May 08, 2009 GMT
On the move again

There's a stage in packing when you know you've forgotten something. You know, because everything fits, and you're really tempted to throw your hands in the air and shout “Yes!” I packed. It all fitted. I looked around, and couldn't see anything else. I took my topbox downstairs, and stashed the random bits of toolage under the seat.
“You know you've got a whole load of maps through in the living room, don't you?” said Mum.

I've spent the last two weeks at my parents', just outside Paris. It's been less relaxing than I would have liked, as the first six days or so were spent at the computer, eight hours a day, typing up my chapters for Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot, then dealing with the (sometimes rather bizarre) queries the editors had about the Northern England and Scotland stuff I researched & wrote a couple of months ago. I dealt with that just in time for Tim (my boyfriend) to make it over for 48 hours, and now suddenly it's time to go again.

Staying here has been lovely but odd, especially as I don't have a home of my own at the moment. It almost feels like I've stepped back in time: days of work interspersed with time spent roaming the countryside, dinner with the parents, familiar shops and places and faces. But at the same time plenty has changed, and I can't forget that it's been nearly ten years since I last spent any time here. Checking out details of a hostel near Fort William, I saw photos of Glen Nevis, and was reminded of how much I love the Scottish scenery, the wildness that you just don't get here. With no idea where I'll eventually end up being based, I think there'll always be something I miss about wherever I'm not; it's just a matter of finding the best balance.

So tomorrow morning I head east towards Germany. I'm not expecting to make it to the border in one day: not only am I taking the scenic route, but the chances of me leaving at a sensible time are slim to none, and I don't want to rush. Besides, there is definite appeal to spending my first proper night travelling somewhere I at least speak the language! Although I'm not expecting any real likelihood of difficulty until at least Slovakia (which I still know very little about, incidentally, it seems to be generally ignored!). The hardest thing for me will be to take it easy – I'm not very good at going slowly, not in terms of riding but in terms of covering ground. My intention is never to ride beyond dinner-time, and I think sticking to that will be an excellent move towards enforced relaxation! Walking around Paris with Tim I realised it had been months since we enjoyed a day off together, even before I left for France – what is it that always takes up the time? Who knows, but whatever it is, it's definitely time to take a step back from it.

Posted by Laura Bennitt at May 08, 2009 10:08 PM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!