|Planning for the trip|
In this section we hope to provide some insight into what is necessary to make a trip such as this one happen (it’s easier than it may seem). If we can convince just one person to take the plunge and live their dream than we’ll be happy (well, were already happy but we might just be even happier!).
What the hell, lets get the big topic out of the way first so we can move on to the good stuff. A trip like this costs money, quite a bit of it. Here’s the good news; in 2000 we didn’t have any of it (money that is). We had just returned from a one year trip backpacking around the world and, other than great memories, we had some debt and no jobs. So why is this good news? Because we were able to get rid of that debt and save enough for the trip we are currently on. And if we were able to do it that means that others can do the same. Maybe not as long, maybe longer. Depends on the person reading this right now. We don’t want to get preachy but suffice to say that if you want something (and what we mean here is “really want something”) then it just becomes a question of making the right choices each day. So here’s some homework (OK, now were being preachy);
Take a pen and a piece of paper and go to each room in your home. Once you get in each room take a look at every object that’s there and ask yourself if you can live without that object. If the answer is yes, write down what it is and next to the name write down how much you paid for it (this list will be useful once you decide to do that thing you’ve always dreamed of and want to start selling stuff). As you are doing this one of two things will happen.
1) you will get distracted by the television as you are taking inventory in the living room and forget all about this exercise.
2) You will be thoroughly disgusted at yourself for how much you have spent for nothing and you’ll resolve to start selling and start saving! If this happens to you, we’ll see you on the road in the middle of nowhere sometime in the future. Oh, and could you bring a spare clutch cable? Ours snapped back in Colombia. Thanks!
This is probably the most important site for those wanting to travel around the world by motorcycle. It’s run by a Canadian couple who has done it and its forum is populated by people who have been or are currently on the road. This site is the real deal.
This is the one that will keep you up late at night. The good news is that most websites and resources will tell you that any bike can make it around the world. This is probably quite true. But here are some basic considerations that you should keep in mind
GETTING TO KNOW THE BIKE
So you bought the bike that will take you around the world or into the next country. Now you need to make sure that you made the right choice so go out there and ride the thing. A long test run fully loaded (with the same gear you will have on the trip) is a good idea. And if you can secure some time with your local mechanic to go over the basics with you, all the better!
RESEARCHING YOUR BIKE
You will need to research any flaws your model of bike has historically had. It is surprising to see how much information is out there on different mechanical issues and how to resolve them. Try to know what the solutions are before you leave.
The spares you need depend on the bike you will take. Some websites have some useful info on this (you can check out what we brought for our 1100GS in the “packing list” section under FAQs) and you can also check out the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook for some very useful information.
Getting your papers in order
There’s a bunch of things that need to get done before you cant hit the road. We’ve separated them under different headings: finance, medical, identification and bike.
This is just a question of deciding how you want to organize your funds depending on the countries you are planning on visiting. You can consult travel guides and your bank, they can be very useful. It also depends how long your trip will be and how many countries you will visit. Bring more of the following if you travel longer or visit many countries.
- Vaccination: Your best option is to consult a doctor well in advance of your departure date. Most cities will have a travelers clinic and they will tell you what you need for the places you are planning on going to. You will want to do this well in advance as some of the vaccinations require more than one injection and are spread out over the course of a few months. We would recommend that you consult a year before you leave.
- Insurance: The following information is valid for Canadian citizens only.
*Health Care International:
*TIC assurance de voyage:
You will need:
You will need: