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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.
Definitely not Toronto then...LMAO!
There was the hint of Oz, so I am thinking they are tanning their Canadian hides on Bondi for a bit
Damn... worse places to be I imagine. That said I hear Bondi is $$$. Maybe Brissy up north?
Either that or Gene finally got his wish and him a Neda are holed up in Hotel Sidi Driss.... Gene should know what this place is.
Yeah, we're also wondering that as well...
I think I mentioned this before, but when we left, we told my parents we'd be gone for a year. But secretly, we knew we would actually be gone for closer to 18-24 months...
A lot of things have happened since then to completely change our plans. We don't really plan ahead long-term anymore.
I've been meaning to write a blog entry about "TSN Turning Points" (Non-Canadians might not get the term). These are events, big or small, that have greatly impacted the course of our travels.
In the very beginning, riding across Canada, we had a rough idea of how long we'd spend in each region and the general direction we were headed. We knew we had to make it to Latin America before the winter came. When we left our friends place in Vancouver, headed to Alaska, we told them we'd be back in three weeks.
It took us six weeks to return.
We greatly underestimated the distances involved, but also how much we'd slow down.
Atigun Pass, Alaska
So Alaska was a small "TSN Turning Point" moment for us where we made a very conscious decision not to be held hostage any longer by things like seasonal changes. I read a lot of ride reports where RTWers meticulously plan out their route to coincide with summers in the northern and southern hemispheres, purposely avoid rainy season, etc.
After Alaska, we didn't care anymore. We did manage to ride through Latin America during dry season, which was quite pleasant. But because we had to catch the Stahlratte at a pre-determined date, we sped through Central America, which really pissed us off. So we decided to go back and do it all over again, but in the manner that we wanted to do it.
This meant re-riding Central and South America, but this time during rainy season. It rained on us *every single day* for a year and a half, since our pace *exactly matched* the rainy season as we traveled south alongside it, or I should say, underneath it.
Sure we moaned and complained. But if it meant that we were doing it at our own pace it was well worth it. It turned out okay in the end.
After spending an entire year in Europe, we still didn't get to see everything we wanted to see, so we flew to SE Asia and got cheap bikes and continued touring in that part of the world. Then we returned to finish off Europe during their northern hemisphere summer.
I get the feeling that some overland travelers romanticize that single red continuous line on the world map showing their overland progress. When we first started, that's how we envisioned our trip going, but I'm glad we got over that quickly. We'll fly and buy. We'll take ferries and boats. We'll rent bikes. We'll return back to North America to see friends and families, attend weddings, etc. Do a bit of motorbiking while we're there as well.
In the end, we're still riding motorcycles all over the world and we're doing it on our terms. It's just a different way of doing things, no better or worse than having a diligently planned route and strict timelines. It's just the way we've discovered that works best for us.
I can think of dozens more "Turning Points" which influenced the hows, wheres and whens of our trip. But our whole laissez-faire attitude started because of Alaska, and your comment about "the endgame" reminded me about it.
Lettin' it all go in Alaska
TSN turning points or the old show "Kung Fu" comes to mind
Caine - "Master, how will i know which road will lead to the correct end?"
Po - "Ah Grasshopper, life flows in much the same way as a river. And like the river, though we are able to have influence over our lives, we are never able to take total control."
Caine - "But how will i know which fork I should take when the river divides?"
Po - "Grasshopper, seek first to know your own journeys beginning and end. Seek then the other journeys of which you are a close part. But in this seeking, know patience. Wear that traveler's cloak, which shelters and permits you to endure."
So we never really know our destiny, just where we think we would like to end up. One of the mysteries of life that keep it interesting. I have an idea where I will be in a week, a month or a year but one small change can create a reality I know nothing about.
It has been a hell of a ride for you and us alike. Your life "ride" will go on but if the published life of Gene and Neda ends that is fine. Thanks for taking us all along and wishing you nothing but great things ahead no matter what they are.
"I think it's ended the trip for us."
