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

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

  1. Revill

    Revill Adventurer

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    It happens to all of us now and then. "Headcount adjustments", I mean. You can work the net and bang on doors for a while, and there's always those posponed home improvement chores to finally attend to. Last time it happened to me I refloored the dining room and put a new roof on the casa. Sitting at home can get expensive that way. A nice long trip is not only a reasonable thing to do, it's a lot cheaper. Why not head to Newfoundland? If someone wants me, they can leave a message and I'll call them back.

    Carpe that diem. You have a limited supply.

    Revill
    #21
  2. BikerBill

    BikerBill Motorcycle Addict

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    I took my first long road trip when I was 26. I was 58 when I took my next one. Don't wait that long. Others have said any bike ride/trip is an adventure no matter the length. They are so right! I work four ten hour days and get three days off every week. A weeks vacation gets me ten full days off. It's amazing just how many places you can visit in ten days.

    I do most of my own maintenance on the bike and camp most of the time I travel to keep costs under control.

    Even a day trip can be a great adventure. No big trips for me last year but I took some really great weekend, overnighters, and daytrips. It was Great!

    When I was 26 I kept the costs down by purchasing a Honda 750 that was about to be repo'd. I gave the owner some cash and paid the note off on a bike that he never really rode. I put 41,000 miles on that bike and sold it for a couple hundred less than I paid for it.

    When I was 57 I shopped for a month or so then one day at the shop I found the bike I have now(or it found me). 20 minutes later I bought it. I have put 81,000 miles on that one and I am a much better person because of it. Just waiting for spring and my first adventure of the year!

    Best regards,

    bill
    #22
  3. RicH2

    RicH2 Ric H2

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    Just my 2 cents.....I'm 57, make six figures, and wondering about the same question you are.....If you asked my advise.....

    You are in the beginning of your real earning years. Earn and save. Accept the fact that two or three one-week trips a year will simply be where you are in life at your age. Save all the money you can so you can retire early (if you're lucky). And, as you get older and move up the ladder in your proffession you'll get more and more weeks of vacation per year. By the time your fourty you should be able to take two weeks off a couple times a year. Better yet, do all this by starting your own business. Be your own boss, but be prepared to work hard to build up a successful business.

    The reason I make this case is: you do not want to get old (70+) and end up with nothing. You do not want to end up in a nursing home living on just social security (if that will even exists by your time). So, have some fun but be prudent and save your money, hit the gym several times a week and eat right to stay in good physical condition.

    Your time will come....

    Your only alternative is to take 6 months to a year off right now and get some of this out of your system so you can go back to work on building that sucessful career. Thats what I did when I was 23.
    #23
  4. bumblebee1

    bumblebee1 All bikes are dirt bikes

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    I'm 48 and planing my first month long trip this summer. I understand where you're coming from. There are things to accumulate in your 20's and 30's that don't seem important later on.

    I remember going fishing with my son and father. The boy was under 16 and fished for free. My father was over 65, on a pension and fished for free. The "working taxpayer" had to pay for his license. That about says it all.

    It takes years to gain enough equity to do these things. You can do them now, but when you're done, it's back to square one with your finances.
    #24
  5. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    :beer

    :thumb
    #25
  6. ktmgeoff

    ktmgeoff Remember it's not a race!

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    There is a slight difference in giving a homeless man and his dog a couple of bucks because they're cold, hungry etc, (good on you by the way) and giving to someone who's having the time of his life travelling.
    #26
  7. Kranked

    Kranked Zen Master

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    I was able to insert a clause in our employment contract stating we could take leave up to a year and return without prejudice. :rofl

    My co-workers thought I was crazy, they didn't understand. I said since we don't receive health insurance from our employer, really we need assurances. My employer thought that was alright because no one could ever afford to be away that long no matter what the reason.

    Although I had something else in mind :evil
    #27
  8. ktmgeoff

    ktmgeoff Remember it's not a race!

