It is difficult to pinpoint the moment I decided to chuck it all in and travel the world on my motorcycle. There was no single, brilliant flash of inspiration, and it wasn’t influenced by a certain (bloody awful) television series with ‘Long Way…’ in the title, as so many people seem to suggest.
No, I’d say the decision-making process was more a slow accumulation of notions and possibilities. The basic desire was there. It just took time, the encouragement of the stories of others who have done the same thing and changing circumstances to coalesce a vague idea into something concrete and attainable.
Motorcycles are not new to me. I’ve been riding all my adult life. It’s my preferred way to get around. Same goes for travelling too. There’s no better way to see the world – or your neighbourhood – than on a bike.
Motorcycling is immersion. It plunges you headlong into the environment, wreathing you in the surrounding sights, smells and sounds. You rock and roll with the terrain. If it’s hot you sweat, and if it’s raining you get wet. Motorcycle travel blends the very best with the good and the not so good, and sometimes the downright unpleasant. And I’ll take it over a car, bus or train journey every time.
The decision to do the trip wasn’t impulsive but deciding when to do it was. My original plan was to see out my work contract and start the journey in mid-2023 by shipping the bike to the USA. As 2022 rolled around though, my wanderlust grew and I knew I couldn’t wait any longer.
So I made the call to just go. To Chile. In November. I figured the weather would be better there at that time of year. The loose plan is to ride down to Patagonia and the town at the end of the world, Ushuaia, and then turn around and head north.
And just keep going, for as long my enthusiasm and my money lasts.