On social media, the RTW life looks pretty amazing. Kickass locations, beautiful backdrops, stunning off road trails and mud-splattered bikes, their riders grinning from ear to ear or posting inspirational quotes about living the dream, freedom, and the world.
But there are some things about riding RTW that very few people talk about. Perhaps rightly so – most of those things are quite mundane. Still, if you’re curious what comes up on a long RTW journey, here’s my list of little revelations.
It’s pretty easy.
Unless you’re riding to someplace like Chukotka, you probably won’t ever get too remote. And that means that your ride, whichever continent you find yourself in, is probably going to be…pretty easy. People imagine that their biggest challenges on the road will be dealing with horrible corrupt police or military officers, crossing borders, or battling their way across some unfriendly wilderness.
In reality, your most pressing issues on the road will probably be budgeting, wet socks, crappy AriBnB matresses, and a flat tire here and there, because most people are friendly and kind, borders are getting more and more efficient, and true wilderness is hard to come by.
It’s not sustainable.
No, I don’t mean you can’t travel forever; you sure can. But after a year or two, merely traveling just becomes not enough. When the high and the novelty wear off, you realize that life which once looked so amazing and crazy has become normal. And since this is your new normal now, you begin to look for new challenges.
Lots of riders find themselves taking up photography, writing, chasing rallies, getting involved in charities, and so on after a while.
It will change your life.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re leaving for six months or six years: you won’t come back the same. Chances are, as your perspective changes, your career, goals and life plans will, too.
And that’s no bad thing.