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Old 11-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
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Daniel R.
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Hi bikers, travellers out there.

I thought I offer some entertainment and blog a bit about my trip. I started in Berlin in 2008 and I made it to New Zealand, which took me 2,5 years. I know that's quite slow, but you gotta know I set off without any money. I naively thought I can make the money for traveling along the way by working any job that comes my way. I did work. It wasn't easy, but to my own surprise I managed. But more to this later. Anyways, the working along the way thing slowed me down quite a bit. But it also forced me to immerse myself into foreign cultures and countries all the time. I'm kinda grateful about this, because I might not have done the things that I did, if I could have bought me an easy way out. And often very interesting encounters and experiences came from not being able to walk the easy and obvious path.

I'm currently on a temporary break from my adventure to intensely work on the the movie about the first leg of this adventure, but I will set off to travel from South America to Alaska next year. And who knows, there's always Africa that is waiting to be explored. Here's where I'm at:

Traveling is my passion. It always appeals to me to expose myself to difficult situations. I'm convinced that this will make me grow. Experiences from extensive previous travels have changed the way I see the world today. And I believe that the more of us make first-hand experiences with foreign cultures and beliefs, the better the chances that our world society will become more understanding, tolerant and peaceful. This is also why I share what I have learnt. Oh and yes, I don't think of me as the all-knowing and brave, hardcore traveller. It's not about this. It's about exchanging ideas. Feel free to comment openly.

So here's the story, I'll add some more once a day, or every other day. Uhm, I won't tell the story chronologically, that's boring. Ok, I'll jump right into the middle and start in India, later more about how I started. I entered the huge sub-continent while not having the slightest clue of how to travel any further from there. It seemed like a dead end. China didn't seem possible or affordable –*I met a swiss guy who paid 15.000 USD to get his motorcycle into the country. It's the cost for the mandatory 24h guide, his expenses and all the papers you need. The Chinese gov. wants to know and where you are at all times. That is if you travel with your own vehicle. As a backpacker, it's much easier. Myanmar (Burma) wasn't an option either. It's a country run by the military. You could call it a dictatorship I guess. Anyways, some zones are off limits for travellers. So I would have to fly over those zones myself and have a soldier ride my bike through the jungle and pay for it of course. Also very expensive and … not an option. A 350kg tall bike through the jungle done by a 5 foot Asian guy who probably won't give a sh*t.
So, a dead end really. There are options but I didn't know about any. And it was an uncomfortable feeling not knowing any. Anyways, more later. Gotta run…

Daniel + Josephine(Joey)
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Open-Explorers screwed with this post 09-01-2014 at 02:52 PM
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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I have a feeling you might have a lot of interesting things to say..
and as a low budget traveller I am really interested in how you found jobs etc.
good luck with your trip!!
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:34 AM   #3
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Great start...more please.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:49 PM   #4
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I'm in!
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:23 PM   #5
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Count me in.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:44 PM   #6
out riding...
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:38 AM   #7
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loved your youtube video. Hope to read more here
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:06 AM   #8
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i am really amazed from your adventure....i hope that u will have the best time of your life and enjoy every moment of it...
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:26 AM   #9
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Daniel R.
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Hi you all, hope you had a great weekend. Thanks for your comments. Here the story continues…

Ok, so I made it to India, not really knowing how to continue from there. By then, I had been on the road for over one year and my attitude has changed quite a bit already. So I was kinda groovy about the situation. I haven't always been this easy-going. Well, I'm German – not proud of it, but it says something about me – it tells you how I have grown up in an efficient, success-oriented, always-planning society. Before I went on this trip I would have gone nuts not having a plan or a way out. This is what I was taught growing up; Have a plan and work hard, otherwise you'll not get anywhere. And it was a tough, long and partially stressful transition until I realised: in this world (the adventure travelling world) I cannot plan meticulously in order to get somewhere. Just the opposite seems to be true. I came to the conclusion, that if I plan in advance, I am going to plan twice (at least) And that's frustrating. So I adapted a whole new approach to dealing with problems and challenges that came my way. But more about this later.

