Underboning the World - 2 Symbas, 1 Couple, No Sense

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Underboning, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Kerfuffle

    Kerfuffle Mostly Harmless

    Sep 15, 2010
    Like space travel, re-entry is often the hardest part. Glad you're back safe. I (and my friends back in PDX) have really enjoyed your ride reports.
  2. Rick777

    Rick777 777

    May 29, 2011
    Phoenix Arizona
    Thanks. It has been good to know the two of you.
  3. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chandler, AZ

    I am nowhere near the end of this thread, but I found this post, and just had to reply. Nice to finally find someone who feels the same way that I do about bikes. I have owned a lot of "modern" "reliable" bikes, and have enjoyed going places on them, but have never been able to develop any feelings for the bikes themselves. They may as well have been toaster ovens. They got me there and back, but not much else. My Stella and my former '66 Triumph Bonneville were different. They require some love and attention once in a while. They like to be tinkered with, and best of all, with no computerized crap, they CAN be tinkered with. You learn to live with, and eventually love their issues. Nothing beats a vintage bike, or like the Stella, Symba, and pre FI Royal Enfield, brand new vintage bikes, that still have many of the issues of the originals.
  4. jesionowski

    jesionowski Chicagoland Honda CB500F

    May 19, 2006
    Just found this report from a mention in battle scooters. Read the first few pages now I am hooked. Looking forward to the next couple of nights reading about your trip.
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    May 28, 2008
    Huntsville , Al
    Now that you guys have been back for a while, how are things going and how have you adjusted to "normal life"?
  6. larrylarry75

    larrylarry75 Aye Chihuahua

    Feb 13, 2007
    Southern OR coast
    Hi Guys,

    I'm one of your followers who've waited till the end of your journey before chiming in. With all that's been said already it's hard to say anything new so I'll keep it simple: Thanks for every moment of excitement and pleasure you've given us these past few months, it's been great!

    I sincerely hope the two of you find your way back onto the road soon, it's a huge planet and your way of exploring it is the best. If and when you do I know I speak for all the rest who've been riding along with you, I hope you'll find time to share your moments with us again.

    Best wishes to you both,

    Larry Parmenter :D
    aka larrylarry75

    Bandon, OR
    (Where it's raining cats & dogs at the moment. Bet you miss that!)
  7. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Jul 31, 2007
    Back in PDX again!
    It's been a while since I updated our journey, but given that it's the new year, I thought I would do an update for anyone who's still here. Sorry it has been such a long time, but it's been difficult being back home and off the road, so I have kind of avoided ADV for a while.

    After arriving in Portland, OR, Re and I spent a few days catching up with old friends and packing for our move back east. We loaded our worldly possessions and the trusty Symbas into the back of a Penske truck and headed down the road. Along the way, we stopped in Missouri and Ohio to see friends and family before arriving for the family reunion in North Carolina. We spent about two months at the “family compound,” working to clear our property and looking for jobs.

    This was really a rough period because it finally sank in that we were going to be here for more than a few days and wouldn't be riding out to a new place soon. Re and I spent a lot of time talking about our future and how to get where we want to be. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to become full-time vagabonds, so we need to work for some period of time. We discussed the possibility of continuing our work for a year, travel for a year lifestyle, but decided that coming home is just too hard. We eventually decided that we need to earn enough money that we never have to return if we don't want to. Unfortunately, this means working for the next several years, so we reluctantly accepted this reality (though not without a bit of kicking and screaming).

    We narrowed the list of places we'd like to live based on climate and proximity to families and began a job search in North Carolina and Virginia. In early August, Re was offered a very good job in Fredericksburg, Virginia, so we relocated in the beginning of September. Fredericksburg was a little farther north than we ideally wanted to be, but it is close to DC, close enough to the mountains for good riding, and a manageable drive to both of our families. The Symbas are still great for getting around town and for short rides into the countryside, but not so good for the 225 mile ride down I-95 to the family compound.


    In mid-October, I found a pretty nice, 2002 Kawasaki Concours to keep the Symbas company. I put about 80,000 miles on a Concours in the 1990s, and Re still says it was her favorite bike to pillion on. So here we are, working away, trying to save as much as possible. We've found some excellent Asian grocery stores and restaurants to at least remind us of what we're missing. Re has learned to recreate some of our favorites from Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam, so we continue to eat well.

    Over time, our longings for the road seem to have diminished in frequency, though not necessarily in strength. Driving back from Christmas in NC, we both found ourselves trying to figure out how to head back out next week. The biggest surprise of the trip for both of us, has been how hard it was to stop, and how powerfully we miss it. Some of the people we met on the road are still out there, and reading their blogs and receiving their emails seems to pick the scab off once more. Thanks again to everyone who followed along on our adventure and wished us well. We really appreciated your words of support.

    For those who are interested, the trip broke down as follows:

    48 days in the USA and Canada cost 1895 USD, or 39.50 USD per day
    Shipping the bikes from Toronto to Cape Town was 2753 USD, and our flights were 1720 USD
    57 days in Africa cost 4843 USD, or 85 USD per day
    Shipping the bikes from Dar Es Salaam to Mumbai was 1667 USD, and our flights were 910 USD
    60 days in India cost 3141 USD, or 52 USD per day
    14 days in Nepal cost 611 USD, or 44 USD per day
    Shipping the bikes from Kathmandu to Bangkok cost 770 USD, and our flights were 410 USD
    135 days in Southeast Asia cost 6433 USD, or 48 USD per day
    Shipping the bikes from Georgetown to Los Angeles cost 2132 USD, and our flights were 1368 USD
    Our final 9 days from Los Angeles to Portland cost 869 USD, or 97 USD per day

    Between the two bikes, we covered a total of 50,249 miles and used 530 gallons of gas, for an average of 95 mpg.

