Why motorcycle travel?

Someone I’d describe as heuristic advised in the planning stages of this trip that if I were to successfully finance my part of this joint motorcycling adventure, I’d have to not be too stupid to be poor.  I interpreted that as living well below rather to my means.  Although most would probably choose their daily Costa coffee, monthly Sky membership, a week in winter on skis followed by a fortnight basking in the sun every annum, and that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the quick wins ensued, my instincts were still inclined towards a more uncertain, nomadic year on two wheels.

As far as making lifestyle choices was concerned, I was never one for overly engaging convention.  Fortunately and more so than me, neither was Jason.  Consciously or not, we’ve always seemed to avoid staying in our comfort zone for too long.  Stepping outside of the safe haven meant that instead of draining what precious little disposable income we did have on materialistic quick wins, we got our kicks in the form of teaching in our local sub-aqua club or camping with friends somewhere rural.  There was never really a more appealing option to us, especially in the face of popping down to the high street every weekend in this season’s colours or upgrading the soft furnishings for the umpteenth time.  Great if you want to flip both sides of the coin but I could only ever afford one or the other and hedonism-induced memories over the latest money-guzzling mobile phone were going to win every time.

Trying to keep a handle on planning an epic motorcycle trip, however, hasn’t always been a cushy ride.  For starters why did I sign up for this?  Like Jason, I guess sometimes I too felt encumbered; enduring the unchanging routine of work, rest and making some imaginative short-lived play before thrown into the repetitive cycle once again.  Is this as good as it gets?  In the hope that it wasn’t, we opted for a small house whose mortgage we could more than afford, eventually selling the house and deciding to rent in a cheaper part of town; ran clapped-out cars, squirrelled away every penny of spare salary, and generated funds from disposing of everything we deemed unimportant – on eBay, to neighbours and at car-boot sales – it’s only when you’ve liquefied most of your assets do you rightly reap the rewards.  It’s very liberating.  The sacrifices made are more than worth it.

In the saddle with your old life neatly stacked inside a few boxes, you’re as free to let your mind wander as your wheels are to roam.  You can manoeuvre into a happier version of yourself: ‘Getting peckish yet – what’s that man by the road selling?’ or ‘Fancy heading that way on the map today?’ are the light-touch thought processes that will get you there.  Society’s binds can no longer shackle you to being someone you’re expected to be, in any facet of your life.  Overland motorcycle travel draws on a newfound freedom that allows you to be in the present moment, as opposed to wishing your life away on Monday morning to Friday afternoon as we sometimes do; not because you dread every waking minute at work but out of choice, where would you rather be and what would you be doing?  Wherever and whatever that is, sharing a liberty to pursue our common interests with Jason and wanting the same thing in the spirit of self-governed adventure, travelling by the same means and wishing to see the same countries – no one can remove the exultation on my soul for which that brings.

Over the next 12-18 months, starting February 2014 we’ll wend our way up the Americas on two wheels from Argentina to Alaska.  We’d like to see as many countries by means of the scenic routes and back-roads where possible, trying our best to stay off the motorways, freeways and highways.  I have no idea when we’ll get to Alaska or what we’ll do when we arrive; I only know that the world is open and calling.  I was brought up exploring the UK, so this for me naturally continued into adulthood.  I’ve been to around forty countries, and on two-wheels, I’ve ridden around the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and South America.  My love of riding remains undiminished, as does my relish for unraveling the trip’s highs and lows in our travelogue (https://twowheelednomad.com), hitting the presentation scene, and above all travelling to amazing destinations and meeting people all around the world.

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