Quit my job and went... a VLOG/BLOG through the Americas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lovinglivingadving, May 14, 2016.

  1. Lovinglivingadving

    Lovinglivingadving RTW-Padiwan

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Virginia
    Hi there,

    I’ve said, that’s enough. And so I am off. 20 Countries. 40,000 miles. 18 months. Let’s do this. This is my introduction.

    Like all of my posts, I plan for all of these posts to be “two-track.” I’ll post up a “cliff notes” video as well as a more detailed writeup.

    Here’s the cliff notes 5-minute video if you prefer not to read or are pinched for time:



    And here's the writeup:

    My name is Brent Carroll and I am from Chesapeake, Virginia.



    I am taking on North, Central, and South America on my motorcycle, solo. I left Virginia at the end of April, 2016 and intend to share this trip with you in words, pictures, and videos.

    About me... I have always had a passion for adventuring and seeing the world. While I have been lucky to travel all over the world and see it from above and below in the Navy and on vacations, I have not experienced it from a motorcycle. I feel I have missed the people, the culture, and myself in previous journeys. More importantly, perhaps, is I have never had the feeling of control, being in charge of my own time. That is what I am seeking.



    First, after a fine career in the Navy for 20 years, and then working as a civilian for the US Coast Guard for almost nine years years as an engineer, and finishing my PhD, I feel I have worked hard, and cared deeply about the people that I worked with and the work I did. I am just 47, but...

    I want to see and experience the world in a new way while I can - which means NOW! My Dad passed away when he was 51! That alone is enough motivation for me to realize life is too short.

    When everything is said and done, I also want to point back to some chunk of my life that was completely under my own terms, doing what I want, going where I want to, truly getting to know the world in which I live, and not worrying about... anything, really, and not waiting until retirement or when I am not physically able to do this. I strongly feel the urge, and need, to do this now, to see the world for what it really is.

    So... having said that, and perhaps the more "pure" reason I want to do this is that I believe that the world is full of good, purposeful, and striving people, and that everything we hear distorts our world perspective in really negative ways. I want to challenge that really negative dogma and share my experiences with the world on this blog and in social media.



    Erstwhile, I have come to know that riding a motorcycle is the purist form of therapy possible, and that you get to see the world while riding all the better. You get feelings, sensations, smells, and experiences riding a motorcycle you simply cannot get on a vacation or in a car. You are not watching the scenery go by, you are in the scenery.

    I am an engineer and I like to attend to every detail if I can, so here and throughout, I might seem anal, but that is just me - I like attending to details. What this really relates to for you and my story is planning. As much as I'd like to just point the motorbike in some direction and then crash after a long day's ride (find a place to sleep, that is) wherever I can, I like to plan ahead a bit. I'm sure at some point, I'll find some happy medium between meandering and planning.

    Any-hoo - I left Virginia in the spring of 2016, and plan to first travel north to Newfoundland, cross Canada, head up to Alaska, and then follow generally the Pan-American Highway in its entirety all the way south through Patagonia to the southern tip of South America. And then... turn around and head back to Seattle. I think I will cover about 40,000 miles with my meandering.



    So, how can I do this? Yes, that's also a common question. No, I am not independently wealthy. How can anyone walk away from a good-paying job and all their possessions and venture out into the world on their motorcycle? For me, well... I retired from the U. S. Navy so have a lifetime annuity that essentially covers my trip. I also have savings, no debts, and a wonderful better-half who understands and supports my dreams. I am probably unique in this way.

    But, I do plan to land in Seattle once this is all done and resume a productive, working life. But for now, I just don't want to worry about that.

    So, off I go. I do have a few generic, overarching goals for my trip, though:

    Live life - see, smell, and suck in all that the world has to offer - take my time

    Meet and chat with as many people as possible; capture and share my thoughts about those experiences

    Average no more than 125 miles a day (to rest, to see sights, to smell the roses, to reflect, and to document)

    AVOID Interstate highways when I can (I think you should, too---that's not the world)

    Average less than $50 per day in costs, covering fuel, lodging, food, and bike maintenance

    Tent camping mostly, then hostels, couch surfing, AirBnB, and last, hotels

    I really do hope that you keep in touch and say hello. I’d love to catch up with you along the road or trail.

