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  #1  
Old 3 Aug 2006
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Emotional preparation for the road!

Im planning my biggest trip yet of at least 12 months and maybe more from Alaska-Argentina and maybe Australia too. My longest trip was 6 weeks around Europe with my ex girlfriend

Well, last time I was away i got quite home sick and missed my friends and family quite a bit and probably the familiarity and comfort feeling of a familiar 'home'.

I might be doing my trip solo and I suppose what im fearing is the sense of lonelyness on the road, especially as im a very social person and like to be around friends and family.

How you you guys prepare and adapt yourselfs to throwing yourself into unknow territory, away from home for long periods of time ? Do you get homesick and sometimes feel like coming home ?

To go on my trip im throwing all security's out of the window. Job, home, savings etc. I know I will come home with nothing but debt and i will have to start from scratch !! Does this worry other people ????

Dont get me wrong, I cant wait for my trip and im thoroughly looking forward to the adventure and life changing experience, Im just thinking about mental perperation and how I might feel once theres no turning back.

You thoughts would be appreciated.

Cheers, ed
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  #2  
Old 3 Aug 2006
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I know where you're coming from Ed. For my own trip (Argentina - Alaska) I'm leaving Oct 24th so not long now but still have shedloads of things to organise. Luckily my boss has given me a sabatical even when told him it would be for about 8 months.

I was originally going on my own but thanks to HU, I'm going with a couple of people who are doing the same route, so we've now all booked the same flights and are shipping our bikes at the same time. This way, we will travel as a group, but if anyone wants to go off on their own for a while, detour someplace else, stay somewhere longer or whatever and then meet up again, it won't be a problem.

For me anyway, I think this should offer the best of both worlds as we all need to be on our own sometimes but this way, you've got people to share experiences and have a laugh with too. The other thing is to maybe have a blog site or something so your family and friends can find out what you're up to.

Good luck with your planning.
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  #3  
Old 3 Aug 2006
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A very good point Ted, and often ignored,
I think it's often seen as being a bit soft to have concerns about the road so we don't mention it. I was quite worried before I went away on my last trip, partly because, given my history of an accident every 5000km I knew the odds were on that I'd have at least one cruncher. I did. Three in fact, but I'm still here and they give colour to my stories of ruggedness when I tell the fillies about my trip.
I think the answer, whatever your concerns, is to accept that some unfortunate things will happen, some of the time you will feel bad, and occasionally you'll have to fight the desire to phone home for a whinge. (Don't, they won't understand!) But the rest of the time will make up for it in spades.

As to the 'long time away' thing, try to think of your trip as your new lifestyle. 'Home' is your trusty steed, your big alloy boxes and the place they take you that night; not the country you've left behind. When you're on the road think "This is how I live now." I find this mindset has helped me in the past.

As to lonelyness I found I had to become happy with my own company, but for a social person with an extremely low boredom threshold, this is easier said than done. My practical way round lonelyness is to have entertainment. I carried loads of books which I discarded once read and bought new ones in big cities en-route. (This is a great way to become well-read, most foreign bookshops only carry 'classics' in English!)
Before i left I also took advantage of the fact many papers give away films on DVDs as promotional gimicks. I had loads of real classic cinema with me which I again discarded once watched. You'd obviously need a laptop with you for this though.
I also had my music collection on my laptop, and spent many hours photoshopping and captioning my pictures, and writing an e-diary.

The logical concern about breaking down in the middle of nowhere etc. is to think how bad is it really going to be? So you have to sleep under a hedge one night, or don't eat for a day? So what, it won't kill you. When pushing my bike in the searing heat in turkey for 13km after the chain snapped I just kept telling myself "By ten o'clock tonight I'll be in a hotel room with a frosty drink and some snacks, having had a shower and lying on my bed." As crap as that day was, by ten o'clock I was in a hotel room etc.
Finally, having doubts and fears is totally natural, I think I probably worry about things more than many of freinds, but somehow I still end up doing more 'adventurous' things than most of them. I just don't let my fears govern my actions. Fears, worries, difficulties are all part of the adventure and while I would shy away from the term 'character building' I think the experience of tension helps form the people we are.

In other words, accepting your concerns as natural helps you deal with them.
Feel free to think this is total quack.
Matt
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  #4  
Old 3 Aug 2006
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Do you have a lap top?

