to me cycling is more of a means to an end than it is a passion of its own. I appreciate many of the side-effects of cycling as a mode of transport: sustainable, healthy, and conscious living. These are enough to make cycling a passion of sorts.)
While I’m looking forward very much to going on this trip, I’ll own right now that I’m going to miss my family, my friends, and my girlfriend Talia Sheets very much. I hope in the process of this unique homecoming to learn a new way of being: one that can balance a firm commitment to place with a passion for exploring new horizons.
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