If I’m not doing an adventure ride, then I’m probably thinking about one!
I am an urban professional with many responsibilities, but I still want to enjoy the thrill of riding back-roads, crossing borders and meeting fellow adventurous spirits.
I don’t want to sell my house and quit my job just so I can do a one-off trip. Instead, I plan my trips carefully so that I can visit non-tourist locations, go where not many riders go, find my own way.
So far my most cherished travel moment was being told by senior policeman in Borneo after an overnight riverboat journey that I was the “first Westerner crazy enough to bring a motorbike there”.
Planning is the key. If my trip is two weeks, I can’t afford to backtrack to an embassy because I didn’t get the right form. Likewise I can’t afford to arrive the day after the ferry left if there is only one ferry per week. I talk to other adventures to get advice about routes, border crossing, conditions, ferries, rivers and anything else that is critical. I mostly plan for 6 to 12 months before a ride, and make precise GPS tracks.
A ride in 2016 passed through Laos and I could not get Open Street Maps files with enough detail, so I bought maps from a local adventure tour operator. It still didn’t work out perfectly – some of the rivers were too deep to cross. The wet season was a few weeks late. That’s how it goes with adventure riding! You have to be resourceful and adaptable.
River crossing in Laos (November 2016)
Adventure travellers often find the experience motivating. It recharges their enthusiasm. Some would even say it’s spiritual. That’s a good thing … except it makes most travel blogs near useless as a source of information. You have to wade through dozens of personal posts to capture fragments of useful information. And then there’s the wannabe Nat Geo photographers who really just want a forum to share their photos. Great … but it doesn’t help other travellers.
So that’s my thing. I don’t post because I want to tell you that I found ‘the perfect coffee’. Nor because I want you to know how happy I feel, or because I’m exhausted after riding for 15 hours. My main purpose is to capture and share information.
If you are planning to ride any of my routes, I’d like to think you will find some helpful information.