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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.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  #316  
Old 7 Apr 2015
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Originally Posted by EddieH View Post
I'm a new member and I hate to be negative with my first post, but I honestly can't see any other way to be.

Having read the bulk of this thread it appears that adventure motorcycling is a relatively exclusive activity. If you're not able to finance yourself by selling property you own, and you have no vocational qualification or skill to aid you in working whilst on the move, most of the advice in this thread is useless.

Granted, a few people here do write accounts of scrimping, saving and working all the hours God sends in an effort to pay for a trip, but they are notably in the minority.

The irony seems to be that adventure motorcyling is so often viewed and portrayed as an escape for the free-spirited who care neither for wealth or commercialism, yet from what I've read here the reality seems to be that you need to be in a position of relative privalege to be able to make that choice to become free-spirited and care neither for wealth or commercialism.

Again, I hate to be negative, but this thread has put me off the idea of adventure motorcyling being anything more than a 2 week holiday-level experience.

If however anyone who doesn't own their own house, doesn't have independant financial means, and doesn't have a BA or an IT qualification wishes to offer me a tale of how they managed to travel at length on two wheels, I'm all ears.
Eddie,
There are ways to make it happen. But as Ted has illustrated, it takes work
and time. Unless you have a wealthy back ground and support from same, then nothing will happen instantly.

Surly you have some skills? Did you ever go to school? Ever had a job? Doing what? Any special training of any kind? Did you work in those areas?

Some or ALL of those skills could mean you have something to offer when traveling. Speak any languages? This too is a useful skill. (teaching English, which I did in El Salvador and Guatemala)

At 21,left my job as a waiter in a restaurant with meager savings in hand, took off for Mexico. Traveled with friends at first in a camper with old Jawa 350 on the bumper. Many sacrifices to make this happen.

My buddy gave me the Jawa in Guatemala, I continued on from there. Ended up buying local hand woven goods from local Indians, exporting to USA, selling it off. This worked out well, financed three additional trips into Central and South America, mostly without a bike, but did involve bikes from time to time.

Ended up living in Guatemala, costing about $100 USD a month, all up. Eventually made it to Argentina (after a year on the road) and got a job with US govt. Antarctic research program, then spent next 3 years there and in Argentina ... getting paid more money than I'd ever dreamed of.

So after 7 years on the road, returned to USA, went back to school and eventually found work. Now I take shorter bike trips, sometimes tied in with work, sometimes on my own or with friends.

So far: All of Mex, cent. America, S. America, bits of Africa, EU, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam ... lots more to go.

I drive a 20 year old JUNK heap of a car (I mostly ride), no fancy phone
(use TracFone ... about $10/month), live on fixed income. (low)

You do make a good point: the commercialization of the ADV scene is dominant, it's what most of the public sees.

The big rallies, the big web sites features rich guys on $30,000 bikes or couples in $300,000 UNI Mogs. So YES ... there is that element. But as Ted points out ... once you get out on the road you'll find more real, down to earth travelers just scraping by, and living on a budget. The HI end guys do just as you state .... it's a high end two week holiday for most, or a package tour to some "Exotic" local. Ignore them, focus on your goals and do whatever it takes to reach them.
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  #317  
Old 7 Apr 2015
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Unless you live on 1$/day you have expendable income which means you can save money. The amount of that differs for everyone, but it's equally true for everyone. If you currently don't have any expendable income after your current expenses, then you'll have to give up something so you do.

The question is, what do you want to give up for it. If you can't give up anything then you either don't go, or look for other things to increase your income (second job, career change, investment through education, etc). In the end there are only 2 variables in this equation. Income and spending.

Pretty simple stuff, which applies to most ambitions in life that require funding, I think.
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  #318  
Old 7 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieH View Post
I'm a new member and I hate to be negative with my first post, but I honestly can't see any other way to be.

Having read the bulk of this thread it appears that adventure motorcycling is a relatively exclusive activity. If you're not able to finance yourself by selling property you own, and you have no vocational qualification or skill to aid you in working whilst on the move, most of the advice in this thread is useless.

Granted, a few people here do write accounts of scrimping, saving and working all the hours God sends in an effort to pay for a trip, but they are notably in the minority.

The irony seems to be that adventure motorcyling is so often viewed and portrayed as an escape for the free-spirited who care neither for wealth or commercialism, yet from what I've read here the reality seems to be that you need to be in a position of relative privalege to be able to make that choice to become free-spirited and care neither for wealth or commercialism.

