Back in June I wrote about Daeung Sunim, a Korean Buddhist monk who set out to ride his bike across Canada, the US and down across South America. He’s made it across Canada, and met lots of people and had great hosts, and had what looks like they could have been very odd “you must like this cause you’re Asian” moments, but it all seemed to come from a really good place of being open, gracious and friendly to a stranger with a good heart.
He blogs when he can, sharing pictures of his trip. His first Canadian friend, Dave Pope, who has devoted himself to helping Sunim make his journey safely, has found some help in translating some of his blog posts. All in all, it’s been a really interesting story to follow, as more and more people came together to help Sunim, and as the people speaking for him became more educated about his sect of Buddhism, his voice, and how much being a part of the journey would mean to other people. I like the “Host’s Blog” section of his website where people who put Sunim up for a day or two, share their experiences.
So now Sunim is on US soil. My hope is that the US bike/Buddhist/travelers community can do as good a job as its Northern neighbors in keeping Sunim safe along the way. He’s biking from Perry, Maine to San Diego, CA and will need support along the way. I can’t wait to hear about his impressions of the parts of the US he’ll be pedaling across. He’s avoiding most big cities, so I can imagine it’ll feel a lot like being in Canada – white people, trees, and truck stops.
There are lots of ways to get involved in Sunim’s ride, even if you aren’t located near his route, or able to provide financial support. Spread the word, and follow along on his journey and maybe some magic will happen!