Ha, I guess I hafta wait a year to hear if they had a good, albeit short, visit with Ed-venn-ture and us.
But wait l will...
What a fantastic journey. You need to post up a map of your entire trip so far, I can imagine a world covered with lines, if you can even remember them all.
Next up, try doing the world of Dirt, a completely different experience again, and full of new challenges. You will need to lose the pigs though and get something lighter.
Happy New Year Gene and Neda. Ray here from Rovereto. What you're feeling is quite common for "long term" travellers willing to be honest with themselves. I haven't ridden since 2016 and just recently felt the urge to re-connect with motorcycling, forums and blogs. I'm a couple of years behind on your blog but skimming it, I'm amazed at all the ground you both have covered...hats off! Anyway, just want to send some positivity your way. Your current conundrum is understood especially considering the real estate situation in Toronto. If it helps, there are no negative decisions, just learning experiences. You both obviously live life to the beat of your own drum. Enjoy the warmth in S.E. Asia.
Do yourself a favor, Ray: don't just skim it - savor it...
Point respectfully taken but I have difficulty savouring other's adventures. I visit blogs for inspiration and information. Well written ride reports like this one usually gets me motivated within a handful of pages. When this happens I just go on my own trip. The downside with getting too invested with other peoples adventures is that when you discover it yourself, there isn't much left to discover (i.e. you've already seen pictures from every angle and read about it). JMHO.
Skim away, then - it's all good! I definitely won't be going on a similar trip, so I'm a savorer...
It's not that our friends don't support our decision. It's that we don't really bring it up in the first place. When we go back to visit, we don't talk about our trip with anyone unless they specifically ask about it. Motorcycle world travel is such a niche interest, which many of our friends (even the bikers) don't share. Which is okay, we always manage to find some other mutual topics of conversation that we're all interested in. After all, they were our friends *before* we left to ride around the world...
Our friends aren't assholes. Many of them *will* ask about our trip, but more along the lines of "What was the most interesting/most favorite place you've been to?" or similar close-ended questions. So we distill 5+ years of travel into a 30-second elevator pitch, end it with an amusing anecdote and more often than not, they're satisfied to leave it at that. Also probably a little bit relieved that we're not constantly rubbing in the fact that all we do is travel and not work...
Because we're not assholes either.
We're not preachy about the way we've chosen to live our lives because we don't like being preached to ourselves. And trust me, when you've gone down an unconventional path, there are many people who have more than two cents to say about it:
The old "You're going to get kidnapped and murdered in that country/part of the world!"
The sage "Why couldn't you have just waited till you were retired instead of setting your career back right in the middle of your peak earning years?"
The alarmist "You're going to be unemployable when you return, and then you'll have to eat catfood in your old age when you run out of money!"
or the dismissive flipside: "Must be nice to have your parents pay for everything", "Must be nice to have lucked into a high-paying job", "Must be nice to win the lottery"
the always perennial "What about kids? EVERYBODY has kids. Why don't you want kids? What's wrong with you?"
and then the ones that do make you stop and think: "What you're doing is irresponsible. If everyone did what you're doing, there'd be nobody to run anything: make widgets, clean the floors, drive the buses, fly the planes, take coffee orders..."
So you see, we're going to be *the last people* that will tell you what you should or shouldn't be doing, or judge you based on your choices.
Okay. But that's not really up to us.
We're more than happy to join in if folks want to add a comment or start a discussion here.
I have told this story before maybe on this thread.
When Mrs. TC and I decided to move to the middle of Mexico's Sonoran Desert, in the middle of nowhere and build a hotel many of our friends and family were openly supportive. A good feeling. Then, after my 2 brothers told me what a great thing it was I heard from my sister that they told her we were crazy. 10 years later, we are still here. We have a successful hotel and I get to ride in Mexico whenever I want. (Like to the store, to the bank. ) We listened to our own counsel and life is good.
I love your write up and your photos. And the puns, yes, the puns.
