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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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Old 27 Jun 2011
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Fear is the mind killer!

I was shaking like a sh*tting dog when I first set off, never been on a bike before, bike was too tall for me and too heavy etc etc, but when I actually got going after a few days it had all gone and been replaced with a strong desire to just be on the bike all the time.

Fear is natural, but it is also what makes us feel alive. There is no fear in my day job which is why it's so dull! If there was no fear or apprehension before you did something I don't think you'd find the same sense of achievement and satisfaction after you'd done it, so enjoy the fear and get through it anyway!
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Old 27 Jun 2011
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Overcome the fear and live Martin

Go for it. Travelling overseas on a bike for the first time, you should be nervous - it will keep you sharp! I kept repeating to myself - "throttle to the kerb - throttle to the kerb". It only takes a day or so but after that, it's second nature. Don't worry about the language barriers, make an effort as best your can, smile, and people will understand and help. As an Aussie, my first experience of the language barrier was walking into a pub in Scotland and not understanding a word the locals were saying! We conversed in Fasi (by sign language and writing in the sand) in Iran, smiled at the man with the machine gun in Pakistan with no trouble. Motorcyclists, and especially international travellers look after each other, share advice and stories and"enjoy the Journey" no matter how long or short. HU is the place if ever you need a hand.

your month away will make you hungry for more - I guarantee it!

Brian (& Shirl)
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Old 27 Jun 2011
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You will be absolutely fine..I'm just completing my first trip and have had a wonderful experience, despite the absolute and utter fear I felt (just ask HenryUK!!!). It was so bad I was thinking of re-titling my blog - 'how to be a chicken in Turkey'.

Trust that as you step out to meet the world, wonderful things can and do happen. And the not so great things that can happen (err..like getting my travel docs and passport stolen in Iran...oh...and...getting interograted by the Military in Iran cause I happened to be riding through an unmarked serious military zone)...end up being experiences that bring you together with people who you would have never met and show your true strengths.

Keep your heart open and a smile on your face and you wont regret it. I promise.


Ride Pray Laugh....... the not so MiddleEast Adventures (now)
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Old 27 Jun 2011
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Thank you everyone, it seems like i am in the right frame of mind by being terrified but uncontrollably excited at the same time! I cannot wait and all these words of reassurance from the HU community is only making me more desperate to get going. A few wee weekends away in the next month to sort myself out and then i will be waiting for work to finish and the adventure to begin. I am sure i will have some stories and experiences to share when i return and will be truly bitten by the bug, just waiting for the next trip to begin!

Thanks again

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Old 28 Jun 2011
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Fear are a normal feeling as long as they do not stop you to do or enjoy what ever you want to do .
Here are few tips:
1) do not listen negative comments ( most of the time given by people who have no clue of what they are talking about)

2) do not over react , when afraid ask yourself : why , where does the fear come from ( past experience ,doubt,,,,)

3) as much as possible disociate yourself with situation (become an observer)

4) ask for help and advice from good source

5)imagine yourself helping someone in similar situation ( what advice would you give them)

6) take the time to look at how much you already accomplished

7) use reframing as much as possible ,ex: its going to be rough>it look challenging but I did prep myself > many other people did before and can help me > its great to be able to live such adventure>I have already done so much ,I know I will deal with what ever could happen> there is no reason anything bad happen>......

I am professionally trained to councel people with phobia and other mental issues so trust me you are OK , fear is sometime just a way to keep safer.


Hendi Kaf


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Old 30 Jun 2011
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gday brian and shirl.did you by chance write a book about one of your travels?if so it was a great read.
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Old 2 Jan 2012
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Hi Martin what you refer to is also called the what if syndrome,and let me tell you its perfectly natural,infact if you never had any apprehensions i would be worried.When i started my 32,000 mile trip back in 2009 it took around seven days to go away,after that the sense of freedom is overwelming,so make your plans and go for it, you will never look back. Trooper
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Old 15 Jan 2012
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You've really gotten some great advice and offered some truly valid perspectives already from other HUBB members, so I'm not sure what I can offer, but I do have some experience in dealing with people and their fears.

For 15 years I was a flight instructor and had to deal with people who were anxious, nervous or downright scared on a daily basis. Some were real basket cases. Ultimately, however, I think my students found it helpful to know that fear was absolutely part of the process, is important to the process and is a somewhat desirable condition early on. There is only one thing that makes it disappear in time and that is experience, and only one way to get experience...GO DO IT!

In my career, I probably kicked over 200 students out of the nest and sent them on their first solo flight. Everyone of them was scared. My job, however, was to judge the level of that fear and to determine how they would be able to manage it should something unforeseen happen. It was always a high stress time... for BOTH of us. But you know... they all rose to the occasion and often told me that it was one of the greatest experiences they ever had in life. They just managed their fear and DID IT.

I hear from you the same kind of self-questioning that each of my students underwent. I never sent them solo until I felt that they themselves, whether they verbalized it or not, had already decided to do it. It sounds to me like you're ready to do this. Boot... OK Martin, you're outta here.