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    Of course maybe it's better to do these things now, especially if your single, it's a lot harder when you've a family that needs you and not just for the money you bring home:lol3 It's bad enough when I ride out of the yard for a day trip and look at my dogs sad faces :rofl
    #28
  9. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I'm 52.....was as strong as a bull all my younger life up to about 10 years ago. I was rear ended and suffered 3 herniated discs in my neck that needed repairing. THAT finished my physical life enjoyments in one millisecond! I have a plate in my neck 4 wood screws and 2 more surgeries when they figure I've suffered long enough. Bastards! I haven't worked a steady job un-medicated for longer than a year for that 10 year span. So what I am saying is....you can never count on getting to that golden time with all your health to allow you to do what you have wanted, planed for all your life. I couldn't....until I found adventure touring on my cheap ass KLR...it is the only thing I can do now that doesn't hurt enough to force me to stop that too! I take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month at a time riding to far off destinations before I'm totally done. Yes .....I have a family that is very supportive of me....I earn enough to pay my own way by slowly fixing bikes to pay for the trips and not take from the household funds.
    We were working very well to be able to do what we wanted before this accident hit me....but now.....we have to deal with one salary and cut way down on expenses compared to before.
    IMHO....If you are dying to travel and can afford to do so now.....do it. As long as you have some skills to find work when you return or while on a trip. You haven't the family responsibilities to worry about or to keep you home. It is a huge jump to go from a steady pay check to nothing but what you have in your wallet......think about it...can you deal with that? It's stressful almost as much as having to bring in that money every week.

    I'm lucky too, I have travelled all my life to Europe, USA and around Canada with my family and also on my own starting at the age of 10.....flying to England for the summer on my own.

    I will travel as much as I can until I can't physically cope with the pain any more. Then it will be time for a soft chair and the TV or PC for my golden years remembering what I have seen and places I've been to.

    Which is better? To do it all now...or to wait and do it in your golden years?????

    You tell me?

    I just hope if you choose the golden years, you make it....not like me!:deal
    #29
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  10. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

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    In my experience:

    80% retired/semiretired
    10% techies who can move in and out of contracts and jobs easily
    10% blue collars who can also move in and out of jobs easier, particularly if they work for themselves
    3% margin of error is reserved for standard office jobs that save up their vacation and "work something out"

    This is for the US at least... I do think more people could get extra time off _without pay_, they just don't ask for it. Still, it is sort of depressing when you go to Horizon's Unlimited meeting and the youngest person there is late 40s. (I'm 31)

    IMO, if you don't do it now, it probably won't happen. You will get married, have kids, and you probably will want to spend time with them - not going to Cambodia to dirtbike. Kids grow up, you have college costs, you retire - if you live long enough to retire - and realize that life is expensive and you don't have a regular job income anymore and staying in dingy hostels sharing a bathroom with a dozen dirty 20yo hippies and camping kinda sucks.

    Not to mention that your experiences will be vastly different at that age. Chances are that you will not be in great shape anymore and you won't be taking 3 days off to trek to the top of some cool mountain in Nepal during your ride, or go skinny dipping with some skanky Dutch girls on vacation in Thailand, etc. Instead, you worry about your X medication/condition and how your kid is doing. Age will limit your experiences. Maybe your experience makes you wiser and you appreciate things more, but you will simply miss out on a lot of random stuff and stories.

    The other problem is that the World is Getting Pretty Damn Flat. It is so cheap to fly these days that many places in the World are completely overrun with tourists and that corrupts local cultures. You will go to a lot of places and realize that the only reason why they ride elephants in Thailand or have a silk-weaving village or whatever is to get your tourist dollars and it's not like it was XX years ago when that is what they actually did. Even the poor people in the jungle watch CNN and MTV and it's just not the same and becoming worse and worse each year. In 20-30 years, even fewer authentic places will remain. My personal goal is to check out these cultures and peoples before their identity morphs into a random poor middle America neighborhood.

