Dad - 6,359 miles, 312 hours
As you begin your journey up to Canada, I've been getting excited for you given all the new places and new people you'll get to meet. Even as my time in Seattle comes to a close and I head off to San Francisco this weekend, I've had the chance to meet some amazing new people in the closing weeks of my stay, and I've come to really enjoy getting to know other people's stories.
Last weekend the creator of a local motorcycle magazine and podcast had me on his show to talk about my trip, and riding in the PNW. It was a great time to sit down and chat with him and his wife in their home studio, and to help them with their goal of inspiring their listeners to get out and ride. I'm not sure if you've had the chance to listen to it, but it still weirds me out to hear my voice. Tom, the creator of the show, also made a few books on riding in western Washington and Oregon which he gifted to me for being on the show. Unfortunately, I won't be able to try any of them out, but I guess that's just more rides to add to the list. We'll have to knock a few of them out some time!
As it turns out, the chair of the board of directors of Treehouse is a Deloitte partner in our advisory practice, so I was able to sit down with him last week as well. We got a chance to talk a bit about my trip and some of the other work Deloitte has been able to do for Treehouse. The board here at Treehouse is something like over 30 individuals, and that doesn't even include their advisory board and their young professionals board. It's great to see so much collaboration between members of the Seattle community who are in both the private and the social sector. Private sector companies have helped Treehouse with everything from data analytics to new A/V upgrades in their office, and a lot (if not all) of the cost can be heavily subsidized by the private companies and their existing relationships. I think this type of pro bono work is really effective and a great benefit to both companies and non-profits, and I hope I can get involved in more of it when I go back to Deloitte.
Shortly after meeting with the board chair, I got an email from another Deloitte colleague. This time it was a member of Treehouse's young professional board looking to introduce himself and talk sabbaticals. As it turns out, he took a sabbatical with Deloitte a couple years back, and get this - the majority of his was spent on a Harley driving through the west too! I couldn't believe it, and was eager to meet him so we settled on a brunch spot and were able to meet just yesterday. As I pulled up to an intersection just a few blocks from the cafe, I gave the right away to another rider on a white pearl Road King. As I turned to follow him, we both stopped at the upcoming light. I figured there couldn't be too many guys riding around in the cold that day, and the fact that he was on the same model as your Harley must have been a sign. So I pulled up my visor to chat, and sure enough it was him.
To say the two of us were kindred spirits would be an understatement. To start, he's from the 'Burgh (South Hills), and started with Deloitte as a technology consultant right out of college. As he moved up the ranks at Deloitte, he started growing his hair out to its current ponytail length, only to be donated next week. Being inspired by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, he and his wife had decided they would take some time off, buy a bike, and travel around the western US back in 2015. As he was set to leave Deloitte, his counselor mentioned the sabbatical opportunity to him and the rest was history.
He spent his time volunteering remotely to coordinate an international student leadership conference in Thailand, and in between working he and his wife made some major trips to many of the exact same places I've been to or will make it to on mine. And in case that wasn't enough, he's got his entire back tattooed as well!
It's funny how much you can come to have in common with someone after taking the time to get to know them, and sharing with them your passions. I'm not sure if I'll ever meet someone quite as similar again, but it was a fun reminder to keep throwing myself out there, and taking more opportunities to meet with new people and hear their stories.
Best of luck up north pops, and have fun meeting new people and sharing your story.