I'm just thinking about what key event helped me transform… I guess there must have been countless occasions where my expectations had nothing to do with reality, or in other words with what I really experienced and learned on the ground. Ultimately, this is what changed my point of view. However, a really good example would be traveling through Iran. Which I had done some month before. Just before I was to enter Iran, the elections were going on. The people of Iran were not happy with the outcome. They felt betrayed by the government and hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of every major city. I sat in East Turkey reading online newspaper articles about how the military and police was arresting people by the thousands and occasionally shooting some to death. Journalists reporting about this were arrested and not heard off again. International journalists that were sent out of the country were the lucky ones. And I was facing this mess without an alternative route. I was especially concerned crossing the border since I was traveling with suspicious equipment such as laptop, camera, audio recording device and even a satellite modem… you know stuff I need for making the movie about the adventure. I was very anxious to be seen as some kind of reporter and get in trouble at the border. But my visas were about to expire so I had to go. I packed all my suspicious gear at the bottom of my bags. I hid my satellite modem in the bike, next to the battery, hoping that they would not find it and then approached the border. The next thing that happened was something I didn't expect. First, I was the only one crossing the border at that time. No one else around. I was greeted by the authorities who were very friendly, they helped me park the bike in the shade and offered me some tea on their couch. Then one guy took my passport and documents and ran it through the departments, collecting all necessary stamps. Then we had another cup of tea together and I was send off without anyone even looking at my bike or luggage. That was it! One of the easiest border crossing I ever had. Probably the second easiest one, right after the one of Malaysia. Entering Malaysia was so easy I didn't even have to get off the bike. It was like going through a toll-booth. But I'm getting off track. I spent a great deal of time in Iran, I travelled extensively in that country and I had a fantastic time. Yes the people are very unhappy with the policies of their government, but everyone I met was so hospitable and friendly and open-minded.

Okay I gotta run. Tomorrow more about Iran and how I got out of India. Cheers, Dan
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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Good report, interested in the journey when you get in Malaysia. Following your report.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:14 PM   #11
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Your thoughts about planning reminded me of what Ted Simon was writing in his book. Something along the lines of "it is easy to do things, and much more difficult to contemplate them".

Good stuff! Thanks and keep them coming.

7 times down, 8 times up. Such is life.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:04 AM   #12
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #13
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Daniel R.
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Hi guys. Thanks for the comments. So where was I?

Oh yes, I was trying to find a way to travel further East from India. Apart from what I learnt traveling in Iran, there were many more incidents, encounters and experiences that made me think in a whole new way. Especially travelling in Pakistan taught me a lot. But this is another thrill of a story. So having all the time in the world I contemplated about what I could do while in India until a solution to my dead-end-route problem would present itself.

It was August and really, really hot. It was the time, just before the rain season kicked in. The air in New Delhi was so sticky and heavy it felt like an element that one had to fight through, simply in order to walk a straight line. It was so hot, that I preferred to ride with my helmet-visor closed. Riding at moderate speed, the airflow would not present a relief. Just the opposite, the airflow in my face felt like a hair-dryer at setting 3. If only the rain came. It's not a lot better with the rain, it's even more humid and sticky, but it does cool down a tiny bit. And over 45ºC / 113ºF, every degree counts. Apart from the climate there were other factors, such as the masses of people, the noise, the smell and the filth that made me wanna retreat from the city to a more idyllic place.

I seemed to be right in time to make use of the 4 months time window in which you can ride up to Northern India, Ladakh. Into the himalayas! I was very excited. The other 8 months of the year, the weather is way too unpredictable. I heard of an incident where 600 road construction workers got snowed in, in between two mountain passes and died. Apparently rescue helicopters can't fly at this altitude. So there was a risk to going up there… not only altitude sickness. I heard there are land slides all year round. Anyways I am very glad I went, because it was not only a highlight to go over the worlds highest motor-able mountain pass, but I also found a solution to my dead-end-route problem up there. Yesss, I found a solution to my very mundane, worldly problem amidst the Tibetan monks and Lamas. More later, gotta run now. Ok, this much, the solution came in the form of a big bright-red truck ;)

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Old 11-07-2012, 02:47 PM   #14
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I am very much in for this one!
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #15
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Can't wait for updates. Been to India many times, but Iran and Pakistan stories/ photos will be cool.
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