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-   -   Why do you do it? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/the-hubb-pub/why-do-you-do-it-67100)

s445203 2 Nov 2012 11:18

Why do you do it?
Hey Guys,
Thanks for building such a wonderful resource. I've got the bug and have spent the last 2 weeks reading most of Hubb (or at least scratching the surface).

I've come to a view on all the religious topics (soft vs. hard; Euro vs. Jap; big vs. small) which may or may not be right, but make sense to me. But in the end those are just details.

What I'm amazed is missing, however, is someone asking the question of why did you do it and what you got out of it. Any even moderate distance trip seems like such a material investment of life, money and risk that I expect everyone must have had some solid reasons/expectations of it before they went off.

I'd love to know what they were for you and what you got out of it looking back on the trip. Now there's a topic where there's probably even more viewpoints than hard vs. soft luggage. :mchappy:

And finally I struggled to pick the right section for posting this to - so rather selfishly went for SA as that's where I'm looking for my trip. Hopefully not completely :offtopic:

I hope this kicks something interesting off!

navalarchitect 2 Nov 2012 14:00

An interesting question, and even more than the hard versus soft luggage debate, one I'm sure that is without a right answer.

For me, when I was young, I travelled because I knew the world had to be a more interesting place than the little corner I was seeing in my normal life. And guess what, I found it was, and also it was not nearly as scary as everyone would have me believe.

Then without really thinking about it I got married had kids and stopped travelling except for more organised holidays.

Last year with wife gone her own way and the kids old enough to look after themselves (and my house) I went travelling again. Why did I do it this time? Not certain, but there was a complex mix in there. A desire to recapture my youth, definately part of it; a desire to do something different to my fellow worker bees, definately a major driver but I think the underlying reason remained the same as originally, a belief the world was interesting and I'd better get out and look.

This second time around was more dangerous though because on finishing the trip I realised the realities of age meant I had to make a decision, do I go back to the normal life or do I chuck it in and go again as soon as possible and for as long as possible - and this time I didn't have the luxury of drifting onwards into my life.

So not really a clear answer and maybe I would have been better sticking with Sir Edmund Hiliarys classic "because its there" however I post the thoughts (ramblings?)because I'm keen to encourage this thread along and see other peoples ideas.

Mervifwdc 2 Nov 2012 15:15

For us, it was quite simple in principle. Every year for our 20 or so years together we did a 3 week trip to some far flung place, hired a car/4x4 and some camping gear and wandered about. And each year we said at the end of our trip, wouldn't it be great if this could go on a bit longer.
I made it to a Hubb meeting in Ireland last year (2011), and that was it. Left home last Christmas, and not in a hurry to go back.

It is very different, living on the road rather than a short holiday, but It may even be better as your not always thinking about the end date, or if the gas will be cut off when you get home etc.


BaldBaBoon 2 Nov 2012 15:18

I think quite simply for me, " Home " just is not home anymore after spending the best part of the last 20 years working overseas....I think a big part of my travelling about is trying to find a place that I feel comfortable in.

I was posted to Germany in 1990 at 17 years old and managed to get home maybe 2 times a year for a few weeks at a time until I came back to the UK in 2004. The Britain I left was 1980's Britain and I lived overseas in places that had.....what I see in hindsight now....and out of date approach to community/values etc.

Not meaning to sound like a prude, but when I returned I was actually shocked to see the changes that had happened in the intervening years.....to see young girls staggering about in gangs drunk as skunks and wearing clothes that just about covered their bits....in fact just to save time, read The Daily Mail's headline stories for a week and you will get the idea.....and this from a squaddie who's passtime was debauchery.

So inbetween working overseas when I can and travelling when I can...I suppose I am trying to find somewhere that appeals to my outdated idea of what home should be....Canada comes very much at the top of a short list at the moment.

docsherlock 2 Nov 2012 15:33


Originally Posted by BaldBaBoon (Post 398857)

So inbetween working overseas when I can and travelling when I can...I suppose I am trying to find somewhere that appeals to my outdated idea of what home should be....Canada comes very much at the top of a short list at the moment.

