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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 22 Jun 2011
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Fear!

Hey everyone, I know this is the same as hundreds of threads i have seen on the HUBB before but thought I should sink my teeth in and finally make my first thread and get some advice while showing face on here for the first time.

Basically I have August off work and im going to be off to see Europe for the first time on my own. My question is is it normal to be a bit apprehensive about setting off on my own for the first trip? Anything I can do to settle my nerves?

Cheers and sorry for wasting time!

Martin
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  #2  
Old 22 Jun 2011
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Dont worry martin, they only have one head and they eat and drink the same as we do in england.
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  #3  
Old 22 Jun 2011
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Phew!! I knew i was worrying about nothing.
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  #4  
Old 22 Jun 2011
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Seriously, what is it your afraid of ?

I can't think of a better place to voice your travel fears. If it's encouragement you're looking for....well..you came to the right place as well.
Most of us here are "half-nuts" anyway! You would realize that if you read some of the stories on here.
Let's address what's making you nervous.
Lack of support from friends?
Lack of funds?
Leaving things behind?
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  #5  
Old 22 Jun 2011
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I cant put my finger on what it is exactly, it may just be not really knowing what to expect.

I know this is the place for encouragement i have spent endless days reading stories and researching anything and everything in envy. I think it may be the excitement that i will finally be going away after all this time dreaming off it. Then maby have a story of my own to share with the rest of the 'nuts' on here!

One thing is my lack of language skills when being abroad making it a bit lonesome, easy to overcome?
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  #6  
Old 22 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhier32 View Post
I cant put my finger on what it is exactly, it may just be not really knowing what to expect.

One thing is my lack of language skills when being abroad making it a bit lonesome, easy to overcome?
I wouldnt worry about language skills, a phrase book works wonders. Neither of us know much beyond school German and Doric and its nearly a lifetime since we left school and we get by with little or no major problems, we did once however end up with 3 pizzas instead of 1 but hey ho they were nice.

Remember your log in info for this site and if in trouble just get to the nearest internet cafe or activate the internet on your mobile phone and get help from the community on here.

Above all else enjoy the trip, I am just so jealous you have a month to travel and leaving Scotland and the midgie behind. enjoy
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  #7  
Old 22 Jun 2011
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The first time I came off the ferry to France my legs were shaking.
Apprehension has happened, I'm sure, to all of us at one time or another.
It's normal and natural. We all started somewhere.
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  #8  
Old 22 Jun 2011
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I reckon i could just about manage three pizza's if it was forced upon me but i will make sure to take a phrase book and a smile and see what happens, all part of the fun.

My login details will be at hand for calling in the support on here for the reassuring words of wisdom to settle nerves.

Pretty delighted i have a month, a wee change at work has landed me with a month off and to be honest the weather here is absolutely horrible so a bit of sun and avoiding midges as you say is just what is needed.

Thank you mark, im glad that im not the only one who has felt this way and ur right got to start somewhere. Sure nerves will settle with some miles on the 'wrong side of the road' under my belt. Cheers
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  #9  
Old 23 Jun 2011
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nerves are natural, the unknown is exciting but also a little scary, thats part of what makes it fun. People are on the whole pleasant & friendly bunch, I have had people drive across towns with me following to lead me to a campsite,sometimes with no common language at all,just a confused expression,a smile & a map
You will have a great trip & you always have HU to back you up
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  #10  
Old 23 Jun 2011
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You'll have a great time. I remember feeling exactly the same when I initially bit the bullet and did my first bike trip. I had read so many websites...actually too many websites, for what is actually quite a simple, and life affirming, activity.

I drove to the ferry in pouring rain, I was soaked. Getting onto the ferry all the other bikers seemed really experienced - I felt well out of my depth. I arrived late into France and quietly shuffled into a hotel room in Boulogne, hoping to disappear, hoping to get some sleep, hoping no one would recognize quite how scared I felt.

The next morning I started my trip, the rain had stopped, and after 30 minutes of tentative riding, fearing I'd end up on the 'wrong side' of the road, I began to calm down. Gradually I started to relax and look around me. By lunch time I was enjoying riding in the same way as I do at home, only a bit more as everything was new.