Ted
I have seen many travellers passing BA updating their blogs and homepages.
So they could share with all friends and familys the position of themselves,(it is allways good someone knows where you are and heading on!) experiences and thaugts.
If you don´t have one you could try this from a cibercoffe.
And of course use the MSN and skype for conecting with your family.

http://www.skype.com/download/

http://www.skype.com/helloagain.html

Take care!
KH
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  #5  
Old 3 Aug 2006
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Milestones

One thing that I think can help is to have a variety of 'milestones': several different places that you want to visit. Halfway through the trip, when you're starting to flag and wish to quit, you can focus on your next milestone. "I won't quit until I see the Such-and-Such monument in Old Farttowne.
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  #6  
Old 3 Aug 2006
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Talking

I normally seek solace in alcohol....
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  #7  
Old 4 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum
Im planning my biggest trip yet of at least 12 months and maybe more from Alaska-Argentina and maybe Australia too. My longest trip was 6 weeks around Europe with my ex girlfriend
Not everyone is cut out for foreign travel. But for such an adventure I have a few ideas that might help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum
Well, last time I was away i got quite home sick and missed my friends and family quite a bit and probably the familiarity and comfort feeling of a familiar 'home'.
All this is real, and you have to deal with it. Missing home and friends is all part of it. Took me a long time to learn how to enjoy myself on the road.
No pat answer, no formula. Got to find your own way here.

Certain places proved more tolerable than others, but sometimes this is just down to luck and your state of mind at the time. Go re-read Ted Simon's Jupiter's Travels and see how unhappy he became once he got into the high Andean countries, especially Peru and Bolivia. He calls it the "land of No Hay". I think he had just reached his "burn out" point. I spent 9 months just in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia and mostly had a good time....but it wasn't all roses.

Matt's idea about books is excellent and saved me in my 7 years down there.
But doing this can ISOLATE you from the locals. Sometimes you need to get out and mingle....knowing the language really helps.

Staying healthy is really important and not easy to do. I have seen many travellers, when they become ill, hop straight onto the next flight home. Good physical health means good mental help. I got Hepatitis in Bolivia. Luckily I
recovered quickly due to Gamogloblin shots every 6 months. I also got strains
of flu unheard of in the USA that nearly killed me on several occassions.
Then you've Aeombic Disentary and other common traveller illnesses.
Drink fresh juice when ever you can get it (in your own glass or cup)
You'll still get sick but maybe not quite as bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum
I might be doing my trip solo and I suppose what im fearing is the sense of lonelyness on the road, especially as im a very social person and like to be around friends and family.
These day Latin America is loaded with travellers of every strip. If you
need contact with your "own kind" , then just follow the Gringo Trail mate.
We are everywhere. There are Brit Expat communities all over Latin America. Just find them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum
How you you guys prepare and adapt yourselfs to throwing yourself into unknow territory, away from home for long periods of time ? Do you get homesick and sometimes feel like coming home ?
By all means. And if you feel this dread all the time....then you should come
home. Find something that suits you better. But most times you'll have a bad
patch then things will take off and you'll be having a ball.

If I were you, I'd hook up with a riding partner. Even if you only travel together for a month or so, it can be easier... and its safer too. As mentioned, hundreds on the road down there. You will meet other riders everywhere you go. Join up with others when it feels right. Even if they aren't going "your way". Go anyway, you might learn something. Be open and spontaneous but have your antennae out too for Assholes, scammers and thiefs.

One KEY thing I would do....and very few Brits I've ever met on the road do
this....is to really buckle down and learn Spanish. It will literally transform your experience and you will go from being an OUTSIDER to an INSIDER

Take classes at home before you go and take more classes in either Mexico,
Guatemala or where ever. Get real teachers, not Parrots or kids. I can't tell you how many Brits, Aussies and Kiwis I've "rescued" from some police or other official nightmare they got them selves into simply because they could
not communicate. A few words of Spanish....problems cleared up. Simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum
To go on my trip im throwing all security's out of the window. Job, home, savings etc. I know I will come home with nothing but debt and i will have to start from scratch !! Does this worry other people ????

Dont get me wrong, I cant wait for my trip and im thoroughly looking forward to the adventure and life changing experience, Im just thinking about mental perperation and how I might feel once theres no turning back.