Yup, Canada is an excellent country. The government services work much better here, the class system is based on money rather than the usual British criteria of money + school + title etc. Values are a bit more money oriented than the UK but not necessarily in a bad way e.g. I think the work ethic is better in Canada and being a bum is less socially acceptable.

But it's bloody cold.

s445203 2 Nov 2012 17:01

Thanks for kicking it off and please keep going!

For my part, I can only answer the first part of my question, as I have not yet been anywhere.

I was fortunate enough to have recently been made redundant and with a package which means the bridge and cardboard box is not immediately a threat. I'm 34, and apart from my parents and friends, my only commitment is maintaining a body temp of 37C, for better or for worse. It's also not obvious that my current line of work is something I want to continue with.

This all seems like a crazy opportunity not to have an adventure. The m/c tour appeals because of its unstructured nature, and opportunity to really be alone with my thoughts while digesting and condensing my first 34 years before deciding the right next steps. Another part of the appeal is that I struggle to believe it will be something I will regret come deathbed time.

However, it's not all glamour. I am scared shitless of ending up in a wheelchair (or worse trapped under a crashed bike on a road with no people - the mind is a strange thing) and also going off for a prolonged break without a firm plan of what to do next - I have worked continuously for 12 years (despite hopping 6 jobs) and have always had the next log in the river in clear sight. And finally, I'm apprehensive about the dynamic of the economics - basically I need to lay out 75-80% of the cost of the trip to drive the first 1 km. If after 2 weeks I realise "shit - this is no fun", then I'll feel like a bit of an idiot.

McCrankpin 2 Nov 2012 18:11

Because it's there.
Because I can.
To have a long ride in the sun - that would be almost all dry.
To see if I was right about the media telling lies about the rest of the world.
To keep active in retirement.
To cross borders with a greater meaning than crossing Europe or dragging through an airport.
To go places and not get inside an aluminium tube.
To see the home countries of many of the people who live in London.
To see the Sahara, camp in it, sleep in it.
To make tea in the Sahara.
To see the Nile.
To see Africa.
(All the above without the aluminium tube)
To satisfy curiosity.
To see if I could help anyone.
To find places I hadn't already seen photos of.
To see what being in a so-called 'dangerous place' would be like.
To find out who I would meet and see what happens.
To see how I would feel in places and with people I knew nothing about.
To see how I would feel about situations completely different to anything I knew.
To have a story to tell.
To be able to see beyond the MSM news.
To buy a meal prepared without a tap or a cooker or a drain. See how it tastes.
To experience how other people live.
To take tea in a one-room house for a family of four.
To see the countries that I was taught about in school, and taught that my country had civilised them and saved and educated their people.
To see if we deserve all the stuff stolen from these countries.
To find music that you can't find at home.
To see how long the journey would last.
To see how I would feel at its end, how my life would be.
To learn.
To find myself.

lightcycle 2 Nov 2012 20:23

My perspective after 4.5 months on the road:


A deep dissatisfaction with the trajectory of my life: established life, well-paying job, great home, lots of toys. But I couldn't deal with the headache that came with it - responsibility for the bills that just seem to get higher and higher every year, the maintenance of our life-style. Maybe it was an extreme knee-jerk reaction to quit the jobs, sell everything we own and ride around the world living in a tent but....

- Little things don't make me angry, like they used to.
- The wife and I laugh soooo much every day.
- My mind is clear of "things I should do tomorrow", more space for "things I want to do TODAY"
- I go to sleep instantly every night instead of lying awake staring at the ceiling
- The world is such a beautiful place when you see it for yourself, so unlike what that talking picture box shows you.
- I understand people from other cultures a lot better when I see them in their native country. We don't all act the same around the world: different etiquettes, morals, differences in acceptable behaviour. There's so much intolerance in the world because we expect a rigid code of behaviour, but when you travel you realize it's your code and expectations that has to change, and you carry that with you wherever you go (whether it's home or to the next country)
- My only regret is why I didn't do this sooner.

