What started as a 6 month backpacking holiday became a 3 year sojourn around various parts of the world including this 15 month motorcycle trip . The trip was prompted by a painful marriage breakup (is there any other type?)
The next paragraph is a bit of a bitch about my ex-wife so feel free to skip it if you can do without the negativity. I include it not to pour dirt on her, because virtually no-one who reads this will know her, and those that do know anyhow. I include it to give a give a bit of perspective to my state of mind in making the decision to leave the city I had called home for the majority of my life, along with my friends and family, close my business and sell up virtually everything I had to do the trip.
I guess what knocked me around the most was discovering I had been ‘setup’ over a period of years. I was more disappointed in myself than I was in her because I was oblivious to her tactics. Ethics were never her strong point, but the way she played me was embarrassing. Embarrassing for me because I trusted her, and embarrassing for her because she announced to all who knew her that she was a thief and an adulterer. The amusing thing is, she would probably be proud of both titles. She considered herself to be superior is some weird spiritual way, and believed she could control people with her mind. I guess I have to accept a lot of the responsibility because I had lots of warnings. Her half-sister told me pretty much exactly what she would do 2 years before she did. I dismissed it as just part of the huge animosity between them. I knew she had dodgy ethics before I got involved with her, and yet I still did get involved. I knew we had problems but I was able to justify them in my mind because we had her mother living with us, and she suffered some form of dementia. We had just gone through the stress of multiple IVF sessions. All of which failed, and she had decided it was my fault. I count it as extremely good fortune that she never did conceive. I certainly did miss her and initially wanted her back, until I discovered the level of deception. I think it was the deception that the most profound effect on me, not the loss. I felt stupid and gullible. It was time for a life reset. There is no doubt in my mind that if this event hadn’t happened, I would never have done this trip, so in the end, I was extremely grateful for what happened. I had the trip of my life.
When I first made the decision to go backpacking for 6 months, I guess I was escaping, but I didn’t just pack my bags and go. I spent 6 months working hard to accumulate as much cash as I could. I had travelled around Europe before, so I had a fair idea about what to expect and I knew backpacking for that long would be expensive. I still had every intention to return to my home city after the trip, but as it turned out, I never returned, and never will.
This story isn’t about the backpacking trip, though the trip was absolutely incredible and inspired the motorcycle leg. My favourites at that time was Morocco and the Czech Republic. It was looking out the windows of trains and busses that convinced me I needed to do this again, but with my own wheels. I started to think of ways I could achieve this. For me, the motorcycle was a no-brainer. I had been riding bikes most of adult life and I had owned about 70 bikes over the years. At the time, I had a BMW R1100RS and an XR600. I had previously owned a Honda CX1000 6 cylinder, CX500, 750-K4, Goldwing 1000, a Suzuki GS750, a Yamaha RD350LC and Super-Tenere 750, a Kawasaki KL650, plus dozens of trials and motocross bikes including Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, CanAm, SWM, Bultaco, Montessa, Husqvarna and for some reason a Vespa. Riding was a significant part of my life.
This website was originally done ‘live’, IE I was writing and publishing it as I travelled. As I re-read it, I cringe at some of my comments, but I am slowly working through it and edit where necessary, while trying not to lose the original message. The trip started in June 2000 and finished September 2001. In 15 months I covered 70,000 kilometres and saw over 40 countries. The experience can be described as ‘an adventure that filled me with memories that will endure a lifetime’. Yes, there were low points, some element of danger including getting drugged and robbed, crashes and having a rifle barrel jabbed in my forehead by an angry Kurd, but the memories are irreplaceable and is a trip I’ll always remember. I plan to do it again one day as a grey wanderer. I’ll probably try the Americas next. I’m inspired by Ted Simon of ‘Jupiters Travels‘ fame. I’ve run into Ted a few times and at the age of 87 is (I think) still riding.
My hope for this site is to provide inspiration to others to do something bold, outrageous and challenging. Something you will remember for the rest of your life. Whether it be on 2 wheels or 4, horse, pedal, foot, sail, whatever. There are plenty of publications on travel by public and commercial transport, but very few on travel under your own steam. I hope that by what I write here, I can help inspire you to do something similar, but with your own flavour.
This web site is being maintained by myself, and whilst I am a computer professional, web sites are not what I do. I’m sure by now it is obvious I am not a professional writer, but I am hopeful my stories will be interesting.
I am now 63 years old and live on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia with my second family, Felicity (who I met on this trip) and our 2 beautiful boys, Sam 9 and Jesse 11. My oldest son Dean has made me a grandfather twice, while for my second son Matthew, it is still work in progress. I still ride. I have a Suzuki DRZ400e for the dirt and a DL650 for the road. I’m not a wealthy in dollar terms, but I am rich in experiences.
Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
John Lennon: ” Life is what happens to you while are busy making other plans”