Long term bike trips... HOW do you do it? (time/work/career)

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by MaxF, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. MaxF

    MaxF Zee German

    Oct 10, 2006
    Maybe this has been covered before but I couldn't find a comprehensive thread with a quick search...

    My BIG question: How the hell do you guys manage to do multi-week or even multi-month (let alone RTW) trips?

    Not talking about the financial aspects here but rather how do you get the time off work/ how does it affect your "career" in any way? Do you take vacation time? Do you take "time off work" and pick up where you left once you return? Do you use time between jobs for travel? Without being indiscreet I'd be interested what you do and how you get the time to do those trips :ear

    I'm incredibly envious when I read the ride reports. But for me, getting two consecutive weeks vacation time would be a luxury (and even that would include constant pestering via BB). The only possibility I see is quitting my job and starting over at another firm once I return which would be a step back career-wise. It really sucks, I'm in my late 20s and feel like I have wasted my "best years" as a corporate slave. That can't be right...
  2. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cedar City, Utah
    No doubt you'll find a little of everything/one here.

    Retired twice
    Retired couples
    Genuine vagabonds
    and some who work seasonally adjusted modes

    My guess is the guys/girls you need to really talk to won't be found on ADVRider. A minority of the type you seek post anything here because... they're out exploring.

    Standby. You'll likely be ribbed for that one.
    I'll start: Pullllleeeeze. You're a pup.

    To answer your question: I retired @ 47 so I could enjoy my "best years" in weekly or monthly or whatever increments.
  3. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Jan 29, 2002
    out and about
    Why do you think later years will be less than best? How do you see them degrading?
  4. John933

    John933 GSX 1400

    Jul 2, 2009
    King's Lynn, Norfolk
    I do two trip's a year. Of the type you are talking about. How do I do it? Well first off I'm retired. Second I live on my own and have a nice lady friend who looks after my house and cat's while I'm away. So that's the time sorted out. So I suppose it's the money. I have an allotment so I grow a lot of my own food. I have a wood burner. And I get a lot of my wood in palates. Which I cut up and store to heat my place up. I collect rain water and re use that after being filtered, Washing and toilet. The only main water I use is in cooking and drinking. I fix most of the stuff broken. Don't believe in the bin it and buy new. I do all my servicing on both my bike's and my car. So what do I have to pay. Local tax's, electric, and a few other bit's and piece's. As my house is paid for I don't have a mortgage or pay rent. So all the money that come in the fount door is my own. I have more coming in than I need, So I can save quite a bit. That is used to go on the trip's of a month or more. You can rent a small self catering place for two week's for less than it will cost to camp in different site's each day. So make you way to where you want to go. Rent a place stay two week's and then ride back. This way a lot of what you need to pay out, you can settle in the UK. I.E. Crossing ticket. Accommodation paid up front. So all you are looking for is food and petrol. If there is two of you a lot of the coat can be shared. so that's half as much.
    Hope that helps.
  5. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Dec 24, 2006
    Next to Rio Bravo
    You are so right MaxF, there's really nothing else anyone in their late 20s to live for, unless you just enjoy paying taxes.

    If you are earning an income & can plan a little bit, then sit down & study a few maps. You just might start to enjoy that. Save money for your goal.

    Figure out what in the world, you want to see first....the rest can wait.

    I have found that I should have done these things when I was in my late 20s.

    Traveling will help you to better enjoy your real life & may open career doors along the way.

    Good luck, you old timer
    DaMonk45 likes this.
  6. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

    Jun 28, 2007
    get forced into medical retirement :rofl

    although I am getting bored of just riding around and waiting for Montana to thaw out :D
  7. MaxF

    MaxF Zee German

    Oct 10, 2006
    Thanks for the input so far! Interesting to see where everybody's coming from and yeah, I did forget about the retirees when writing the intial post (although bear in mind, where I'm from retiring before your mid 60s is rather unusual and I don't know if I'd be fit enough to ride a bike by then)...

    Point taken :rofl didn't mean anything by it.
    But I do believe there are certain opportunities you only have once in life (like going on that big road trip right after college/ university... yeah, missed that opportunity). Right now I have no family to take care of, no other big responsibilities and have been putting off a little "adventure" most of my life so now seems to be the perfect time. Except I can't figure out how to combine that with my job.