    Over 326 days on the road, we spent 17,792 USD, or 54.58 USD per day in living expenses, excluding freight and flights. With freight and flights included, we spent a total of 29,523 USD, which works out to 90.56 USD per day. It was worth every penny!
  8. Zepfan

    Zepfan Been here awhile

    Apr 26, 2010
    Valley Center
    I was wondering how you guy's adjusted to life back here.

    I really enjoyed your TR. Thanks for showing us "Beasts," riders the way of the Symba.

    The per day breakdown was really helpful. Canada and US cheapest w/ Africa most expensive :eek1.
    That's due to shipping ??

    Awesome going.... THANK-YOU :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
  9. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Jul 31, 2007
    Back in PDX again!
    The daily costs (by country) don't include shipping, just food, lodging, fuel, and entertainment (and beer!). Africa was the most expensive because everything was really expensive! Lodging was unbelievably expensive most places, with camping costing up to 35 or 40 USD and cheap hotels were 50-80 USD. (A similar hotel in SE Asia would be 12-15 USD.) Food was also very expensive in Africa and the black market fuel was pricey, too. On the other hand, our first leg in the US included many nights spent with family and friends, so our food and lodging costs were (artificially) low. Glad you enjoyed the ride!
  10. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Jan 11, 2005
    Happy New Year guys, thanks for the update.
  11. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Jan 31, 2010
    Happy New Year!

    Thanks for the update and cost breakdown, what a great help for trip planning.

    For some reason, I thought the two of you would settle somewhere in SE Asia as there seems to be a magnet there for you.

    Wishing you continued success in your endeavors. It has been great to follow your adventure(s).
  12. AwfulRider

    AwfulRider Rubber side up?

    Aug 16, 2010
    Thanks for the update. I really enjoyed following your Ride Report and miss seeing your regular updates. Glad to see you're doing well, even if it is a little frustrating for you to readjust to the "normal" world. Someday I want to take an epic motorcycle trip like you did. I probably never will, but I can do it vicariously through riders like you.

    Thanks again for the update and the costs. Keep us informed! I'm sure there are many other lurkers like me who still have a subscription to your thread.

  13. MaineScoot

    MaineScoot Been here awhile

    Jan 22, 2011
    Thanks, Colin. I was wondering if Re would share some of those recipes? We have a new Asian market in town and I'd love to try creating some of the dishes you wrote about. When all this snow melts I'll ride my blue Symba down to Veranda Thai Market again.
  14. swarider

    swarider n00b

    Sep 10, 2011
    Eastern WA
    Colin, Thanks for the report throughout your trip, and for this update. I looked forward to your updates while you were on the road, and was wondering just yesterday how you settled back down.

    I'm just wrapping up 5 years of "doing what I want to do", and am settling back in to a job for a while. My thing was auto racing, and I spent 5 years doing nothing else ( I do ride a K12GT to the races). Now its time to sock it away for retirement and some trips by moto.

  15. Circle Blue

    Circle Blue Here and There

    Nov 16, 2009
    Middle of the USA
    I'm grateful for the update. I had been wondering how things were going for you. I hope 2013 is a wonderful year and moves you toward where you want to be.
  16. jdgretz

    jdgretz Looking for new places Supporter

    Apr 1, 2009
    Canoga Park - A great place to live work and shop
    Congrats on the Connie - my wife also says the back seat on my '88 is very comfortable and prefers the Connie to the Norge for freeway riding. I'd actually bought mine for her, but it turns out to be a bit too heavy for her likes, and I really don't need two sport-touring bikes in the garage so something needs to change, and it won't be the Norge leaving.

    Thanks for the wrap up. It was wonderful following your trip and even better being able to spend a couple of days with you guys.

    Keep in touch and best of all possible outcomes on your plans. I know you'll end up back out there again, doing things most of us can only dream about or do through the writings of others like yourselves.

    Happy New Year and another chapter in your lives.

  17. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

    Oct 18, 2010
    Portland...the newer one on the left side.
    Thanks for the update Colin and Re. Glad you made it back east and got all settled. Was a lot of fun reading about your daily adventures, even when not much happened. Hope that in the future you pick up this thread and tell us about your latest great adventures.

    -= Scott
  18. WhorehayTheBarbarian

    WhorehayTheBarbarian Been here awhile

    Oct 8, 2007
    San Diego CA
    Thanks for the great RR and I really appreciate the breakdown of costs. I think that kindof information could really push others to make thier dream rides come true!
  19. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

    Mar 15, 2011
    Pocono Mountains, PA
    Great update Colin. Jean and I often think about very long term travel, and long for the freedom to exercise that option. However, we also love where we live, and would miss some of the things we enjoy here, as well as having a "home base" to return to. Each decision and option has consequences and alternatives. Returning home is comforting, but also makes returning to the road that much more attractive. I guess some, like you two, are more at home on the road than anywhere else. Others, like us, find enjoyment in both. You guys will find your happy medium, and we will look forward to the pictures when your next trip commences. :)

    Happy New Year.
  20. fastblad

    fastblad Adventurer

    Oct 18, 2006
    happy new year, i am sure this trip will stay with you for the rest of your life.