If you’ve had the chance to watch ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ then you will understand the appeal of getting on the back of a bike and exploring a scene untouched by many others – If it’s a trip to Nepal, Cambodia, The Dominican Republic or Morocco, or maybe just exploring the local surroundings around a resort in Vanuatu. Wherever you may be, taking a voyage of adventure and self-discovery is what every traveller pursues, a chance to understand how ones-self fits into the bigger picture.
So why not start your own Motorcycle Diaries
Travelling by motorbike may not be an option for all of us, however I’m sure the act of taking complete charge of your travels and your whereabouts on the back of a 2-wheeled, fast paced, light-weight moving vehicle means nothing is impossible. With speed and co-ordination and a little to any planning the limits are endless! You definitely feel a sense of freedom, which is unattainable while sitting on one of those double-decker tour buses, squashed in-between multiple travellers rambling on incoherently.
Firstly it takes a lot of guts to pack everything you need (or really just the minimal) and become a part of the surroundings and really immerse ones-self into the picturesque views we only seem to read of in travel magazines or see on the big screen. If you want to breathe in the fresh air of a new country and finally feel free traversing areas untouched and unmentioned in your Lonely Planet travel guide, simply chuck away your guides and get addicted to the craze associated with motorbike travels – this may be your thing! Once you find a scene you love, you have the chance to peacefully stop as you like and take it all in at your own pace; you take your own breaks, make your own rules and most importantly finally won’t feel like you’ve got a schedule to follow! You finally have control over your life.
It may not be that simple to just hop on a bike and begin your travels, so I would definitely recommend some research before you get onto the road. If you were feeling a little hesitant to begin a trip like this it would be a great idea to take out the maps and pick the most ideal route suited to yourself. Every traveller will have a different preference related to what sites they want to see and what their goals are, so picking the route may be the easiest or hardest choice but rest assured once you get travelling you will definitely feel more at ease. So here are a couple of tips for you to get started;
1. Where to explore: The exhilaration of exploring strange and new places will be endless on an adventure like this. Travelling around the world on a motorbike will not only help you grow but will open up a whole new realm that excites all the senses; stimulating smells, sights and conversations yet to be had. Whether you decide to travel the rocky roads of nepal, or drive up through the Swiss alps in Switzerland, or even through the sand dunes of Morocco – wherever it may be I’m sure the beauty of each country will be undeniably spectacular
2. Choosing the bike: Once you’ve decided this will by your way of travel, then you should do some preparation in terms of safety and knowledge of your bike. Many people before have previously ridden across countries on a range of bikes so it’s up to you to decide what is most comfortable for yourself. Comfort-Skill-Knowledge-Research! It’s very important to feel comfortable and to understand your bike whether it’s a Harley, Honda, Scooter or Vespa. Don’t threat about the latest gadgets or having the latest model, just ensure that the bike is safe and sturdy and your travels will be successful. It’s important to understand that you don’t need to go all out and spend a massive amount of money on a great big fuel tank and a high-tech GPS – Keep to the minimal and everything will fall into place along the trip!
3. Paperwork and Border Crossings: It’s expected that you will come across issues while travelling on the road. Things like getting ripped off by the locals, screwed over, delayed – and basically pissed off over the whole situation. So be prepared that there will be bad days, but rest assured there will days filled with unforgettable experiences that will make you forget about all the troubles along the way. There are some ways to ensure the trip runs more smoothly, such as; organising your drivers license and certifying that it won’t expire, arranging your international driving permit, having your vehicle registration in order as well as motorcycle insurance incase something goes wrong and visa’s prepared for the next length of your trip (that is if you know what borders you’ll be crossing).
4. Living on the Road: When living on the road don’t be hesitant to ask the locals for help and always ask multiple people you come across for some guidance or directions as you cannot always trust the first people who give you advice as they might be giving you false information as some people may not know the answer and just give you wrong instructions. So don’t trust the first help you ask; always ask questions and don’t be afraid to stop by small villages and ask for some help if you are feeling lost at any time. Also don’t trust the map you are following as unexpected rocky terrains and steep mountainsides might just be around the corner and may not be recorded on your ‘trusty map’ as roads around Brazil or Africa may not be noted on the map you are carrying with you. Also never pass on the assumption that something you need may be available later on along the road, as you never know when the next chance will come along to purchase that specific item – and fill up whenever you can as stations are not that common like they are back home. Be aware of what you need at all times and don’t be nervous about sleeping the night at a camp ground or small villages as these will be the best spots to meet travellers like yourself and make long-time friends with people all across the globe and most importantly get some tips on what best to do and what to expect on your journey!
5. Your Safety and Health: It would be wise to have a medical check before the trip begins to guarantee that you are in the best shape, also it would be sensible to get certain shots taken in advance according to what places you intend to visit, also ask your GP whether there are any health risks you should be aware of and how best you can manage yourself while travelling the road. Most importantly have a first aid kit ready to use at all times while riding – this will definitely come in handy during those rough days!
But remember the unexpected surprise might be your best journey yet! A trip like this will encourage chance encounters and keep you constantly on your toes. Who knows what other travellers might come your way or imagine the friendly locals that will take you under their wings and show you about the village – these are experiences that are lost during group travels or guided tours. The hospitality you will receive in these under-developed countries is something that is rarely found nowadays, but as a traveller in a foreign land trusting in the locals and their knowledge is the best kind of advice you will get whilst journeying solo.
Trust in the route you are travelling and trust the people around you – they will give you an experience like no other
So what are you waiting for!
Speak to the locals, break barriers or just get away from those tourist hot spots everyone’s been talking about and instead explore the unbeaten track. Travelling by motorbike will be the best way to experience these things; It’s definitely a cheap way to travel, will help you explore the things you genuinely have an interest in and most importantly give you a sense of freedom and individuality that many disregard on their adventures. Let go of the stress associated with travel planning and just make the trip about yourself and the destination – nothing else.