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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  #1  
Old 4 Jan 2013
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Need advice about my one-year trip route

Hello all,

My name is Teo, from Spain.

I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the information on this site and on the Internet and I don't know where to start. So I am here to look for your advice on a plan that I have.

I recently quit my job and decided that I want to travel the world with my motorcycle for a year. That is settled, I do want to do it and I have the money and the time. I am being realistic, I do have some experience on long-distance motorcycle travelling (a couple of travels in Europe and Ushuaia - Cuzco in 2010). I also have some good contacts and access to information about motorcycle travelling since I worked for a few months in a motorcycle travel and rental company.

I am relaxed and open minded, I would like to visit every single spot in the world if that could be possible. I am not afraid of the road, the people or whatever life brings and wherever the road takes you.

But the last months I have been stressed about this whole idea of leaving for a year. I left my job back in September and since then I have been thinking a lot but planning very little. Everyday life has kept me busy and spring slowly approaches. I need to take care of some family business now, but I will be free to go by the end of March.

My problem is: **I don't know where to go!** Can you believe it?

I have money (I hope enough at least), I have a nice motorcycle (BMW R1200GS 2010 with 50k kms on it), I have some experience and I have the time to do it. The rest of the planning (setting up the bike, luggage, spare parts, visas, sightseeing... etc.) does not stress me. I am relaxed and usually do everything on the very last minute. Sounds stupid but it works.

However, I cannot seem to decide where to travel to and this stresses me. This is why I'm asking for your advice and suggestions. Where would you go if you had the chance to spend a whole year on your bike (leaving from Spain)?

There is a few places that I would like to visit, but they seem to be quite far from each other and very difficult to link on one big trip visiting them in the best season. I would like to see Mongolia, Australia, Alaska and Canada. India and Southeast Asia also appeal to me, and recently I started to think about Africa. But ... obviously I cannot do it all!

So... any suggestions? Any experiences to share? I think I need a coarse-more-or-less-go-through-here route and then I know I will be fine planning the rest. But I seem to be stuck here and need a little push to kick-start me

Thanks for reading and your contribution is very welcome.

Cheers!
Teo.
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  #2  
Old 4 Jan 2013
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some idees

Hi Teo,

we are just back from 1 year riding from Buenos Aires, Ushuai and than up to Vancouver.
If i read your story, and you ask me what I would do...
If you start in spring, I would just leave my house and start riding (no boats or planes) heading Nord East (poland, ... to russia and further) or South East (direction Italie,Greece, Turkey and so on) until you running out of time or money.
Simple as hell.

If you want less paperwork (no visa, no carnet de passage) go to South America.

Anyway.... just go!!

If you ever pas by in Belgium....

Ils
www.kisstheride.blogspot.com
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  #3  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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Hi Teo.

IMHO my suggestion would be to take the time out of the equation. If you have the money and the bike, make a decision on a continent to explore and explore it. Based on what I have read on this and other forums of rtw riders, the slower you go the better. You could easily spend a year in Africa Or Eastern Europe and the 'Stans. Plenty of time to do the rest.

PN
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  #4  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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Check out other people's website and ride reports here or on Advrider to give you an idea what they have done and see which one/s you'd like to copy.

Riding from home is a good idea IMHO, rather than shipping somewhere at the start.

I attach a grid of where's best to go when on a motorbike. It's something I prepared for areas/routes that interest me/that I've done. Other times of the year may also be good...
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  #5  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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My advice to you...... And this has NOTHING do do with BMW, is to sell your big expensive bike and use something much cheaper, easier to fix and economical.

Do that and you can travel for two years instead of one or at least have some money to come home with.

Better still, buy a bike in the continent that you decide to start in. You will save THOUSANDS in shipping and forget all the stresses that go with it.

How about flying to Alaska, buy a KLR650 etc, and ride it to Ushuaia.

Swap that GS for a Yamaha XT660Z and ride it to Capetown.

How about riding to Magadan through Eastern Europe, Mongolia and Siberia.

Ride to Australia. Island hopping through Indonesia.


I think shipping a heavy, expensive bike from Europe is just an unnecessary cost and it also takes away A LOT of your freedom. You are stuck with it.

Imagine you meet a gorgeous girl in a Campervan and she asks you to join her for a 2 month trip in her camper.

Imagine you decide that you want to take a canoe 500 miles down the Yukon....

