Oklahoma to Oregon along the California coast, Oregon forests, Hells Canyon, and beyond...
Click any photo to enlarge.
Unlike many ride reports, this one does not have a particular beginning or any predetermined end. I have no schedule and a shoestring budget. Quite frankly, I ride while I have money, I work when I don't, lather, rinse, repeat. I consider myself to be nomadic, and the only real static "home base" that I have is a mailing address in Phoenix AZ, where my parents live. I'm happy this way, I'm in love with life and I'm more than happy to exchange security and stability to taste more of it.
I apologize now if my style doesn't appeal to some of you, or if you consider me a miscreant in my quest to maximize the amount of time I spend unchained from the workaday world, but I am unapologetic about who I am, and I'll try to be straightforward about what it takes to get me where I end up. If you consider taking extra condiments from a fast food restaurant to be stealing, you should probably pass this one by!
That said, this is my first ride report, and I'm more than happy to have constructive feedback or requests!
Once I catch this up to the current day, I'm going to attempt to keep it somewhat-live - a daunting prospect, but given that I am in no particular hurry, I should be able to get it done. Starting is the hardest part, right?
I've been nomadic off and on for years. I've lived out of a car, or bouncing around between friends' couches. I lived for 6 months in Berkeley, CA to attempt to learn "urban survival", squatting in abandoned houses, dumpster diving and learning how to find everything I needed for cheap or free. I spent a year living in Denmark with some friends from the internet back when I was 18, and I stayed for a month in 2009 in Thailand with a friend who was generous enough to pay for my trip because she wanted the company. I enjoy travel, I crave novelty, I like exploring places I've never been, and I grow as a person with every tip, trick and skill I pick up from a stranger. The day I stop learning is the day they put me in the ground. I've lived behind a computer screen for most of my life; travelling helps me to live in the moment and expand my horizons.
To fund this trip I worked as a Professional Nerd at GoDaddy for about a year and a half. I managed to claw myself up into the ranks of Server Support by the time I was finished there. I managed to put away a decent amount of money - far less than I see budgeted for most trips of this nature - but enough that I knew I was in no risk of running out for at least a year with my cheap cost of living. I also managed to obliterate about $6k in credit card debt, freeing myself of any recurring bills except for insurance.
I sold my car - the source of my debt - for chump change, parted with what I could, and left Phoenix last October. I rode my Honda Rebel 250 from Phoenix up through Cali and to Oregon, then back down to San Jose for a convention in January, and back up to Oregon again. I stayed with a friend of mine, helping him with odd projects such as dismantling cars for scrap, that sort of thing. I hooked up with my boyfriend, Oz, and moved up to the Portland area in February to be with him. He expressed an interest in travelling around with me, but needed to get his finances in order to be able to do so.
I've been riding motorcycles for a little over one year. I've put 7,000+ mostly-touring miles on the little Rebel in that time. I've been interested in dual sporting for years, but I don't know too many other people who ride, let alone who ride dual sports, so I didn't really have a good direction to go, especially as I'd never even been on a dirt bike. I found myself taking the Rebel down forest service trails and many other places that it was Not Designed To Go, as I love camping, and this planted the seed that I may need a more purpose-built bike in the future. Riding the freeways in the Bay Area convinced me that I needed a larger displacement, something that I could use to outrun inattentive drivers if need be. After lurking on ADV for a couple of months, I knew that I wanted a DR650, the only question was how/when to acquire one.
I've always loved motorcycles, but my father forgot to keep the shiny side up in his youth and had a bad crash, so he was insistant that no daughter of his would ever ride. Surprise!