When I announced my plans to ride around the world a few years back, there were mixed reactions – both cheers and negative comments, as well as a good dose of ridicule. “How are you going to ride around the world”, – people said, “if you don’t have any experience?”.
This theme is still quite common both online and in real life. Riding RTW is perceived as the ultimate adventure, the biggest ride of them all, and it’s no wonder it may sound intimidating – especially if you’re a new rider.
But the thing about gaining experience is simple: you gain it by doing. Here’s how.
Go All In
I don’t do well with unearned authority and have no patience, so for me, it was all or nothing: I decided I wanted a motorcycle and I knew I wanted to travel. It was a no brainer – I learned to ride and took off, and five years later, I’m still going strong (albeit slowly).
Sure, I picked a silly bike, I made a lot of mistakes, my packing system looked like a crazed racoon had gone through all my stuff, and I couldn’t tell a carb from an air filter. So what? I had a blast, I learned as I went along, and I am a lot more grateful for all the gear, knowledge and understanding I picked up on the way.
So if you don’t want to wait for the perfect state of readiness – which never comes anyway, by the way – just pack your bike, pick a destination, and go. I don’t know if it’ll be easy, but I promise it’ll be worth it!
If you’re a strategist and a planner however, the whimsical improvisation might not work for you. If that’s the case, start small and build: go for a weekend trip, then extend it to a week, then fly and ride – rent a motorcycle in the Himalaya or Europe or South America and do a short trip, and so on and so forth until you feel ready for the round the world adventure.
Stop Pressuring Yourself
But what if you’re never ready? What if you love the short weekend adventures and the mini journeys abroad, but just don’t feel like leaving everything behind and riding around the world?
Don’t. Riding RTW isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK. Just like any other big undertaking, riding RTW requires a sizeable chunk of time and resources, and if you don’t have any right now, or don’t feel like it’s worth it, don’t do it just for the fame and the glory (there is none, by the way!).
Do what you love doing, and enjoy the ride, however long or short!