Stay flexible
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  #6  
Old 18 Jan 2013
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Hi Teo,

First of all I will add to the voices that say unless there is something that you have to be home for in a year then keep an open mind about how long you travel for. It might be that after 12 months you have seen enough and want to come home then do so but be open to the idea of travelling for longer.

As Ted has said a smaller bike will make your money go a lot further, will be perectly adequate anywhere and better in many places, but if your 1200 is the bike you will most enjoy travelling on then take it.

If you just want to ride away from your home then Europe is a good place to be and the choices are basically down through Africa via the east or west route, through Central Asia and on to the rest of the world via Vladivostoc or to India and on to SE Asia and Australia from there.

If you ship your bike it could be to America, probably north and down south from there but to me this is the most limiting thing if you only take a year.

Seasonal factors come into play either way and coming into the northern spring I would think about heading off across Central Asia, many others, myself included are planning to do this in 2013 so you are sure to meet other travellers on the road and loads of advice is already up about it.

Either way good luck and bon voyage.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 19 Jan 2013
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Thanks for your ideas!

Hello all!

Sorry for taking so long to answer (busy lately with work and family, also I didn't activate notifications!), but I kept an eye on this thread and have been thinking about the route and other preparations.

A *very* experienced friend that I have suggested the following route, which I like very much. I hope that I can come up with something like this:

Quote:
"Spain, Europe, Norway, Finland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia to Vladivostok, ship to Los Angeles, Central America, Santiago, Ship to Africa (Capetown) ride north to Egypt and ship back to Spain."
Main thoughts about this ^^ are:
  • I like that it starts from home (no initial Shiping)
  • I would like to visit Southeast Asia at some point, but I don't mind skipping it this time
  • I enjoy cold weather and solitary places
  • This opens a possibility of visiting Alaska (and Canada) if I jump there from Vladivostok instead of going straight to LA
  • This also adds a problem, summer is short. If I wait for good weather in Scandinavia, I will make it too late for Alaska. If I start early (end of March), I guess I would have to skip Scandinavia. This could be a minor problem... Scandinavia is "close" to Spain, I could visit that in a different trip
  • I like entering in Southamerica from the north, since I already did a trip from Usuahia to Cuzco. This way I could ride countries I haven't visited yet first
  • Once in Chile, I could look at my bank account and the calendar and decide what to do About Africa. I would love to ride in Africa too, but I am not sure yet about it, so deciding later could be a good option

Now, I will try to answer one by one and do a little recap

Thanks! And please keep it coming, I will dedicate the following two months to prepare everything!
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  #8  
Old 19 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johan&ils View Post
Hi Teo,
If i read your story, and you ask me what I would do...
If you start in spring, I would just leave my house and start riding (no boats or planes) heading Nord East (poland, ... to russia and further) or South East (direction Italie,Greece, Turkey and so on) until you running out of time or money.
Simple as hell.
Thanks for your answer!
I would definitely prefer starting form home, with no initial shipping. Plus, starting with what is familiar may be helpful to get used to the trip little by little. Cruising Europe first (part of which I already know) appears less daunting.
I could also start going South East and enter Russia through Georgia after Turkey... right? That looks like an easy start. But the St Petersbourg and Moscow would be sooo far away I'll think about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNomad View Post
Hi Teo.
IMHO my suggestion would be to take the time out of the equation. If you have the money and the bike, make a decision on a continent to explore and explore it. Based on what I have read on this and other forums of rtw riders, the slower you go the better. You could easily spend a year in Africa Or Eastern Europe and the 'Stans. Plenty of time to do the rest.
PN
Thanks friend!
I definitely agree with you. I do not have a fixed schedule and I want to enjoy my trip, not letting it become a race. My thought about this is: plan for 12 months, allow 16... 17.. whatever.
There is however one major constrain and this is my family (no wife or kids, but elderly people I look after). I know they will be ok without me, but ... you know, they are old (parents 75, aunt 82) so I will have to see on the go how it all evolves.
Also, It is not necessary and I may change my mind. But going east and coming back form west really feels like an around the world trip ... and while this is not my ultimate goal, it somehow adds something to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
Check out other people's website and ride reports here or on Advrider to give you an idea what they have done and see which one/s you'd like to copy.

Riding from home is a good idea IMHO, rather than shipping somewhere at the start.