    DIRTDUC Banned

    May 2, 2008
    Ft Lauderdale Florida
    Jobs come and go...your adventures will stay with you forever, do some bartending courses..learn enough of a different language to get by in whatever place you are in...you would be surprised how easy it is to get part time work that pays enough to let you stay somewhere and save enough to move on again, especially when you have an outgoing personality and eager worker with a pleasant disposition.....besides, stay a while and get to know the culture and place you are in...stay away from touristy places..everyone goes there and prices are too high, take a bartending course or waitering..especially easy if you are outgoing and friendly, and an accent does wonders for you...if you are relatively handy and not afraid of trying new things you will be surprised how easy work is to find...I left home over 20 years ago on a working holiday and now am about to get back on the travel road at the horrendously old age of 46...not sure what I will do about taking my walking frame with me on the bike...Do yourself a favour and say screw it...sell everything and just get on the road...you won't regret it..
  9. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

    Nov 16, 2007
    Branson MO
    You'll get enough shizz so I won't add to the heap, maybe.

    If someone in their 20's has the jack and time to adventure more power to them, but dispel the notion you seem to have that adventure is on a long road, takes tons of time, and lots of money.

    ADV is a view of your life as it stands today. Have a fuckin' adventure this weekend, take it off from your current bad attitude of what you haven't done. Later when you are older you will realize that living life each minute is the only adventure you will ever have, and you were just too stupid to enjoy it as it went buy.

    Start the bike. Ride.
    pumkinrider likes this.
  10. BlairBear

    BlairBear Been here awhile

    Apr 18, 2009
    I'm 53 now, semi retired! Not by my choice! I have worked for several fortune 500 companys. A couple of years ago I was forced to resign for doing the right thing, (put someone in bad light) it could have been really bad! It was easy to quite the sqeeky wheel rather than doing the right thing. THAT REALLY WOKE ME UP! I've worked all my life ,NEVER missed more days than you can count on one hand. What did I get for it! YOU ARE JUST A NUMBER AND THAT IS IT! I just started to think of all of the things I wanted/hoped to do. I never did any of them, (had to work, things at home, ect). Things were tight for awhile, then setted down. At 50 I took a small 1 week trip, when I looked up an old friend. She was telling me she got into bicycling, and she had planned a 500 mile trip when she turned 50. Man that got me thinking! What have I done! Within 3 months I was in Deadhorse AK on a 28 day 14k mile trip. I never looked back! I take at least 2 2week+ trips a year now. I camp most of the time. And several shorter in between. I always send my brother/nephew a copy of the photos I take to rub it in more than anything. I know it kills him. When I get to get home I always ask when is he going to go with me. He always says the same thing you do. I only get 2 weeks off. Then I ask him if he is going to wait till he retires and is to old to do it. That leaves him speechless and hangs his head. I know everyone has to work to make a living, but someday you need to look at yourself. I DID! I AM GLAD I WOKE UP!
  11. traindriver

    traindriver Adventurer

    Jan 19, 2011
    Carl Junction M.O.
    I'am 53 and have worked for the same company 30 years. I get 5 weeks vacation a year. my first wife didn't understand. second one does. when summer comes. I say I love you honey I'll see you in 5 weeks. Most trips arent planed just a destination. I camp almost every night to save money. Ride a cheap bike klr. I use my work time for day dreaming and planning my next destination.
  12. dukedinner

    dukedinner Been here awhile

    Jan 8, 2007
    Northern B.C.
    If you can't do really long term trips, compromise and do more short ones until you can. You can see a lot on simple four-day Friday/Sat/Sun/Mon type trips. I do several 7-10 day trips a year..last year finally did an 18 day one but only after many years of shorter travels. Some of my best adventures have been on the shorter trips closer to home...I always meet riders who have come half-way across the country to ride the areas I live in!!
  13. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Nov 11, 2005
    Gold Coast
    My father died and a good friend died within a couple of weeks - loads of long service leave - for some reason the 1-2 hit me quite hard.

