Today is day 19 of our ride and we crossed state lines into California!!!! I never thought I’d bike more than 3 miles let alone 3 states. Tomorrow we will be 700 miles into our 1,700 mile journey. I am so proud of how far we have come and how much we have learned in such a short time. We are getting stronger and more confident every day on our bikes and learning more about how trafficking affects the communities we are riding through.
During our ride today we encountered two trafficking survivors who shared their stories with us. After dinner tonight we were marveling at how crazy it is that fate or divine intervention placed us in the same place at the same time. But then one of my teammates pointed out that maybe it’s not that crazy we met two survivors, trafficking is just that common. I have heard stories that seem unfathomable to me in the context of my experiences.
The survivors we met today both emphasized to us the reality that trafficking can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or appearance. A fact that is easy to hear and digest, but hard to fully understand until it’s met with a name and a story. Like most facts or statistics we learn and share most people will agree that trafficking is a problem.
I hope our ride inspires others in our communities to not only acknowledge sex trafficking as a part of our community but also choose to act. My teammates and I had the privilege to choose to go on this ride in honor of people who are unable to make choices in their everyday life. I have already been blown away at how my community has come along side me to learn and give. I hope with knowledge comes action and ultimately change within our systems and communities.
Here’s to one more state, 1,000 miles, and many conversations to go! Until all are free.