How to get started on the path to motorcycle travel.
Many people wonder how hard it is to take off on a motorcycle trip to foreign lands. They think it is perhaps not something they could ever do. I am here to tell you that it is definitely possible even if you are at a stage in your life where you have family and work responsibilities. Of course it is much easier if you have a simple life like me, but I have met professional people in my travels with families and complicated lives who have still found the time to ride around the mountains of Colombia and experience a foreign culture for a couple weeks at a time. They just have to adapt their travels to fit their lives. In the case of the dentist from Canada I met in Colombia who had more money than time it meant flying into Bogota Colombia where a rental bike company was waiting for him with a fully prepped BMW 800GS, throwing his stuff in the hard bags and taking off for the twisty backroads for a two week holiday. Sure, it costs more to do this. But it was what he had to do with a wife and young children in order to ride in South America. I met another two couples in Ecuador who had all flown from snowy winter in New York to tropical Ecuador and rented Vstroms for a month long 2 up holiday. I even met a minimalist traveler on the top of a volcano overlook in Costa Rica. He happened to be a contractor like me and had taken off a few weeks between remodeling jobs to tour back country Costa Rica on a rented Honda Falcon 400 which is basically a streetified XR400 with electric start. He brought a helmet, riding gear and a small duffle strapped on the back and was staying in cheap guest houses and hostels. I have done the same. It is a great relatively inexpensive way to take a break from the northern winter.
If you are at a point in life where you have more time than money it is still quite possible to take off for even longer trips with less money than you would think. Of course the first step is to decide it is something you want to do. Without a burning desire you may never get off the couch. That is why it is so important to read lots of ride reports on sites like ADVrider and blogs like this to slowly get the idea that yes this is something that people like you have figured out how to do. The next step is to accumulate the things you need to make it happen and eliminate the things that are obstacles. This is the dream phase.
I’m not here to try and convince people to take off on a motorcycle and travel. Nor to downplay the obstacles that you must overcome to make it out of the country on a motorcycle. Rather, my job is to preach to the choir and help others who have a desire but aren’t sure how to go about making their moto travel dreams come true. In order to make the dream a reality there are many steps you have to take. I will go into what steps I went through and the plan of action I took in the next installment.