I’ve been on the road for nearly six years now, and I love meeting new people. I do. I’m a friendly and social creature, and it’s cool to get to know the locals or hang out with fellow travelers. But most of the time, the questions I get are the same, so I figured I’d do a list of the top 10 most asked questions I get about ADV travel. Some are serious, some are hilarious, and some just tend to be repeated over and over again.
How Do You Put Your Helmet On
Not “what’s the best off-road track in the Balkans”, “fave roadside coffee recipe?”, “what tires do you have”, or at least, “beer or whiskey”. Nope. It’s about my mane and my helmet. I usually answer that I go feet first, and the hilarious thing is, people pause as if considering the possibility. Seriously though, I just have a large helmet, and it’s just hair.
2. When Are You Going Home
This comes up a lot, I’m not sure why. Since I don’t have a home any longer, the right answer would be never, but saying “never” is something I’ve learned to avoid, so in reality… I just don’t know.
3. How Can You Afford This/Do You Get Sponsored to Travel
This always comes up in a conversation, both with locals and other riders. Answer: by working/no, no one pays me to travel, although that’s a wonderful idea.
4. Aren’t You Afraid Of Traveling Alone
No. Here’s why. In fact, traveling alone can sometimes even be safer because people tend to look after you and help you out more when they see you’re flying solo.
5. Where Are You Going
Another tough one! I’m not sure; everywhere, eventually. I stopped planning things back in 2013 and it’s mostly worked so far.
6. Do You Camp Much
Yes and no. Sometimes, it feels like a charged question – if you answer “yes”, you’ll be considered a True And Totally Kosher Adventure Rider, and if it’s a no, you’ll be put in the “whatever, you burgeois wuss” category. I did camp a lot in North America because accommodation was expensive, and quite a lot in Patagonia because accommodation sometimes wasn’t available. In Europe, especially the Balkans, with cheap and comfy AirBnB places (we’re talking a nice, fully equipped apartment with a garage for the bike for 10 euros a night)? Yeah, I’m happy being the burgeois wuss.
7. What Do You Do If Your Bike Breaks Down
I so wish I could answer “I fix it myself, using my expert mechanical knowledge, professional tools, McGyver ingenuity and spare parts I responsibly carry with me”. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I am blessed to be riding a bike that doesn’t break down that often in the first place, as the DR650 is a sturdy beast of burden that can take a beating. When things do break, though, I a) find a mechanic, b) find a tow to the nearest mechanic, c) convince a mechanic to come to the bike. Should the bike break down in the middle of nowhere someday, I would still apply a, b, or c because there’s always a way to transport either the bike or the mechanic, even if it means a mule trek or hitchhiking.
8. How Does Your Family Feel About You Living On The Road
At this point, my mum has completely given up on the prospect of grandkids, and my dad loves playing a Guess Where I Am game where I send him a photo of a location and he tries to figure out where it is. It’s uncanny how often he gets it right. In all seriousness, though, communication is easy these days with Skype and email, and it’s not like I go off on obscure expeditions into the depths of the Amazon or the Far East. I’m just noodling around on a bike, usually with decent WiFi within a couple of days’ reach.
9. But What If…
…you get into an accident, you get robbed, assaulted, your stuff gets stolen, you get seriously sick, the sky falls, there’s a zombie apocalypse? I don’t know. I’m not being flippant about safety, but at the same time, it’s impossible to plan for every eventuality, and worrying about all the What Ifs just isn’t productive. Life on the road is just that, life. Unexpected things can happen anywhere, to anyone, at any point.
10. How Many Miles Have You Done
This is my least favorite question. I don’t know how many miles I’ve done, and I have zero interest in finding out. Besides, my odometer broke last year somewhere in Colombia, so whatever I say now is just going to be a shameless lie.
What are the most frequently repeated questions you get when you’re traveling?
Featured image: Actiongraphers