You thoughts would be appreciated.

Cheers, ed
You can always turn back Ed. Its 2006 remember? If your financial security is
that pecarious then I'd wait and try to improve the situation. Work another couple years, or go to school. See what happens. Maybe you'll find something
worth staying for? Career? Girl friend?

You mentioned starting in Alaska. If you fly into the US or Canada you will have no trouble feeling comfortable in either place. In big cities people are cold and heartless .....untill you know them. Just like London or anyplace...
In Victoria Station I was routinely trampled by beautiful babes on cell
phones walking 100 mph. Sorry! Blam...Sorry Push! Sorry ....Shove....
The British are most polite rude people I've ever met.

But in the country things are a bit better. You could even take some time off
and work in Canada. Lots going on in Vancouver. Plenty of opportunities.
Stay for awhile, save some money. Then move south when it feels right.

!Que le via bien! .....Oh and its "Besame culo" not El culo. No "el"
Sabe que significa: "Vamos a pisar el wha-wha atras" ?

In Cuban Spanish this means, "Lets step into the back door of the bus"
Elsewhere, like Ecuador, it means "Lets **** the baby in the ass"

Your first Spanish lesson.....hope it helps you sometime.

Patrick

Last edited by mollydog; 4 Aug 2006 at 16:30.
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  #8  
Old 4 Aug 2006
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
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WOW.. Thanks molly !! I appreciate the time put into your post !

A realy good read and made me feel better I know I will enjoy my trip and I know I will adapt but I suppose i just have the (i think sensible) fear of the unknown. I love to travel and have been far and wide but just not for so long and in such a potentially foreign land.

Im learning Spanish now and have done my Highschool level GSCE and moving onto College level spanish in September.

P.S My Cuban Spanish teacher told me it was "Besame el culo". I thought it wouldnt need the "el" but he said it did and hes a qualified teacher !

Maybe its a regional thing ?????

Thanks again Molly

Ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Not everyone is cut out for foreign travel. But for such an adventure I have a few ideas that might help.



All this is real, and you have to deal with it. Missing home and friends is all part of it. Took me a long time to learn how to enjoy myself on the road.
No pat answer, no formula. Got to find your own way here.

Certain places proved more tolerable than others, but sometimes this is just down to luck and your state of mind at the time. Go re-read Ted Simon's Jupiter's Travels and see how unhappy he became once he got into the high Andean countries, especially Peru and Bolivia. He calls it the "land of No Hay". I think he had just reached his "burn out" point. I spent 9 months just in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia and mostly had a good time....but it wasn't all roses.

Matt's idea about books is excellent and saved me in my 7 years down there.
But doing this can ISOLATE you from the locals. Sometimes you need to get out and mingle....knowing the language really helps.

Staying healthy is really important and not easy to do. I have seen many travellers, when they become ill, hop straight onto the next flight home. Good physical health means good mental help. I got Hepatitis in Bolivia. Luckily I
recovered quickly due to Gamogloblin shots every 6 months. I also got strains
of flu unheard of in the USA that nearly killed me on several occassions.
Then you've Aeombic Disentary and other common traveller illnesses.
Drink fresh juice when ever you can get it (in your own glass or cup)
You'll still get sick but maybe not quite as bad.



These day Latin America is loaded with travellers of every strip. If you
need contact with your "own kind" , then just follow the Gringo Trail mate.
We are everywhere. There are Brit Expat communities all over Latin America. Just find them.



By all means. And if you feel this dread all the time....then you should come
home. Find something that suits you better. But most times you'll have a bad
patch then things will take off and you'll be having a ball.

If I were you, I'd hook up with a riding partner. Even if you only travel together for a month or so, it can be easier... and its safer too. As mentioned, hundreds on the road down there. You will meet other riders everywhere you go. Join up with others when it feels right. Even if they aren't going "your way". Go anyway, you might learn something. Be open and spontaneous but have your antennae out too for Assholes, scammers and thiefs.

One KEY thing I would do....and very few Brits I've ever met on the road do
this....is to really buckle down and learn Spanish. It will literally transform your experience and you will go from being an OUTSIDER to an INSIDER

Take classes at home before you go and take more classes in either Mexico,
Guatemala or where ever. Get real teachers, not Parrots or kids. I can't tell you how many Brits, Aussies and Kiwis I've "rescued" from some police or other official nightmare they got them selves into simply because they could
not communicate. A few words of Spanish....problems cleared up. Simple.



