Having spent almost seven years on the road, I’ve learned a few lessons here and there – but the most important one was, and still is, simplicity.
Whether it’s a “round the world in 40 days”, Alaska – Ushuaia, or simply a TAT trip, life on the road is all about simplicity. Bikes, budgets, luggage systems, routes, accommodation – it all boils down to focusing on the big picture and not getting sucked into the details. In the end, it’s all about comfort and time vs expense. If you have lots of time and don’t mind camping, cooking your own meals, getting soaked when it rains, and maintaining your own bike, all you need for a long adventure motorcycle journey is any basic bike, a backpack strapped on the back, a pair of sturdy boots and some essential gear that can easily be bought second hand, a cheap supermarket tent, and a shoestring budget. The less time you have and the more comfort you require, the more you’re going to spend.
Yet, neither version is wrong – but both can benefit from simplifying things. The simpler the motorcycle, the easier it is to maintain yourself, and the less complicated it is to get parts anywhere in the world. The more flexible your route, the easier it is to improvise and change course should the need arise. The simpler your gear and luggage, the easier it is to clean, maintain, and fix. And the less stuff you carry, the further you go – heavily laden motorcycles just aren’t designed for solo adventures on some gnarly off-road trails and single track shenanigans, unless you’re Chris Birch.
But most of all, it’s about simplifying your own attitude towards the journey itself and the world that awaits. Life on the road is all about taking the good, the bad, and the ugly, along with the beautiful, the breathtaking, and the wonderful, just as it is. The fewer expectations and prejudice you have, the more the world will surprise you.