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Old 11 Jan 2012
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Thanks for all the input and advice from everyone; I love to hear people’s opinions, that is the wonder of this and similar sites.
I have toured many tens of thousands of miles by motorcycle and loved every minute but for a trip with no end date I have decided the Mog and small motor bike option is the one for me. I hope to set off when the time is right, but the date depends on selling a house etc. I have a house which is rented and has been by the same family for 4 years without issue, they look like they are staying put with 3 small children in local schools etc. My sister manages it for me along with her own properties as I work away a lot (currently in the stans) I have done 2 round the world trips before as a hitch hiker, first setting off in 1980 which lasted about 11 months and again for 2 years in 89-90. At that time I used hostels and camping, as well as renting while based in Aus for a while.
I understand the comments which say an objective is important, and I agree, if an end to the adventure is factored in.
My objective would be to live life, and feel free, without and end date or goal. I can’t imagine a single person on this site who has not dreamed of the opportunity to just travel. To set an objective is to set a limit or an end.
I hope to have a panic fund of 5 to 10k for emergencies. My rout would get me to Asia as quickly as possible, via whatever rout is the best at the time. I would factor in the ‘launch’ costs so would only start living on the rent money when I got to Asia.
So what do you think guys..... Am I on the right lines or raving bloody mad..... Cos I’m dammed if I know either way.
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Old 11 Jan 2012
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I too have thought about doing something like this and even I applied for redundancy to make it happen (failed). We reckoned we needed about £2000 per month to fund an endless biking trip with 2 bikes (me and missus), food and camping, an ocassional hotel or hostel, and enough contingency for repairs, shipping and other lumpy costs, and even at that it would be very tight.

I would be concerned about the pointless drifting and that £16 per day is bugger all. Split that say 50:50 between fuel and food/other stuff and you have about 2 gallons/10litres per day or less, so about 30-40miles perhaps, some decent grub (important) and probably a small contingency of a couple of quid for ocassional extras. The £5k contingency would soon get eaten up in Visa's, insurance, and shipping as you travel. There's also a Carnet to think about = expensive.

As others have said, it is probably do able but I think progress would be frustrating slow, it would be a constant penny pinching trip and to my mind not much fun. I think it depends on your outlook - it wouldn't suit me on that low a budget.

Whatever you decide have a great time doing it and either way, dont regret the decision - it was the right one at the time.
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Old 11 Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by majorbumsore View Post
I can’t imagine a single person on this site who has not dreamed of the opportunity to just travel. To set an objective is to set a limit or an end.
Actually, I've already done this quite a few times with mixed results. At the moment I've concluded it's not what I'm after, and as a result I'm not looking for more long trips, with or without objectives or limits. I don't think that this is uncommon.

The thing is, most folks vote with their feet. In other words, they talk about how much they'd enjoy life without plans or obligations, but in actual fact they accumulate responsibilities rather rapidly because there are real rewards to be had in commitment over time, in becoming a part of families, in embedding in communities, and in orienting toward goals.

It's convenient to complain and say "If I only had the money, I'd throw it all aside and take the endless motorcycle (or Unimog) journey," but the reasons that most people never actually accomplish this are for real, and worth considering realistically. It's very often not about lacking the funding: most people around here spend more per year supporting their giant televisions, stylish clothes and humongous American cars than I've spent on yearlong trips throughout the world no matter how profligate.

Whether this applies to you specifically is an open question. I'm just pointing out that I don't think your generalization is true.

Your central question, which I understand to be whether your budget will suffice, has been answered by a few posters already, and I'm sure others will chime in. It sounds like maybe you're looking for something else; what is it? "Am I crazy?" doesn't really narrow it down.

As always, ignore any or all of the above if it's unhelpful or doesn't apply.

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Old 11 Jan 2012
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Be aware that £500 per month in Europe goes nowhere even with free accommodation and that some people become travel weary after about a year.

If you rent your house 100% occupancy is hard to achieve and also you will have to give tenants a contract which means you wont always be able to return at a moments notice.

