A RTW trip on a motorcycle sounds awesome, but what should you expect once you hit the road? Most of the time, the lessons learned on the journey will surprise you.
Whether you ride just for the fun of motorcycling, plan to volunteer, or live locally, as you go along, you will immerse yourself in foreign cultures to some degree. And seeing different ways to live can teach you a lot about empathy.
Living off your bike means you’ll have to deal with a lot of unexpected, strange, challenging, and stressful situations. Bad weather, breakdowns, moody officials, bureaucracy – all of this will require creativity, patience, and resourcefulness!
This trip will teach you a lot about yourself. How do you react to stressful situations? When border officials drag their feet, do you get frustrated and angry, or do you go buy them ice cream? When friendly locals help you out and ask nothing in return, do you give back as you go along? When your bike breaks down, do you panic? A RTW trip can reveal a lot about yourself that you didn’t realize before!
Us Western travelers are incredibly lucky to be able to do what we’re doing. The freedom and resources to ride around the world is a very precious privilege, and you’re made acutely aware of it as you travel. This is especially true when seeing the extreme poverty, refugee situations, and inequality that exists in so many places. RTW travel teaches that so much depends on just dumb luck. The simple fact of where you were born determines your standard of living, your access to education, your human rights, and your freedom (or lack thereof).
After a RTW trip, lots of people realize they have a whole different perspective and outlook on life. Minutiae that once seemed important now appears pointless. Being a cog in the machine no longer feels like a fulfilling way to live. Societal norms aren’t making much sense anymore. Few people return the same as they left, and most begin building different, more fulfilling, and more meaningful lives, whether they still involve long-term travel or not.