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Old 18 Apr 2011
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Why we do it & What do we live for?

WoW.. You may have come accross this already but i stumbled upon James Richmond's blog. We wrote this poem while in India.

"'Why do you do it?' friends often ask, perplexed,
Brows raised, minds sorely vexed.
'The world out there is dangerous!
Aren't you scared? Why do this?
You need steady work, a house, two cars!
You have only a motorbike, and sleep under stars!'

Dear friend, if you must ask, you cannot know
This curiosity that drives me so.
To you it is hidden; in me rises unbidden!
But one day the world I'll have ridden
By iron steed, then perhaps this need
Will have vanished, finally vanquished!
That day will find me on deathbed,
With no regrets for the life I led.

Will you be able to say the same?
Or will you despair a life worn plain?

I will stake my Himalayan memories
Against your estate of a thousand trees.
Pit my Thai sunset
Against your private jet.
Weigh my horse rides at sunrise
To your Italian suits and ties.
I'll rejoice in friends before I go,
Not the figures of my stock portfolio.

And, amazingly, there are more like me;
They reject slavery, and are truly free.
They took the chance we all had,
And honestly it makes me sad
That you didn't.
You thought you couldn't...
Live without the luxuries
Of all our modern amenities?
You choose the bonds of mortgage, but claim to be free,
Wasting a lifetime absorbed by TV.
Why watch it? but live it!
One life's all you get!
Don't put off 'til morrow and continue to borrow
The lives of strangers; 'tis the greatest of dangers
To the soul
Which grows old
Before its time.

Hercules, Columbus,
Guevara, Odysseus,
Champlain, Agamemnon,
The list goes on...
What have they in common?
Regardless man or god,
The soil of continents they trod,
Not in search of gold but adventure!
Not growing old 'cause they ventured
Far from safety; but far be it from me
To Judge...


The pitiless pity us
With souls black pitted.
Pray! save it for those less spirited.
For us... our horizons are unlimited."

by James Richmond, Canada

He has also posted this video... Love it!
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Old 18 Apr 2011
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ok, so apparently got it wrong. Not James Richmond's blog but i dont think it matters that much.

Did anyone else find this appealing?
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Old 18 Apr 2011
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Interesting poem
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Old 18 Apr 2011
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That's a GREAT poem - yes, James wrote that alright - he sent it to me for our September 2001 issue of the HU Motorcycle Travellers Newsletter.

Notice the "horizons are unlimited"!

There's more on his travels in the same newsletter.

Also see http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/new...02-01-01.shtml for more poetry from James!
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 18 Apr 2011
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very good poem

very good video

yes, this is what we live for.

Thank you James Richmond, thank you Flyde for posting it here.

Mika from Salta Argentina (just came back from a 2000km Visarun to Bolivia)
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Old 19 Apr 2011
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Top stuff ( see Mum, we're not all brainless fools )
Whether you like poetry or not, prose has a dimension that is tangible to being in the moment. more than pictures or stories .
Travelling is such a mix of emotions, it is fervent ground for poets and priests.
I wonder how much of riding is pilgrimage ?
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Old 19 Apr 2011
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I disagree a bit

I think it would be a more appealing piece of work if it concentrated more heavily on how travel affects the author/traveller, rather than appearing to diss those who travel less, work hard and gather material wealth along the way. Although the final line states that the author doesn't wish to judge, early on he most certainly does, asserting that Himalayan views beat hard earned wealth

"Will you be able to say the same?
Or will you despair a life worn plain?"

It's too harsh, in my opinion, to ascertain that a life without travel is an unworthy life and I think he does.

In my opinion, making very long journeys by motorcycle (which I have done) is easy, self indulgent, and of very limited benefit to society. For a great many journeys, they amount to no more than riding a bit, stopping, looking at things, riding some more.

Compare then to bridge building engineers, breast cancer surgeons, electricians who do a 70 hour week to provide for their families, the list is endless

Make no mistake, long distance motorcycling is a wonderful endeavour and I adore it - but that is because I am, at heart, an idle dossbag.

Contributing to society and the nobility of labour and hard endeavour, that's a completely different thing,

I just think it is a bit too .... harsh as an advocate of an alterante lifestyle
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Old 19 Apr 2011
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Yes! that is an interesting poem, I can see exactly where he is coming from. Owing to a back injury I can't ride a bike anymore so I do my travelling in a 4x4, but my aims are the same, hope you guys don't mind an ex-biker joining you.
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Old 19 Apr 2011
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Have to say, I agree with Dick. It does smack a bit of "I take big holidays therefore my life has more meaning." More meaning than what? More meaning than someone who works hard as a nurse, brings up their kids right and never goes further than her elderly mum's on holidays?

I don't want to be too harsh, as the guy clearly loves travelling and has felt the puzzlement and disdain of people who don't understand - I think we've all experienced that. And he's right in the sense that a lot of people are too timid about going out and experiencing the world - even though they want to.

But travelling is only one pursuit in life and, as has been pointed out, its a pretty self indulgent and relatively easy one. It's no better than say, the pursuit of art or music or literature or science. I also think he'd have been better concentrating on what was great about travel, rather than suggesting that those who don't somehow live less complete lives.

Just MHO. I might have completely misread it. Poetry never was my strong point...



*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 19 Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by Grant Johnson View Post
Notice the "horizons are unlimited"!
Thanks Grant, I did notice the "horizons are unlimited" but as i couldn't find him online, i was wondering if it was the chicken or the egg.

I agree fellas, it is harsh. And to claim that venturing the world via motorbike is a better life than another is probably not a feasible argument, even if it feels like it at times.

I think it was a reaction to those individuals who can also be accused of thinking that their lives, or themselves, are better than others due to material wealth, or status etc. etc.. A demonstration of a counter position perhaps.

My hope is it offers an inspiration for those not comfortable where they are despite what shiny things may surround them.
What you know seems to be the better way...IMHO
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