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As somebody else said, you do not want lose a woman like that. I have spent 10 unsuccessful years trying to get my wife on a bike, the trips would have been so much more fun. I am a lone biker usually, I don't ride with others but on a long trip I wish she would come.
I had the same problem before I left on a two year RTW ride. First she wanted to come, then she didn't. Then I had to decide if I should leave this great woman and go alone, knowing she might not be there when I got back. Well, I went and she had a lot of vacation time and frequet flyer miles saved up from work, so she came out to all the really nice spots to visit. It was tough, but she didn't leave (though she was practically packing by the time I got back).
We are getting married November 11th in Guatemala.
My wife had never been on a motorcycle before meeting me, now we have 28 years together and about 200,000 miles. Although she trained for her own license, she prefers to ride pillion.
I can't imagine not having her along. Being able to say "Hey, look at the ...... to the right!" more than doubles the pleasure in seeing it. One cannot tell someone else about it days, weeks, months later and give them the true feeling of it. Even a picture will not bring the total flavor of the event, the winds, the smells, tiredness, excitement, strangeness or familiarity will not come through. And then there is the time at the end of the day when one does try to tell the other about something the other missed. These discussions add to the enjoyment because even if one didn't see it they still have the flavor of the time to add to the description. Sharing the ride more than doubles the enjoyment.
Then there is the advantage of a second pair of eyes looking out for your safety. She sees things that I have missed, animals, traffic, signs, police... as well as being the navigator while I do the piloting. At a strange intersection in a strange town in a strange country with a strange language, it is very helpful to have her looking too, the GPS can only tell me so much.
On the job I have travelled without her. Travelling with her is much more fun. MUCH MUCH MORE!!!
..........One cannot tell someone else about it days, weeks, months later and give them the true feeling of it. Even a picture will not bring the total flavor of the event, the winds, the smells, tiredness, excitement, strangeness or familiarity will not come through. And then there is the time at the end of the day when one does try to tell the other about something the other missed. These discussions add to the enjoyment because even if one didn't see it they still have the flavor of the time to add to the description....
Well typed, really.
Those moments when it's experienced, sparking the mind and emotions, under those unique conditions....
If i took a woman, i guess the caring man in me would be concerned about her all the time. Is she to hot/cold/comfortable/uncomfortable/not feeling well etc.
I was raised with 3 sisters and no brothers. I think I'm a caring person, but I wouldn't be so concerned with _only_ her comfort. I figure if I'm hot or stuck in the rain, she'd be in the same mess too.
I started the first thread, and haven't found anyone yet. Still have the same girl saying she wants to go who I started planning the trip with 6 years ago, but she isn't doing anything towards it. Still have a different ex-gf that wants to go, but I'd rather go alone than with her, even though she is really nice.
I posted an ad to craigslist and met a nifty girl (attractive, smart, rides, reliant, slaughters her own cows, has the same "better the experience then living for money" take I have on life), but last night, she sent me an email saying she's hooked up with another girl. Better finding out now, then getting dumped in India for a Hindu lesbian.
As Rachel said, "There's nothing quite like having someone to share the experience with."
Oh the wanderlust partner…
WE began planning for OUR RTW trip but lately doubt has set in. (Here is where my ego, my selfishness, my MAN-ly a$$hole attributes comes in.) I would love to have her in any life in any form I am fortunate enough to be blessed with. BUT, I feel I want to RTW solo. Why I don’t really know, I have just always dreamed of RTW soloing, not with a wanderlust partner. We have talked about this and there is no doubt that she can handle her own. (Wheelie if you are reading this I made her read your post in “PART 1”, she is ok for everything except brain worms she says)
PS: No, for who ever is about to ask you cannot have her. LOL
Wow, tough problem. Some wonderful, sensitive and smart responses from the
peanut gallery here. What a great group of friends to have around, no? !!
Most say take her along. Someone said take her along and figure she will want to bail out at some point. Having seen this so many times in my own travels,
I'd say its a good possibilty. You may change your mind as well. Not everyone
is cut out for the hard scrabble life of 3rd world travel, living off a motorcycle for years at a time, always being a stranger, everywhere you go.
But perhaps those moments of enlightenment Ted Simon talks about in Jupiter's Travels will come your way........You've read it, right? The ultimate reason to go solo.
I also like petefromberkeley's idea of flying her in from time to time. On your trip you will come upon, almost by magic, certain Garden of Eden type places where you figure you could spend the rest of your life. When you get there,
get on the horn and have her fly in.
If you start off together I'd advise NOT selling her house. A car is one thing,
but keep the house. Rent it out. It will provide travel income. If she has to
re-buy, the property taxes will kill her. Keep it. Cars and all the other crap can
be sold off or put up in storage.
You are very lucky to even be in the position to be able to travel RTW.
I hope you appreciate this. Best of luck....whatever choice the two of you
Ahhhh........ the meaning of life! Well, almost. Not surprising that this post has generated such diverse replies. Alone or with a partner? I think Chris Scott said it best in the AMH: "Most people will instinctively know whether they want to travel alone or not".
I've been a lurker for far too long on the HU site, trying to think if there was anything valuable I could add to the immense experiences some of you have had - I still don't think I can say anything you haven't already heard. But now it's time to throw my 2 cents worth into the pot. This topic is eerily close to my own heart right now.
I live in Canada and have been planning a trip to Ushuaia for nearly 3 years. Originally it was going to be a group ride of about 3 months long, shipping the bikes home from BA, but as time went on the trip got bigger for me and now looks like it may be a year or more. I always dreamt of meeting a girl who enjoyed riding, camping and travelling as much as I do, and would be in a position in her life that allowed her to join me. I am the type of person who instinctively knows I want to ride with a partner. Preferrably a signifigant other, but someone to relive those experiences with for many years to come. Unfortunately, I wasn't having any luck meeting anyone like that, even my riding buddies didn't do trips like that. Besides, how would I know what a trip this big was like if I didn't give it a try. Other people have done it alone and really enjoyed it, and I've done several week or two trips alone that I enjoyed, so I decided to go - no matter what.