    I don't know if there is a great solution to to your question, but one option is to do Fly & Rides. Fly out on Friday, spent a week riding, and come back Sunday. It is quite a decent option. You are not wasting time riding to get there, and you can cover quite a bit of ground and see a lot during that week. This is why I started a thread that you may find useful and that I hope more people will contribute to: Where in the world can you find cheap bike rentals?
    #30
  11. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I can relate to this thing that you say about everyone westernizing......not that I'm interested in seeing nakid natives but every time you see a documentary on something now a days they are all wearing what appear to be our hand me downs. Now unless they are given clothes for the shoot and then returned to their way of life to preserve our delicate few who get offended at a nakid native with a bone through their nose .....I don't know. But it seems there are no off the beaten track sort of villages or cultures left any more. Now, I'm not about to ride off to see them but if these far out people, culture wise are wearing western garb and using some technology, what are the places we can reach easily going to look like? Perhaps Disneyland? Where they put on a show for us to see and pay for while they fleece us for cheap trinkets? I was lucky enough to go up to the Arctic when I was young for 10 days, yes still in modern times but many of the locals still used old ways to do and live their lives, many still relied on dog teams to get around and wore their native old style clothing, not store bought crap they seem to wear now. It was a treat to see and experience....something I will never forget. I guess what I'm trying to say is......go soon before everything is westernized and nothing is the way it once was.....like above stated, it will soon be no different than driving through the low income areas in the US or any other non third world country.
    That is if this is what you seek for an adventure.:deal
    #31
  12. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    To date, I've been able to work rides within Europe around a little business but taking a "career break" this summer (three months) to get off the beaten track in Russia, Mongolia and the Stans. I'm self-employed and having to pull some work assignments forward and push one or two back but it's not seeming impossible right now. My only concern would be (and it's a possibility) that a new contract comes along that can only be fulfilled whilst I'm planning to be away. That'd put an "opportunity cost" of lost income on the trip that would make it a real hard decision to go.

    There again, my brother buried his best friend at the end of last year. 48 years old; heart attack! Carpe Diem as they say. You're a long time dead and besides that, I don't want to be sitting in my armchair in twenty years time saying "Gee, I wish I'd ridden my bike a little more"!
    #32
  13. willys

    willys Long timer

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    You're a long time dead and besides that, I don't want to be sitting in my armchair in twenty years time saying "Gee, I wish I'd ridden my bike a little more"!

    EXACTLY!!!!
    #33
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  14. n16ht5

    n16ht5 ride the night

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    I take it back. you're still young, no commitments. get out and ride a year or two. I don't think you will regret it. Work side jobs at bars, restaraunts. You'd be surprised how easy it is to find grunt work. I've never gone a week without being able to find a job paying more than $10us an hour.
    #34
  15. CanadianX

    CanadianX Oh!? That is deep.

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    I think just about everyone can build some flexibility into their lives to free up tme/money to travel go adventuring. Might have to start with looking at flex hours at work or working remotely cutting out your personal latte factor to max your adventure budget. Some decisions will require perhaps some lifestyle adjustments. My wife and I are talking about these things now. I have more vacation time and one thought is for her to change from full time to part time so we can have more time together.

    You have the power to choose but may have factors like family etc to consider or it maybe how much uncertainty you are willing to accept.

    In the near term maybe carving off time that works without making drastic changes might scratche the itch.
    #35
  16. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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    This WAS my plan a long time ago.

    I was 21 years old. Just started trucking and soon the first wife left me.

    I bought a new truck, put anything I wanted to keep in the attic of my parents house (not enough to fill a short bed Chevy) and went to work.

    Within ONE year, Dad and I bought a sailboat in a permanant berth on the Colorado river. I bought a newish Jeep. He paid for the boat, I paid the slip rent and helped out the refurbishment. I took flying lessons in my spare time, kept shopping for a bike to take on the road with me. (drove a moving van, so the bike would be inside)

    Within two years, the truck would have been paid off and I would work no more than 6 months a year. We would move the boat to Mexico. The ultimate plan was to vagabond till Dad retired and we'd do a circumnavigation. (his lifelong dream)

    I fucked up.

    I got remarried.