I attach a grid of where's best to go when on a motorbike. It's something I prepared for areas/routes that interest me/that I've done. Other times of the year may also be good...
Thanks for your answer!
Yes, you are right. Advrider, this site and others that I know are soooo god that I think you could plan anything only reading. I am definitely spending more time browsing from now on.
That grid is really helpful!! I was working today in something similar just before I saw your post It shows the problem that I have now with Scandinavia and Alaska :-/ I guess I will have to decide one or the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
My advice to you...... And this has NOTHING do do with BMW, is to sell your big expensive bike and use something much cheaper, easier to fix and economical.

Do that and you can travel for two years instead of one or at least have some money to come home with.

Better still, buy a bike in the continent that you decide to start in. You will save THOUSANDS in shipping and forget all the stresses that go with it.

How about flying to Alaska, buy a KLR650 etc, and ride it to Ushuaia.

Swap that GS for a Yamaha XT660Z and ride it to Capetown.

How about riding to Magadan through Eastern Europe, Mongolia and Siberia.

Ride to Australia. Island hopping through Indonesia.


I think shipping a heavy, expensive bike from Europe is just an unnecessary cost and it also takes away A LOT of your freedom. You are stuck with it.

Imagine you meet a gorgeous girl in a Campervan and she asks you to join her for a 2 month trip in her camper.

Imagine you decide that you want to take a canoe 500 miles down the Yukon....

Stay flexible
This is great advice! Eye opener

I thought about what you are saying. Selling my bike and getting something smaller has been on my mind since the beginning. But I guess I do not really want to do it. I love my fat-ass 1200gs. I recently started to do some trail riding with it and I feel much more comfortable with it outside the tarmac.

I know it is expensive and I depend on BMW dealers too much... but at the same time I feel it would be much more reliable. Also, I am a big guy. Not so big that a smaller bike would not be able to drag my fat-ass through the world, but I am definitely happier with a big bike. She has a name: Lucía

I am saving the initial shipping since I am starting from home.

The routes you mention, Eastern Europe, Mongolia and Siberia is what I find most attractive (as I mentioned in my previous post).

If I find a gorgeous girl in a Campervan ... well... then well ... ****! I never thought about that! :-P

Never thought about canoeing the Yukon either.. I will definitely try to make my mind broader while planning.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
Hi Teo,

First of all I will add to the voices that say unless there is something that you have to be home for in a year then keep an open mind about how long you travel for. It might be that after 12 months you have seen enough and want to come home then do so but be open to the idea of travelling for longer.

As Ted has said a smaller bike will make your money go a lot further, will be perectly adequate anywhere and better in many places, but if your 1200 is the bike you will most enjoy travelling on then take it.

If you just want to ride away from your home then Europe is a good place to be and the choices are basically down through Africa via the east or west route, through Central Asia and on to the rest of the world via Vladivostoc or to India and on to SE Asia and Australia from there.

[...]

Seasonal factors come into play either way and coming into the northern spring I would think about heading off across Central Asia, many others, myself included are planning to do this in 2013 so you are sure to meet other travellers on the road and loads of advice is already up about it.

Mark
Thanks for your help Mark!

Yes, I am planning for a year but will allow for it to be a little longer. It will depend on money spent and how things go at home.

Regarding the bike, you seem to understand what I said above. I thought about changing it... but somehow I like this beast

You seem to confirm what I found while researching. Starting in March, the sensible routes are down to Africa, Central Asia or Southeast Asia and Australia. I find this last option less appealing and I know that getting into Australia would be expensive as it would be getting out form it.

I have not discarded starting in Africa yet... but Centra Asia looks like an easier start. I don't know. I will think about it. What would be a sensible next step after reaching South Africa?

I will keep reading and posting questions. Thanks all for your answers!!

Cheers!

Teo
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  #9  
Old 19 Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teoromera View Post
You seem to confirm what I found while researching. Starting in March, the sensible routes are down to Africa, Central Asia or Southeast Asia and Australia. I find this last option less appealing and I know that getting into Australia would be expensive as it would be getting out form it.

I have not discarded starting in Africa yet... but Centra Asia looks like an easier start. I don't know. I will think about it. What would be a sensible next step after reaching South Africa?
The world is your oyster once you reach South Africa, allow 3-5 months to get there, it can be done faster but I think you will be rushing. As America seems to take your fancy you could ship to the US or Canada and go from there. I am not sure that you could get up to Alaska but it might be possible and you would have time for the US and Central America, how is your Spanish?

If you go to Central Asia why not head south to Greece and Turkey first until it gets warmer, no point freezing in Scandinavia when you don't have to.

Mark
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