Then really cool things started to happen. On my first day I was sat by my bike in a service station looking at my map, trying to work out where I was about to go, when someone came over, started talking to me, and offered to show me around the rather tricky one way system. The second day a couple on a campsite offering me some left over bottles of water. People repeatedly tried to make conversation when I pulled over or arrived at camp sites. I slowly got used to allowing other people to help me, I started to relax and enjoy it - and I began to see that this was the point.

Putting yourself at the mercy of the world, and coming to realize that the scary negative world thrust upon us by the media is negative 'make believe', is one of the amazing pleasure of bike travel. Add to this the fun of spending time on two wheels and you start to see why these kinds of trips are addictive. To recognize you feel fearful, and yet to push yourself beyond it is to be truly alive.

You'll have the most amazing time! Be sure to let us know what happens.

Rob
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  #11  
Old 23 Jun 2011
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Smile

There is nothing to fear Martin except fear itself!
But 'fear' as a guiding sense is good for you
- it keeps your senses sharp
- it makes you more aware of your surroundings
- it keeps you out of danger (mostly- but as you ride a bike..better scratch that one!)
- it keeps your tyres away from wet/diesel covered metal covers
- Most of all it warns you with that ' I am uncomfortable' feeling that usually means 'best moving on from here'. Trust you senses-
99% of people on Earth want peace- there are a few bad eggs ...sadly. You just have to pray that your Guarding Angel keeps them busy away from you!
Go and explore - it's fabulous out there with more genuine encounters than you'll probably ever have at home IMHO
and as far as languages are concerned, a big beaming smile is the best tool to carry, weighs nothing and opens more doors than you ever imagine!

And if you feel you are in need of local help, the Horizons Unlimited local community is just an email away!
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  #12  
Old 23 Jun 2011
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Thank you everyone! I am glad to know that everyone has felt this feeling before departure on there first trip, and that natural. I cannot wait to get going now and will make sure not to worry and be prepared to just smile and embrace any experiences that come my way, all good i hope and i will make sure to trust my senses.

Thanks for all the reassuring words and advice, cant get enough advice from people who have done it before and know what they are talking about.

Martin
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  #13  
Old 23 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
There is nothing to fear Martin except fear itself!
But 'fear' as a guiding sense is good for you
- it keeps your senses sharp
- it makes you more aware of your surroundings
- it keeps you out of danger (mostly- but as you ride a bike..better scratch that one!)
- it keeps your tyres away from wet/diesel covered metal covers
- Most of all it warns you with that ' I am uncomfortable' feeling that usually means 'best moving on from here'. Trust you senses-
99% of people on Earth want peace- there are a few bad eggs ...sadly. You just have to pray that your Guarding Angel keeps them busy away from you!
Go and explore - it's fabulous out there with more genuine encounters than you'll probably ever have at home IMHO
and as far as languages are concerned, a big beaming smile is the best tool to carry, weighs nothing and opens more doors than you ever imagine!

And if you feel you are in need of local help, the Horizons Unlimited local community is just an email away!
Hey,
Bertrand.
I agree with you!

(Just this once though!!)
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  #14  
Old 24 Jun 2011
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well put bertrand.i shipped my bike from australia to england in may and have so far ridden on my own through france,spain ,portugal and am now in the dolomites in italy.travelling on a motorcycle you seem to become part of a worldwide brotherhood.ive met a lot of fantastic people so far and no i dont speak any other language than english.
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  #15  
Old 27 Jun 2011
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A lot of travellers we've met have booked Brit run or English speaking accommodation for a few nights as a sort of safe haven after a day of trying to make yourself understood. There are a number of sites where you can find these 'biker friendly' establishments such as BIKE-STAY - Motorcycle Friendly/Biker Friendly Accommodation Directory, for motorcyclists around the world.

Most Europeans are more pro bike than in the UK. Unfortunately, some French car drivers are so keen to show their enthusiam they drive like prats when you are following them.

I would say that in order to get a good balance to your trip try and fit in with the local timetable, for example, in France everyone stops to eat between 12 and 2 and bars (except in touristy places) are shut by 8 or 9 whereas in Spain everything is much later. Also use a map rather than a GPS for finding your way around, this will make the whole trip a lot more memorable and even on a day to day basis you'll be able to talk about where you've been.

Have fun!
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