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By Trishna Buch
Most people follow a pretty normal lifestyle. They go to
school, get jobs, get married, have children and work until
the day they die. But for other people, due to personal
reasons and circumstances, this typical lifestyle is not
possible to be had. So these people find other means and
methods to live their life. These people are choosing to
live their life in a way that is different from the typical ones
most of us live, but by no means less meaningful.
Johnson Foley is one such individual. Originally from
Carnegie, Oklahoma, Foley is on a journey to visit many
different cities, around the country, on his bike. He told
me that he started his journey a few months ago, when he
heard about the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey
on Houston. “I wanted to come down and help out in any
way I could,” he told me. So Foley gathered up his tent,
camping supplies, bicycle, food and drinks and his dog
Gibbs and started his bike journey to our state. “I started
in Colorado Springs, made my way to Las Vegas, then
went to Santa Fe (New Mexico), Albuquerque, travelled
to the Panhandle of Texas, went to Fort Worth and finally
made my way to Houston.”
While in Houston Foley, who told me he is a carpenter,
painter and dry-waller, had the opportunity to help rebuild
houses damaged during Harvey. “I helped rebuild a
house at Rice University and homes in Bellaire.” He also
spoke highly about the city, stating that he really “enjoyed
visiting the Houston Zoo” and seeing bayous for the first
time because “(he) did not know what bayous were.” After
being in Houston for many weeks and helping out with
the rebuilding process, he travelled down to Galveston,
where he had been for a week. On Friday evening, he
took the ferry from Galveston and started his next journey—
riding his bike to the Appalachian Trail; which is located
in the Eastern United States, between Georgia and
Maine. “This would be the end of my journey with my bike”
Foley told me.
I asked Foley what gave him the inspiration to ride his
bike around these many cities and his told me that, not
only did he gain the inspiration from seeing other people
do it, but that “I needed to do it, to enlighten my soul.” He
told me that when he rides, he will reach about 20 miles
per day. Furthermore, in each city that he stops, he is
able to do odd jobs and sometimes will stop at a beach
or a library to draw or paint or participate in other forms of
artwork. “Art is what helps fund my journey,” he told me.
He also told me about one of the jobs he did, in which he
helped a retired fire captain in Galveston.
The next goal for Foley—who is Native American and
of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma—is to reach the Appalachian
Trail by the end of March and then, hopefully, have
the funds and ability to travel around Canada. Foley told
me that he has seen a lot on his journey, more than one
would see behind the window of a car, and has met many
amazing people. He spoke about the strength and resilience
of people in and around the Houston area, who were
so terribly affected by the hurricane, and the strength in
people to rebuild their homes and lives after the storm. “I
just want to say, God Bless Everyone,” Foley told me.
Johnson Foley is living proof that you don’t have to follow
a typical and expected lifestyle to be happy. You can
follow your inspirations and chase your dreams. Foley
is proof that anything is possible, and the only thing you
have to do is allow yourself to go after what you want.
Johnson Foley wanted to ride his bike around the world,
so that’s exactly what he did. And if there is anything you
want to do, but are hesitant about, don’t be so. Take Foley
as an inspiration and go after what you want. It may be
one of the best decisions you made.

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