    When I said "I do", she said "You DID"

    What once involved the same dreams, but now with another partner, turned into a 13 year ordeal of getting rid of a cancerous bitch.

    So fast forward to about 8 years ago.

    New Plan:

    Dad's retired, but Mom's health prevents him from sailing. They spend 6 months a year in camper travelling, so they're good.

    I walk away from a professional career, finally got rid of the batshitcrazy woman and I'm looking at truck driving again for two or three years. No rent, no utilities, every paycheck is 3/4 savings. Enough child support saved, bikes paid for, money to travel for a year or two.

    I fucked up again.

    Married again and bred again. Why? Because life happens.

    Now it's mortgage time all over again, child support again, credit cards, broken down appliances, lawn mowing etc...Life.

    Now my dreams are down to asking the wife if I can take a week alone to go ride.

    The only difference? This wife knows my plans and won't interfere. She has her goals and dreams as well. We plan for both desires.

    You don't need to be rich to travel. If you live within your means, you can save easily. Any job can be walked away from except the military or probably the Space Station.

    If you can't quit your job because of a car payment, sell the car.

    If you can't travel because of your spouse, leave.

    If you can't travel because of child support, work harder and save longer.

    The question is not HOW you do it, but why DON'T you do it?
    #36
  17. willys

    willys Long timer

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    This is exactly why, if he can jump the first hurdle, he should do it now! Before he makes the same mistakes we all make and think with the wrong head as usual! Get organized and set off, maybe not around the world, maybe just around the state, country, continent, come up to the Great White North and see it up here, who knows...maybe you will like it and decide to stay...who knows? Just do it before you wet your whistle so to speak and make a deposit you can't walk away from. Family and kids are great and all but no good what so ever if one is wanting to travel and one is wanting to breed or make a homestead all the time. Because if that is the case you will never get enough money, time, or permission to ride for a week, month, year or a few days.....so think long and hard.....now is the time....use it well.
    Or forever hold your peace.....isn't that what they say as you tie the knot??? Life over as you know it...done....stick a fork in ya, your done!:deal
    #37
  18. dukedinner

    dukedinner Been here awhile

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    Truth is, we guys can't live with them, and we can't live without them. Some of my friends are married and in hell, others are in bliss. So go figure. I have been lucky and have been married to the same gal for 28 years. Two fine sons. Lots of similar interests but we are also both independent and enjoy time apart..so riding by myself or with friends has never been an issue whether its one week, two, or more etc. Look before you leap and don't be in a rush would be my advice to young couples these days...
    #38
  19. bumblebee1

    bumblebee1 All bikes are dirt bikes

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    It woulb be interesting to hear of a woman's views on these comments. :lol3

    I am free once again in about two months :evil
    #39
  20. securety10

    securety10 Stuck...

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    I'm in my late 20's and one thing I am quickly learning is the more I bounce around job wise, the higher the pay tends to be...go figure. This is usually due to the fact that contract/consulting jobs tend to be fairly short, but I have no issue only working 5 months to get equal pay to someone working a "full-time" job. On the other hand if I was married and had kids I would probably prefer the benefits and security of the "full-time" gig but I also work with guys that have the whole family deal and they still do this type of work.

    I'm not sure how much 'data' is behind Witold's numbers in his above post, but I think he is probably on target. I have actually been surprised be the number of people posting on here that seem to be doing this that are in their 20's/30's, I expected it to mainly be retirees or lotto winners.

    Not sure what you do in the corporate world but it seems to be a lot more common for people to bounce around from job to job nowadays. My dad had been in his "career" for 8+yrs when he was my age. He's now been there 35+ yrs and climbed his way up the chain to a high level position. He absolutely hates it, wants to retire, but is afraid to with the state of the economy. He is also real worried that he will never get to do the things he wants before it is too late. On the top of his list is a motorcycle trip to AK from FL and back.

    I just don't want to be in his position when I am his age, don't want to wish I had done something or not be able to due to family/money, I want to be able to sit back and recant what I did...
    #40