Again, I hate to be negative, but this thread has put me off the idea of adventure motorcyling being anything more than a 2 week holiday-level experience.

If however anyone who doesn't own their own house, doesn't have independant financial means, and doesn't have a BA or an IT qualification wishes to offer me a tale of how they managed to travel at length on two wheels, I'm all ears.
Eddie,

This thread (and the whole web site) is filled with information for people traveling with money because money is the central focus of our society. This is only one means of traveling the world and does a grave disservice to people such as yourself who do not have a source of money available.

The difficulty is not traveling without first saving money. That is easy. The difficulty is in changing your own mindset to view a world that is not centered around money.

There are lots of people on the road traveling with very little or no money, including many on motorcycles. But they very rarely write blogs or visit web sites like this. Many don't even own a computer.

I wrote a blog article about why so few people travel the world (link below). You may find it interesting, but be warned: you may not like what I have to say....

The Choice to Travel
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  #319  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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Read the blog, just lovely
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  #320  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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Originally Posted by othalan View Post
I wrote a blog article about why so few people travel the world (link below). You may find it interesting, but be warned: you may not like what I have to say....
You have come to exactly the same conclusion as I did as to as to why people don't travel, although I limit that opinion to people from developed countries. I have said it to one or two but soon realised it is quite controversial and now keep it to myself, a good article well worth a read.
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  #321  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
You have come to exactly the same conclusion as I did as to as to why people don't travel, although I limit that opinion to people from developed countries. I have said it to one or two but soon realised it is quite controversial and now keep it to myself, a good article well worth a read.

What people want it to be...





What it really is....

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  #322  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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Not Having The Money - is a minor inconvenience

I have to say that most of us here are completely missing the point. Why? well, I'll tell you .. and state the blindingly obvious, or perhaps the not-so-obvious:

You see, most of us here are from 'the West', part of a very privileged 15%. That's right .. we in the West represent just 15% of the world's population. 85% can only dream of the travel freedom and concessions that we enjoy and take for granted.

A Westerner can be flat broke and up to his or her neck in debt, even underwater and swamped in debt, yet still enjoy a wealth of travel privileges beyond the wildest dreams of the majority of the planet's populous.

Read this passage - No, Not Everyone Can Travel - A Bubble Burster - from an educated and articulate middle-class Egyptian who's on the other side of the equation. Get the other perspective.

We are rich, and all (or at least most) of us here don't even realise it, simply because we were born lucky - in the West.

You're a 15-percenter, so get out there and start enjoying your wealth, privilege and fortune. The money, the affordability aspect of it all is a minor issue, which can be sorted with a little forethought and planning .. and perhaps just a little more graft.
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  #323  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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I wonder if those who are travelling full time or close to full time and doing it on a shoestring, also take the risk of travelling without emergencies travel insurance and also never bother about maintaining an emergency fund for major incidents.

We've been full-timing for close to 9 years, but wouldn't do it if we had to do without basic safety nets.
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  #324  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith1954 View Post

Read this passage - No, Not Everyone Can Travel - A Bubble Burster - from an educated and articulate middle-class Egyptian who's on the other side of the equation. Get the other perspective.

.
He makes a good point about visas, that is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome. But I've met world travelers who did it.... I am amazed at the determination I've seen in some people with restrictive passports!
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  #325  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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Originally Posted by Tony LEE View Post
I wonder if those who are travelling full time or close to full time and doing it on a shoestring, also take the risk of travelling without emergencies travel insurance and also never bother about maintaining an emergency fund for major incidents.
I'm sure many younger travelers do without. Did you have "emergency funds" and full medical cover when you were traveling in your late teens or 20's? Not many do. I know I did not (beyond modest family help).
More well off or "established" travelers may have the luxury of that "security".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony LEE View Post
We've been full-timing for close to 9 years, but wouldn't do it if we had to do without basic safety nets.
Have you worked in any Non Home countries in those 9 years? Did the states you were in cover your medical? Or did your "Home" country cover you even when out of country? Or private cover? Are you constantly moving on your bike ... or settle in one place, work a while, then move on? Where are you now?

