I've wanted to do an overland bike trip for a very long time, and the idea for this particular trip started about 2 and a half years ago.
I talked to a guy that was keen on this philosophy; to work out what you should do, day to day, think of how you want to feel on your deathbed, and what you want to have achieved. Work back from there, and you should arrive at what you need/want to do in the next 10 minutes. I tried this, and I think that's where the trip plans started.
I was/am at a point where I have no significant commitments; mortgage, wife, kids. There may not be another time when a trip like this will be possible, and at the moment, it's the one big life ambition I have. So I started saving and planning, and here I am, with a bit of cash, a vague plan, a prepared bike, 2 passports, a couple of visas, and a bunch of extremely kind people encouraging me and giving me help with all kinds of things.
As a very loose outline of what I want this trip to be;
A route all the way round the world
A trip that lasts about a year or two
Relaxed pace, no mad rush to get to the next place
Ideally not being forced to work, through lack of cash
Consisting mainly of camping, cooking for myself
Extremely flexible, no firm plan that I feel I need to stick to
To interract with the communities I travel through as much as possible
To gain/learn something from my time away
The first thing I did was to get a huge wall map, and sketch out the most ambitious Round The World route I thought I might be able to manage (See below). I then went through an epic saga of deciding which bike to use, which followed on to how I wanted to prepare it for the trip.
I then researched the countries I wanted to go through, what paperwork would be needed for me and the bike, imported myself a motorcycle from America, got the bike road registered over here, spent a small fortune on after-market parts for it, made a load more parts for it, got the visas that I could, got a second passport, IDP, medical insurance and a one way ferry ticket to France, and here I am writing this with 14 days left before I leave.
The vast majority of all this work has taken place over the last couple of months, which has been an ordeal. Not just for me, but for the people around me as well. I've been through periods of finding it impossible to sleep. I've had numerous evenings at the workshop, fitting parts, welding, wiring and designing bits.
I really don't think the reality of the trip will sink in until I'm out of England. It still seems like a dream that I've been having for 2 years, something that I'm working so hard towards that I can't see the goal I'm aiming for.
- Click to enlarge -