    Brent
    #1
  2. inspectorpacket

    inspectorpacket back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    245
    Location:
    Metro Atl
    Safe travels... gonna follow this
    #2
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  3. gwedo

    gwedo old enough to know better

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    brandon manitoba canada
    sounds like a good plan to me . will follow along
    #3
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  4. Bobcycles

    Bobcycles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Terra Nova
    Subscribed! You're very fortunate, ride safe.
    #4
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  5. AirDrive

    AirDrive Terminal No0b

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    363
    Location:
    Central California
    This looks like it'll be worth watching. I'm in.......
    #5
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  6. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Al Ba Jerky. NM
    Brent.. I am in.. Your plan looks very good.. Ride safe and keep the rubber side down..
    #6
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  7. jfink

    jfink Can't get there from here

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Conroe, Texas
    Nice start ... I'm in.

    I will be in Canada / Alaska in June 2016. May be I will see you on the road. Riding with a buddy both of us on KTM 990's Dakar's. We have been down to Ushuaia, rode every Country in South, Central and North America (see Avatar). If we run into you, we will probably not be able to tell you much that will help you in your journey south, since every adventurer seems so have different experiences.
    #7
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  8. Me4speed

    Me4speed Dirt/pavement=Relief

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    Middle East / Lexington Ky
    be safe have fun i hope to do the same some day
    #8
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  9. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,058
    Location:
    North Phoenix
    This looks like a trip that I will be following along with. Brent, safe travels on the road as many will be keeping an eye on you through your journey. Good Luck! :thumb
    #9
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  10. CanuckCharlie

    CanuckCharlie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    42.326437N -83.263877W
    Sub'd! I found your website awhile ago and glad the time has finally come. Safe travels and I look forward to your updates!
    #10
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  11. NOTAGAIN

    NOTAGAIN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    Eastern WA
    First, thanks for your service and protection of our country. Second, ride Brent, ride and stay safe.
    #11
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  12. slowriding

    slowriding Dopeless Hope Fiend

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Geezerville, AZ
    Looks like a great ride, I'm in.
    #12
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  13. hardroadking

    hardroadking Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    376
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Wishing you a safe and fulfilling trip.
    #13
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  14. Spongex

    Spongex Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Grand Junction
    As a fellow Navy vet I'm on. Fair winds and following seas.
    #14
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  15. Lovinglivingadving

    Lovinglivingadving RTW-Padiwan

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks much for following. More to come I promise! Lot's of thoughts, photos, and video to process and make into something worth seeing and reading.

    So you know, I'd planned the first three weeks of my trip for my backyard in NC and VA, visiting friends and family, and saying goodbye to my beloved Smoky Mountains, before heading into the beyond, and it's been EXHAUSTING! When my head hits the pillow every night, I am out like a light. But hey, I like to think there's 18 months of this gold left to come!!! :)

    Last family/friend/acquaintance meeting tomorrow and then I am heading north to become a Newfie!
    #15
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  16. roger123

    roger123 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,154
    Location:
    VA Beach, VA
    Cool, we're basically neighbors, I live in the Kempsville are of Virginia Beach. I'm retiring from the Navy this summer after 30 years and am heading west for a few weeks on the Super Tenere, best of luck on your journey!
    #16
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  17. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,971
    Location:
    Macedonia, Ohio
    I am right there with you. I'm 54 and my dad passed away when he was 56!

    Carpe diem brother!
    #17
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  18. Bobcycles

    Bobcycles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    95
    Location:
    Terra Nova
    "Last family/friend/acquaintance meeting tomorrow and then I am heading north to become a Newfie!"

    Sooooo... as ex Navy you may know that to become an honorary Newfie you got to be 'Screeched In', eh? If not, google it up along with 'Newfoundland Screech Rum' just so's you'll know what's coming:photog
    #18
  19. Lovinglivingadving

    Lovinglivingadving RTW-Padiwan

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Virginia
    Oh, I Googled it after reading about other folks doing it... eh, hem... can't wait. Lol! I am meeting a friend in St. Johns who promised to cook me fish chowder! I am sure she'll make my screeching in 'memorable.'
    #19
  20. Lovinglivingadving

    Lovinglivingadving RTW-Padiwan

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Virginia
    It's amazing how much you can share for others to learn from and how much is up to the individual rider, no? I met a guy recently who was into extreme minimalist packing - not even a bandaid, he said. While I am all for light packing, there are just some things I feel I really need with me. Then again, since I left 20 days ago, not less than 4 times have I 'junked' stuff that I really feel I didn't need - must've been about 20lbs of stuff. I am thinking, at this rate, by the time I get to Ushuaia, I'll have some thermals and a g-string in my "I made it!!!" picture.
    #20
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