Other than that just go for it - better on a bike IMHO

Last edited by Magnon; 12 Jan 2012 at 06:32.
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Old 12 Jan 2012
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everyone has dreams about things they want to do and for me i will be on the road soon just got kids to bring up first and as for planning anything this big that this man wants to do plan and double plan info is key i ve been planning my trips for the last year. hoping by 2015 first big one. you know the old saying read between the lines happy biking
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
I'd pay close attention to Grizzly10 above. It's obvious that what you're describing is theoretically possible.....but it's a rare individual who could actually pull it off, whether possible or not. Rarer still: the individual who could sustain it over time. Maybe you're that person, but the overwhelming majority of us are not.

I'm not, for example. I've spent more than that on every extended trip I've ever taken, even those without a vehicle. With a bike there are lots of added expenses; with a Mog, more so. How will you get the Mog from India onwards? Not via China, and not shipping it to SE Asia or Australia either on that sort of budget. You're really talking about a trip through Europe and the Stans into India then?

I'd pay less attention to those who say that's their dream too, therefore you should do it (even though they can't). That's not the voice of experience in any sense; it's the voice of people who want you to live out their dreams. You've got enough on your plate figuring out how to live out your own dreams.

On the other hand if you've got a backup plan--also known as an escape hatch--then why not try? Throwing off a secure job and situation in order to travel for a while is not as big a deal as it sometimes seems--I've done it several times. But you might want to find a way to dip your toe in the water without risking a whole lot before you fully commit.

I'd think carefully about cutting things too close with your rental income: as indicated, things sometimes go off the rails in a hurry if you're not there to keep tabs on it. I've traveled all over the world relying on rental income, with and without motorcycles; when it works, it's great. The idea is to have a plan for what to do when it all falls apart.

Hope that's helpful. Good luck!

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Old 9 Feb 2012
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I am not sure if this is strictly allowed or not but i took 250 liters or red diesel in the back of my landy last trip away. I didnt use any of it until i got out or the UK as i know that isnt allowed but once i wasnt on UK roads i couldnt see the problem. It saved me a few hundred on fuel costs to get out of Europe too.

I dont know what other people think about that? Try and find a co pilot though it will half your costs.
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Old 9 Feb 2012
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Hi majorbumsore
sounds like a fab trip and with all your previous travel knowledge, you seem fairly set to go.....
you say you have a decent job, could you take unpaid leave for a longer period of time so that you can "test the water"?
having knowledge of a job waiting back in the UK may make leaving a bit easier - you could always hand in your notice whilst away....... not many companies would force you to return to work the notice period - it would cost too much to take you to court for breach of contract.
However, read the small print. My last company offered up to 18 weeks for a career break but wouldn't guarantee a job, only an interview......

Good Luck!

Striving to live the ordinary life in a non ordinary way
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Old 9 Feb 2012
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Thumbs up to just meandering and bumming around.

Not every trip needs to have an end point or an aim, sometimes I think people are so results focused they often miss out on the trip itself. I've met so many people on the road who seem like they are just ticking 'the big trips' off, like people once knocked big game off on safari.

If you don't know exactly where you are going, then you are never lost, and you are never late.


PS - Awesome advice from Mark.

I'd pay less attention to those who say that's their dream too, therefore you should do it (even though they can't). That's not the voice of experience in any sense; it's the voice of people who want you to live out their dreams. You've got enough on your plate figuring out how to live out your own dreams.
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Old 9 Feb 2012
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I would like to suggest that £500 a month would be sufficient, but it wont be.
It won't be enough in UK, it wont be enough in Europe, it could be marginal in many African countries.
For example, a 100 liter fuel tank (just keep it simple) would average cost you £145 most in Europe, it's not that different.
For 100 liters, I guess your Mog would get you 500km at best, 350 miles before your' needing another £145 or so fuel pit stop.
That is looking like a £145 fuel hit at least once a week, taking it easy, having lots of rest days.
At 60km/h thats only an 8 hour drive for you, then the 100 liter tank could be on empty.

If you split your £500 two ways, food v fuel £200 v £300
£300 fuel buys you about 210 liters, 1000 km maybe?
So you could be restricted to 1000km a month?

On a recent trip around Europe last summer, we would guzzle £100 fuel every day, effortlessly in a Land Cruiser, which has a far better economy than a Mog. OK, we were doing the miles.

Seriously, £500 a month is nothing, and you would be so restricted, and constantly asking yourself "can I afford to turn the key"?