Then one day out of the blue in April 2005 I met a woman I had known 10 years earlier. I always thought she was a real catch back then, but our lives were headed down different paths, and it never even really got started. She got married and I entered into a long-term relationship, both of which ended. When I met her again this time, we were in different places in our lives and everything just clicked. And guess what? She loved riding pillion on my bike! I couldn't have asked for a better person in my life, but I immediately told her about my trip plans and that I wasn't prepared to change them. She was of course welcome to join me, but she didn't have any experience on a bike. We decided that a 10 day trip to the HU meeting in BC in September would be the decision point. Almost the entire trip was cold and rainy, but I thought perhaps it was for the best so that she had a truer understanding of what bikers can go through (it's not always sunny is it?). She didn't complain, and thought long and hard about it for two weeks afterward (while I secretly prayed she would say yes). Guess what? She did! Wow what a girl! I was so very impressed by her trust in me and willingness to try something new in her life. I was the happiest person you could find.
But that was last year. With the trip getting closer and things starting to happen, she started doing less and less and I could see the drive diminishing. We talked to another couple who are riding two-up in SA right now (thanks to HU) so that she could get another woman's perspective on things once on the road, but it wasn't enough. It wasn't hard to see that her fears of the unknow were getting the best of her, and I am helpless to change them.
Now you can see why this post struck a chord in my heart. I am envious of all of you that have a partner who desires to be with you so much - no matter what you do. You are truly blessed. But I cannot change this now, and I must stay true to myself and continue this trip. Any riders care to share the road? I leave September 25th.
1. Go alone
2. Go with somebody else (a mate or a girl friend)
3. Go with your 'significant other'
Option 1: YOU have decided to take the trip, YOU do it. You can do everything you want without having to worry about anybody else. Ultimate freedom. You´ll change during the trip, she´ll change during your absence, so if she still is in the picture when (and if) you come back, then is a good time to figure out if you guys should be together.
Option 2: You go with a friend an will be able to a). share experiences on the road and b). do all the stuff that you wouldn´t be able to do if you are with a 'significant other'. A friend is a friend, and if you get unfriendly along the way, there is always the posibility to split up and each go your own way. Don´t take point b to lightly as this can be a major part of the experience, especially if it is your first big trip. Once again we are talking about freedom to do what YOU want to do during the trip.
Option 3: Go with your significant other. If you worry about things you will 'miss' along the way and experiences that you would have had IF you were travelling alone or with a mate this, is not the right option for you.
It all boils down to perceived freedom. Do you think your partner is going to hold you back? Do you have any doubt about taking the trip with her at all? Then DON´T!! Don´t get me wrong, I am not saying that travelling with your life partner is a bad idea, far from it, me and my wife are planning our next trip together right at this moment. Just know Option 1, 2 and 3 are all good, but in the end each one will give you a very different experience.
The big question is now: What do YOU want to get out of this trip.
Just enjoy the trip and sharing it with the one you love sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Just remember: you can´t always have your cake and eat it too, mate!
I have only just stumbled across this thread, and I find it very moving. I agree 100% with what Maverick Bubble has to say. I am now 44 and last year travelled 30,000 kms from Argentina to Guatemala where I undertook 5 months of volunteer work in a clinic and orphanage. My motivation, or should I say catalyst, was the breakdown of my relationship after 7 and a half years with the person I still consider to be my soulmate, and drastic steps were needed. I was failing to live. My journey changed me forever, I think for the better, but the process wasn't easy, God! there were some lonely, difficult times out there. But it needs to be that way, and being alone, you really are open to a much more intense experience. Now, I just can't take relationships seriously. I am stronger but it still gets lonely; quite often in fact! At the same time it's very liberating, and after a year back in the UK, I'm leaving it all to try living in South America, but if I can't make it work, I'll just stay on the road. On the other hand, a loving, stable relationship in this age is a wonderful gift, and you sound privileged to have her. I'm not sure I would ride away from her, but perhaps what you really crave is freedom. Sure as eggs is eggs, whichever decision you make, I don't think it's going to be particularly easy for you.
The very best of luck, and let us know what happens!
How much does a man live, after all?
Does he live a thousand days, or one only?
For a week, or several centuries?
How long does a man spend dying?
What does it mean to say “forever”? - Pablo Neruda
I have done most of my travelling alone, and although it´s generally more "adventurous" (the adventures generally occur when you meet people after being starved of social contact for so long), 6 months of travelling solo in countries where you don´t habla la lingua can be tough. I have also met girls along the way who travelled with me for a while and they were great times. It´s good to have someone else to bounce ideas off and to see the same things that you see. Travelling solo still has a certain romantic appeal (a man and his machine in a struggle against adversity and all that) but there is room i think for a member of the fairer sex, at least part of the time.
As previously suggested, the best thing would be to fly the missus out to travel with you some of the way, then continue on alone.
At this point I would consider giving her the bike.
Maybe you should stay home and get your shit together.
She's ready, are you?
I think this is a bit harsh.
The truth is nobody can really answer this question and probably there is no right answer.
My guess, and this is only a guess, is that you'd rather go it alone but dread the conversation where you tell her that's what you've decided and the hurt it would cause. You're certainly not the first man to have to face that.
Either way, what's the worst that could happen? You get a once-in-a-lifetime trip or a once-in-two-lifetimes trip. Nice problem to have
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