Why travel now:

Met an elderly gentleman at Death Valley a couple of weeks ago. Waited till retirement to do all the travel that he's ever wanted to do. Sat at the edge of Ubehebe volcano and waited for his daughter who was hiking around the rim. He couldn't do it because he had advanced arthritis.

Will you have the health, the stamina or the motivation to do this kind of travel? On a motorcycle?

Read a great quote:

"The most dangerous risk of all - The risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later."

lightcycle 2 Nov 2012 20:26

Oh BTW, hard luggage all the way! :)

Lonesome George 3 Nov 2012 00:14

To see part of this wonderful planet we live on.
To appreciate that there is more to life and work and than the rat race.
Because I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it and I wanted to test myself.

I was and I did!

RTWbyBIKE.com 4 Nov 2012 12:27

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming
“Wow! What a Ride!”
— Hunter S. Thompson

“Der kleinste ausgelebte Traum ist besser, als der Größte nur geträumte!”

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

“All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time.” – Paul Fussell

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” – Moorish proverb

“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

“Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty-his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.” – Aldous Huxley

“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” – Samuel Johnson

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi

“When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.” – D. H. Lawrence

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

Na Pali Coast21. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.” – Charles Dudley Warner

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener

“The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

“Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.” – Elizabeth Drew

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe”……Anatole France

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon

“I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” – Lillian Smith

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley

“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling

“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G. K. Chesterton

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman

“A wise traveler never despises his own country.” – Carlo Goldoni

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

Einer der glücklichsten Momente im Leben eines Menschen ist, so denke ich, der Beginn einer Reise in ein unbekanntes Land.
Hat man erst einmal die Fesseln der Routine, der Gewohnheit, den Mantel vieler Sorgen und die Plackerei des Alltages abgeschüttelt, fühlt man sich auf einmal glücklich.
Das Blut pulsiert wie in der Kindheit… ein Gefühl wie an einem frischen Morgen des Lebens.
( Sir Richard Burton 1856 )

Geh nicht immer auf dem vorgezeichneten Weg, der nur dahin führt, wo andere bereits gegangen sind.Alexander Graham Bell - Zitate und Sprüche Alexander Graham Bell, amerikanischer Erfinder (1847 – 1922)

Träume nicht dein Leben, lebe deinen Traum! (Keine Ahnung von wem das war …)

Reisen ist tödlich für Vorurteile.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)

Man reist nicht, um anzukommen, sondern um zu reisen.

Die beste Bildung findet ein gescheiter Mensch auf Reisen!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1746-1832)

xfiltrate 4 Nov 2012 17:47

Why do I do it?
I do it simply to find and communicate with people more interested in why I am doing what I am doing than informing me of what they are doing.

Over landing has enabled me to find and communicate with such people.

xfiltrate Eat Drink and Be Careful

Endurodude 4 Nov 2012 17:49

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

I agree with this as a reason for why I travel; not because I feel I am these things, but overland travel helps us to better understand others and appreciate the things that make us different. Michael Palin is quoted as saying something along the lines of that travelling to other parts of the world has made him feel safer at home. We fear what we do not understand; overland travel enables us to better comprehend the world around us far more than if we travelled there "in an Aluminium tube"!

I've only just begun travelling in this way, but every time I've come back I've felt happier and more at peace with myself. I hope for two things: that it makes me a better person, and that I can pass on this love of overland travel to others, so that they might experience the same love of travel in this way.

Belle 5 Nov 2012 10:29

Because everybody told me not to. :clap:

sparco 5 Nov 2012 11:04

because it takes some risk with it, and risk is what makes life worth living ! and because you just have to satisfy your human nature which is curiosity ! and of course why do you breath ?why do you eat why do you live why do you like something whatever it is ?

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