There is a difference. Lots of different situations ... many risk not having a back up plan. Should they totally forget about traveling if they can't afford it?
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  #326  
Old 26 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Have you worked in any Non Home countries in those 9 years? Did the states you were in cover your medical? Or did your "Home" country cover you even when out of country? Or private cover? Are you constantly moving on your bike ... or settle in one place, work a while, then move on? Where are you now?
There are alternatives. For instance we taught in China for a couple of years. Wages were low but everything found and we actually saved money and had an experience that isn't available to the vast majority.
We have also spent several months on cattle stations in Australia. Also everything provided so while you can't save money, you don't spend much either.
So we have moved and settled as required. Always a matter of choice than necessity though. If it were otherwise, I would stay home and complain about my lot as the majority are content to do. The smart ones, when realising that a certain course of action just isn't possible, look for other ways of getting out of whatever rut they want to get out of. As has been stated here over and over, if you want something bad enough you will find a way of getting it. If money is the key - and it is - then just work a bit harder or longer. Just look at all the grey-haired wrinkleys getting around the world on everything from two sneakers to 500,000 expedition trucks. They have worked all their lives and only now can do what they want to do. Hardly fair to be envying or castigating them for that. Hard work came first.
Those who think they are entitled will always be disappointed.

Medical? Suspend our private health insurance back home (and anyway, Australia has "free" universal medical care so there is never a problem of not getting treatment you actually need) and use that money to pay for travel insurance when overseas.




On the web there are sites devoted to helping out in return for a bed and meals - all over the world. We did a couple of stints in France - not because we had to, but because we wanted to. Plenty of ways to make money go further. Giving up some expensive habits can also work wonders for a tight budget.

Yes, of course not everyone has the resources or determination or even the desire to go travelling or take up polo or deep sea fishing either. Might suck if you are in the group that just can't afford it, but that is the way things are.

Quote:
Should they totally forget about traveling if they can't afford it?
They probably should consider delaying their dream of a 5-year luxury round the world trip and concentrate on achieving something a little more sensible. Some work 40 years and then travel forever. Alternative might be to work for a month and travel for a few days. Same thing really, just need to be realistic.
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  #327  
Old 6 Oct 2015
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Love this discussion it's been going on for while!

The way I see it all depends on what lifestyle you choose! Do it for an undisclosed amount of time or travel in smaller segments. Find the career that will give you the lifestyle you dream of, or create it.

At this point I haven't taken more then two weeks off to ride. Next year I'm planning a 3 to 4 month trip. It's taken me 10 years of saving and developing businesses that pay me even if I'm not there. It has not been easy!!! To me it's simply making a decision and not giving up on your dreams, no matter how long it takes. I hope to eventually take as long as I want.
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  #328  
Old 6 Oct 2015
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
What people want it to be...


What it really is....
What Americans imagine it to be ...

What it really is ....

or maybe ...?
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  #329  
Old 7 Oct 2015
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There are many interesting responses, but I believe Keith1954 said it correctly, without the resources ($$) is is not easy to travel. A person living in a country with low wages will have a difficult time traveling to the modern western countries. People who say to change your lifestyle, minimize debt etc., sometimes miss the fact that todays college students might be owing a 100k after college. If parents didn't subsidize their expenses, than traveling for longer than a few weeks would be a distant dream.

Most of the travel stories I read, hostels, campgrounds and guesthouses I have slept in, are 99.9% from the "wealthier" countries.

Lastly,I have been traveling for about a year and all has been fantastic, but I can not see lasting more than another year due mainly to the lack of being apart of a community.
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  #330  
Old 7 Oct 2015
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Good points! Can be hard to feel comfortable "away from home". That sense of community thing is a tough one. Hard to nail down what it is.

But no matter how well you speak a language or how long you live in a place ... you still may not feel totally "at home" there. Or ...? Maybe you will!! ??

So true how international travel is pretty much a 1st world luxury. Not only are less fortunate folks under funded ... they may not even be able to get visas for many countries. Only the top 2% in those countries can afford to travel.

In some cases takes YEARS for working class folks to get a visa ... and must jump through all sorts of hoops to get it. The rich? No problemo ... they have connections! (trust me on this one ... saw it up close and personal in several countries)

In the US today kids have a much harder time now than they did when I started travel. (1971) I hit the road with about $1200 from my restaurant job, only about $1K USD in student debt and no immediate ties at home and a Honda 50 Cub.

I started a small import/export business and made it work. No big money made, but funded further travel for 7 years.

For American kids in college or just out of college, good jobs are harder to find now ... and harder to get for new college grads. The crippling debt many are saddled with is devastating. High interest rates that are totally out of step with reality. WRONG.

If me ... I'd say screw it, never pay it back. IMO, student dept should be forgiven. Let the banks absorb this dept. They can afford it. Students have been screwed in this current US system.

I think in the EU things are a bit better.
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