    Wife kicked me out of the house and told me not to come back until I wasn't "Mr Grumpy" any more.

    Normally I wouldn't have taken 2 weeks and disappeared on the bike - but it was a good call - did me good, did my family good and probably worked out well for my employer as well (last on my list of priorities I'll admit).

  14. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

    Jun 4, 2010
    Abbotsford British Columbia Canada

    I think its a great idea, there should be a section dedicated to it.

    Honestly, I don't care, you don't have to donate, you don't have to read it.

    The internet is full of inapropriateness, simply asking for money isn't the worst thing out there.
  15. Toolpen

    Toolpen Been here awhile

    Apr 22, 2010
    As usual on this site, great questions and comments.

    For me, self-employment, a very understanding wife and a commitment from the both of us to live below our means. Small house, old cars, etc. And remember that advertising is a science designed to sell you things you don't need.

    Check out the book "Vagabonding" by Rolf Potts.
  16. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

    Jul 9, 2009
    Team Canoodia
    I have a very understanding spouse. This year will mark the 4th year in a row that I get an extended bike trip.

    I'm secure in my employment, get up to 5 weeks off per year (3 Weeks Vaca, and usually a couple of weeks Lieu time) and make a good salary.

    My wife understands my need for Adrenaline and Adventure. I left my position as a Full-Time Paramedic and don't get the excitement I used to. I just have to balance my trip time with her work schedule and her vacation requests.

    I usually come home happier than when I left and I'm much more pleasant to be around. Its also good to spend some time apart....

    I hope to retire in another 15 or so years and be able to get a lot more time exploring... (I'm 36 now)
  17. Trayvessio

    Trayvessio Super Strom Trooper

    Dec 6, 2010
    Seattle, PNWet
    When I got my first bike, a well-used 2000 Aprilia Pegaso in October, I would jump on it at the slightest opportunity and just go ride wherever. I would try and leave work early and just head in a direction. I would often get lost and have to re-trace my steps to get home. When I stopped to turn around, I would make a note of some landmark so I could look up where I went on Google Maps when I got home. These were all day trips, and often only for a couple of hours because that's what I had in between work and other responsibilities.

    I'm getting ready to leave my job and travel for a much longer period because it just made sense to do so at this point. If I hadn't been stuck in a dead-end job, I would have stayed and found some way to do both, but as it happened I will have the chance to travel for a significant period of time, money permitting.

    An adventure doesn't have to be a RTW trip or even an overnighter - like someone said previously, start your bike and ride.
  18. mtncrawler

    mtncrawler Long timer

    May 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    I constantly churn on this question. I have been in the same profession (or at least manufacturing trades/tech/engineering at different times), but I've never managed to stay with one employer long enough to break the 3 week vacation time barrier - sometimes by choice, life circumstances or company failing - it's just worked out that way.

    In 2003, I decided I had had enough. Wasn't married, no kids, a little savings and I wanted to travel. First time I quit a job in my life, without a new job to walk into. It was great. I figured I had enough skills - from trades to engineering - to land on my feet. I was 43. I spent next year traveling - not just on motorcycle. After that I spent a year working for myself, through a friend, doing some CAD work (architectural). When that dried up, I landed the job I currently have - back to the cube in engineering. It's been 5 years now and I'm ready for my next move.:evil

    My take is this; if you have the time and the means, take the time. Especially in your 20's. You have the rest of your life to have a career. You may find that having a "career" is nice, but it's not like that, in and of itself, determines success or happiness. Especially in todays age of turnover, I wouldn't worry too much about not having longevity at any one workplace on my resume.
  19. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

    Jul 18, 2006
    Fort Whine Indiana
    If I had the money, several friends on this site would never need to work again.

    Sunday I gave a couple bucks to a homeless man. Why? Because it was about 5 below and both him and his dog were hungry. Would he waste it on beer? I don't care, I gave him the opportunity to chose.

    People will waste money to make some rich preacher richer. Does the 700 Club really need another commercial sponsor? Does the Pope really need another gold crucifix?
  20. Toolpen

    Toolpen Been here awhile

    Apr 22, 2010