You can always turn back Ed. Its 2006 remember? If your financial security is
that pecarious then I'd wait and try to improve the situation. Work another couple years, or go to school. See what happens. Maybe you'll find something
worth staying for? Career? Girl friend?

You mentioned starting in Alaska. If you fly into the US or Canada you will have no trouble feeling comfortable in either place. In big cities people are cold and heartless .....untill you know them. Just like London or anyplace...
In Victoria Station I was routinely trampled by beautiful babes on cell
phones walking 100 mph. Sorry! Blam...Sorry Push! Sorry ....Shove....
The British are most polite rude people I've ever met.

But in the country things are a bit better. You could even take some time off
and work in Canada. Lots going on in Vancouver. Plenty of opportunities.
Stay for awhile, save some money. Then move south when it feels right.

!Que le via bien! .....Oh and its "Besame culo" not El culo. No "el"

Sabe que significa: "Vamos a pisar el wha-wha atras" ?

In Cuban Spanish this means, "Lets step into the back door of the bus"
Elsewhere, like Ecuador, it means "Lets **** the baby in the ass"

Your first Spanish lesson.....hope it helps you sometime.
__________________
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1994 XR650L
2001 NX650 Dominator.

BMW Dealer Technician
Welder/Fabricator

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India 2012
Yukon 2012
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  #9  
Old 4 Aug 2006
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Thumbs up Lecciones de español

Patrick
Ted is correct.
Usted dice: "besame el culo"(go to hell). and "que le vaya bien" as a way to say good luck.
Saludos desde Buenos Aires.
KH
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  #10  
Old 4 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCK_973
Patrick
Ted is correct.
Usted dice: "besame el culo"(go to hell). and "que le vaya bien" as a way to say good luck.
Saludos desde Buenos Aires.
KH
Are you native to Argentina?

In Mexico and most of Latin America (I spent about seven years in the region) I always heard it as "Besame culo" not el culo. Maybe I misunderstood the sound? Maybe El culo is regional, if so I missed it.

In any case, I never, ever heard the Argies use this "lumfardo". They have
much funnier and better ones.......

I mostly heard stuff like "!Que Kilombo!" and "!La Puta del Obolisko" and many other colorful 'lumfardos" used by Portenos. YMMV.

Additionally, Besame culo does not mean "Go to hell" , literally translated
it means: "Kiss my Ass". Thats pretty obvious.

Que le via bien does not mean "good luck", that would be: buena suerte viaje
or just: buena suerte. Que le via bien means: "have a good trip".


Ciao,
Patrick

Last edited by mollydog; 4 Aug 2006 at 23:07.
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  #11  
Old 4 Aug 2006
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Ted,
Forget your worries about coming back home with only dept,you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams in memories.Money can be earned easily with a bit of simple graft.Momories can not.By far the worst part of any of the trips i've been on is having to adjust back again when i did get home.It usually takes me a long time to shake the feeling that i sould be packing up and moving on again rather than getting stuck into whatever job i am doing to earn enough for my next one.And isn't it strange how home doesn't seem as nice as it did before you left????
Only a week and a half to go before i leave for Morocco/Sahara,and i CAN'T WAIT!!! Somebody please invent a machine that turns time forwards.....
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  #12  
Old 8 Aug 2006
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Thumbs up I am native argentine

Patrick
You mean "la punta del obelisco" is a better way to say "la puta madre".
And "que le vaya bien" means have good luck.Do well.
Que tenga buen viaje.....have a safe trip etc.
This shouldn´t be a teaching lesson hombre,of course we have regional ways of coursing.
Probably you didn´t picked them up completely.I nead english grammer lessons instead!!!!Hahahahaha.
Nos vemos
KH
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  #13  
Old 8 Aug 2006
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All good stuff.

Local slang aways varies.
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  #14  
Old 8 Aug 2006
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Talking

Hi Mate
You have your freinds at home they will still be there when you get back, and you will make many new freinds as you go,Travelling is a great adventura wether you are on your own or in a group, and as your trip draws to a close you will wish that it was 24 months instead of 12. And remember that there are a lot of people around the world who will never get the chance to meet you if you stay at home. Enjoy it Skip
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