Jeeeeezzz, even food was costing an arm and a leg,

Sounds a great idea, but so many great ideas have been trashed of recent, due to the high fuel prices.

Sounds a great idea, but I would want at least double the £500 a month before setting off.
Repairs ? now that is a whole different kettle of fish, and Mogs do break down.

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Old 11 Feb 2012
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let me throw this at you, i leave next year to continue riding around the world (by motorcycle) this topic came up on ADV a while back, i threw in my 0.02 -

...and that was try doing it at home...put your budget in your pocket for the month and see how it goes, if you can do it in your own environment then you can do it on the road, eat how you would and what you would on the road, travel equivalent miles etc.

...but personally i think you need a little more, i live on $40 max a day (so in pounds around 750, but i get 60 mpg) on the road to give you an example and just finished 38,000 miles thru the Americas
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Old 11 Feb 2012
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the pound isn't what it used to be. i think you'd be restricted to india / nepal / SE asia for a long time.

shipping will cost a bomb, so will the carnet.

in asia, accommodation is about $5 a night for room, a/c & ensuite if it looks like you're staying more than a night or two. why would you want to stay in a 'mog?

my suggestion FWIW, sell / forget the 'mog & take a small bike - you aren't in a hurry so power / speed / offroad capability don't matter, you just want your independence. this will cut fuel, carnet & shipping to the bone.

lastly, i wouldn't want to retire knowing i'm gonna be eating spaghetti and tuna cooked on a petrol stove for the rest of my life. i know you're a brit and i'm an aussie, but what would life be without steak and ?
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Old 2 Apr 2012
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I will throw a suggestion out there...would it be an option to sell the house?

I would personally rather not have to worry about tenants and the possibility of not having an income. With the house sold and the money in the bank (assuming you own it outright) you would have a stress free travel and could spend as little or as much as you would like.

Drawbacks are obviously you lose your asset and cant travel indefinitely, but you could budget £1000 a month = £12000 a year, much more reasonable. 10 years travelling for £120k, now that's a long travel!

Unfortunately I'm 26 and have zero savings and zero assets so this is a long long way off for me

I am planning heading to NZ, buying a camper van and touring for long as I can with what i can save by Christmas, if i find somewhere I like I can try work to effectively live in that location for "free".

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Old 2 Apr 2012
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£500 is currently about $800 US. When I lived in Mexico for 3 years, I did okay on about $650-$700 a month - but I was living in an apartment. I would think to travel around on that kind of budget you would be living in a tent most of the time, and not have a lot extra for emergencies, hotels, luxuries, etc.

I think you can do it, but you will be living on the cheap and probably need to have an emergency fund stashed away.
Bruce Clarke --- 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R (black)
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Old 2 Apr 2012
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Ditch the Mog for nice RTW bicycle. That way you might actually be able to save money and not eat into your savings. Its always good advice to live below your means.
The big advantage of a bicycle is you can take it with as luggage on airplanes, trains, or busses. And you got some money to stay in a hostel once in a while. Even travelling by motorcycle you would be stretching the budget. I figure is costs roughly $50 per 500 miles to keep my KLR in service in South America were fuel is cheaper than EU.
I saw a couple of those unimog things down in SA, frankly they strike me as being a bit grotesque. Especially when you consider how much fuel they gobble.
I'm fixing on ditching the motorcycle for a bicycle. I want to get to London where they will fit you for a RTW bike.
Santos Bikes

When you think about it a bicycle makes a lot of sence.
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Old 6 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Bush Pilot View Post
I'm fixing on ditching the motorcycle for a bicycle. I want to get to London where they will fit you for a RTW bike.
Santos Bikes
I have to admit I'm not speaking from personal experience here, but I'm not sure that spending big money on a specialist bike and equipment isn't unneccassary and counter productive.

I met plenty of cyclists whilst in Central Asia, many of them doing China/India to the UK. A few were quite vocal about their choice of a simple and cheap bike.

Certainly in the spectrum of motorcycles I'd be pretty confident of asserting that expensive specialist equipment is probably more of hinderance in the long run (more paranoid of it being nicked, and when it breaks harder to repair).
UK to Mongolia 2009, on a DR350
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