My advice? Fly within your limits and have a great time. As you gain more travel experience your limits will grow and you will suddenly realize that the fear has faded, replaced only by true joy. You'll come to see that your "first solo" was one of the greatest moments of your life.

Enjoy your fears. They will soon fade and you might even wind up missing the feeling at times.
Samuel Longiaru
Kamloops, BC Canada
1975 BMW R60/6
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Old 15 Jan 2012
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Great advice

As I read the thread you created tears actually came to my eyes.

As did several death defying experiences I have had.

Thank you so much for being so forthcoming - you have elicited excellent

advice from us of the HUBB. I really like what the flight instructor offered.

Here is my humble say.

After more than 50 years of motorcycling, I still feel fear.

Fear is one of my friends.

Today, my fear manifests itself as a slight uneasy feeling that causes me to

be more aware of what might be around that next curve or over that next

hill. Fear rides with me, as a silent partner, until there is actual danger afoot.

Then, my fear like some erstwhile Paul Revere alerts me that I might want to

slow down,look around and do a watch, wallet and testicle check.

For me fear is my intuition that keeps me safe.

xfiltrat ride hard, ride free

courage here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GiKA...eature=related

and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcDCv...eature=related

Last edited by xfiltrate; 16 Jan 2012 at 19:15.
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Old 15 Jan 2012
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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?
You can never predict what will happen, just be flexible and above all do not attempt to run to a tight schedule. Usually I have hopes of a particular destination but even that is not rigid.

as to language skills. take pencil and notebook for writing and drawing. I got on fine in Germany and apart from good morning and thank you in German I don't speak a word of any foreign language except for a smattering of French. In the Czech republic I bartered for a fair exchange rate ( I did not know they were out of the euro zone ) to get a meal one wet Sunday evening. I drew a diagram to show a Polish peasant woman the 'Flytrap' as I could not find it. It was where I thought it was but hidden up a bank behind trees.

Never ride outside your comfort zone, be it weather, time or speed. and always ride defensively. That way you will enjoy your ride.
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Old 16 Jan 2012
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Hi Bertrand,

Comments like yours, makes all of us feel well, being part of the adventurer riding mob. Well done. One doesn't get a similar feeling among many other website with similar interest. The contributions, help and support on this site are absolutely great.
Happy, I have joined.


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Old 16 Jan 2012
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Fear or is it something else

I am also about to embark on my first solo (bigger) trip and it is not so much fear that worries me but a sense of being lonely. At home I am surrounded by my wife and three lovely daughters who spoil me rotten. At work there are colleagues to talk to, and my time off ,friends to go out with. Then all of a sudden I set out on my own...different countries, languages and habits and what have you. I know that I am not very outgoing nor talkative...not like those people who make friends instantly where ever they go and are at the centre of the conversation. It is just not me...but to interact with people on the way I have to open up myself much more...it will be a test for me for sure!
A test I am quite willing to undergo...a confrontation with myself.
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Old 16 Jan 2012
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Of course it's normal......we've all been there and it does get easier!

The hardest thing is to make the decision to leave ! And it's often worse thinking about it than doing it.......

After only being on a motorbike for 2 years I headed out to do London to Cape Town with a complete stranger I met through the HUBB

Europe has a good infrastructure with plenty of resources !

So go out there and enjoy the experience - everyday is an adventure (good or bad)

Louise (currently touring south America with yet another strange man)

" normal is a failure of potential"
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Old 17 Jan 2012
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Great thread you opened! I always thought i was the only one out there with anxcieties and homesickness.

Maybe i have a little tip for you. The first time i left home alone i would go for some time as was comfortable. The first night i stayed at a campsite at Verdun approx. 450km away from my home. I had a wonderfull day of riding behind me but when the evening started i got doubts, really doubts. What am i doing here? At home is my wife and my two big boys waiting and i am here in the dark.
I told myself you can go back and then or you can have a bite and take a small sleeping pil and see what's hapening the next morning.

The next morning the sun was shining, i ate my breakfast, sadlled up my bike and started him. The sound of the running bike makes me forget everything and had yet another wonderfull day.
I traveled small roads from Holland to Marrakesh Morocco. But after three weeks when i came from the ferry i wanted to go home and did in 1 day 1765 km!

After that first trip i made lots of trips for several weeks, now and then i have the same bad vibes. What i do is go to the center of a town, have a bite with 1 or 2 glasses of wine and when i am really feeling bad i take a luxurious hotel put on the tv, take a bath and try to have a comfortable sleep.

The other thing i have learned, that for me it takes time and practice to stay away from home. Nowadays i travel approx. 400km a day and put up my tent, have a walk and most of the time there is always somebody who want's to talk to the 'lonely' traveller, because in most cases they want to do the same but find it hard to be 'alone' but in fact you never are!

Anyway have a safe trip!
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