Well maybe not the puns so much but everything else and yes, it is the right choice - it's working . . .
Interesting observations! Especially about whether it's possible to roam endlessly (if finances weren't an issue).
First off, I don't think we are one of those endless-journey types. It's been a nice, long vacation, but at this point there are a lot less miles in front of the horse than riding in the back of this cart. We're already having the "where are we going to settle down?" talks at this point.
Of the full-timers (I picked up this term from our RV friends) that bother to blog or have some kind of online presence, I only know of a handful that are 10+ years and still going. Long enough to make you think maybe it's a permanent thing for them and not just an episode in their life.
And then you get into semantics and definitions. Are they still considered nomadic if they stay in one place and rest for 6 months? What if they get a job and save up for a year? Or maybe even sign a three-year lease while doing so? Certainly there are ex-pats who make it a point to live and work long-term in different countries. Are they nomadic?
So where do you draw the line for labeling someone a nomad? Or is nomadicism just a state of mind? A feeling that wherever you are, you just know it's not going to be permanent, that you're never going to call any place "home"?
From a biological standpoint, organisms will seek out security - find a place that's warm, free from predators, has an abundance of food, etc. If all those needs are met, they will rarely move.
And it's apparent - because most of the world's population end up staying put. And if they have problems keeping warm, they fly to Cancun for a couple of weeks.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (recently updated)
So then, what drives those Forever Nomads?
I can only speculate from afar.
I think as long-term travelers, we all like to envision ourselves as being on the most noblest of missions: the journey of self-actualization, the thirst for knowledge, curiousity for the new. But what if our true motivations actually place lower on Maslow's pyramid? What if the drive for constant travel resembles more of a basic need than a self-actualized want?
Is there a search for belonging and acceptance that isn't met at "home"? Not that that's a negative thing to pursue. Personally, we've found a tribe, both on the road and on-line that understands us a lot better than our friends and family. We feel more like ourselves talking to fellow travelers and nomads that we've just met than we do with people that we've known our entire lives.
Or maybe for some, it's a quest for some kind of recognition or award? Bolster the self-esteem by traveling the most miles, the most countries, the longest time... Everybody needs to feel a sense of accomplishment. Some people get it at their job, for other's it's doing a hobby. Why shouldn't travel be another activity that you can set goals for and feel proud about?
Or perhaps long-term travel is a business? To cover off the most basics needs of food and shelter? Certainly many of the nomads that do have an on-line presence also use it fund their travels, even if it's simply in the form of a donation jar. Sell pictures, T-shirts, calendars, books and DVDs, perhaps even sell access to the blog itself? And then maybe all the self-promotion and notoriety will have achieved enough critical mass that staying on the road and continuing to sell the journey turns out to be way more lucrative than any 9-to-5 desk job. (The dream!!!)
So many different reasons why folks do the nomadic thing, however brief or extensive. It's always interesting to speculate.
Jeez, I couldn't even either if it was -33...
Man, I never did the math that way. 12% of my life on the road...
For Neda, 20%...
It's not quite over yet, but soon I think. And then the blog will continue to roll on for a while as it catches up to the end.
As least I hope so. I've noticed a lot of ride reports on ADV just stop when the rider returns home, regardless of whether the ride report is finished or not.
I know why that happens. I've experienced it myself whenever we go back to Toronto for a while. You get immersed in trying to re-adjust back to the new life, you don't have the time or the inclination to revisit the trip in your head.
On the flipside, a lot of ADV posters get their Ride Reports locked because they keep on telling their story after the trip has ended. If we do write about our lives after, it'll be on our blog not here. But I don't see that happening. The website turned 11 years old a few months ago, and it's just motorcycle trips so it'll probably continue that way.
I could start an inmates thread on here. @Hektoglider already gave me the name for the thread:
"Quit our Ride, Sold our Bikes, Gone to Work"
On a slightly off-topic note:
Thanks for thinking of us. Not sure where we'll be in March, but probably not Thailand!