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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 Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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

Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Old 9 Aug 2005
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<font face="Lucida Console" size="2"> I agree Britain is a beautiful country with great scenery and lots to do, not too demanding and everywhere I go there will be someone who understands me! Not so sure about going around on the Vespa though, I'm 6 foot 3 and get backache after 2 miles. It's not quite got the pace for a B road never mind a countrywide tour!
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Old 11 Aug 2005
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Hi there
We dreamed of walking from London to Cape Town, and crossing the Sahara with camels. For four years we dreamed and planned and thought we wouldn´t be able to afford it. Finally we remortgaged the house, sold everything we could, and set off. One year later we have finished the first stage of the walk, are in the process of buying camels for the next, and I have written a book which looks like it will actually get published, so we have made a start in making the trip pay for us. Far, far more importantly, we are both the happiest we have ever been, and for the first time in our lives have time to devote to the things we really believe are important - like photography and writing, which we never really had time to do before we left. I have learned two new languages and seen and done things I could never have dreamed of. For every time I had a doubt before I left, I have thanked my stars ten times over that we took the plunge and just went; I never want to live another day looking out of a city building at grey concrete and wondering what the real world is doing whilst I am working in something I hate. There is some Confucian proverb which goes along the lines of: He who travels learns more than he who lives long, and I could not agree more. I have lived and learned more this year than in the thirty before it - who gives a shit if we NEVER have a house again? It´s up for sale now and if the rest of life is spent in a tent I will still just be glad that we did this.
No regrets in this life.

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time
Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time
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Old 12 Aug 2005
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Superbly put

Brooklyn Dakar
Prevously known as JSherm
My blog: http://www.motorcycleramblings.com/
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/sherman/ I will up date this soon, really Grant, I will....
"This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do." J Kerouac
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Old 12 Aug 2005
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Something else to think about:

There is a lot of comment in this thread about how the job-mortgage-house-kids-stationwagon-dog lifestyle isn't much fun, and I'd have to agree. I'm finishing my engineering job next year to see how I do as a travelling writer. But I realise that if it wasn't for those people still stuck in the rat race my motorcycle wouldn't be built, I wouldn't have roads to ride on or cities to visit. I guess my point is that not everyone can get up and start travelling, or there really would be no way to travel.

And the flip-side of that is if no-one got up and decided to see what was over the end of the world, I'd still be living in an English village or wherever it was that my family first came from, destined to spend my life learning the family trade.

So, I've come to the conclusion that there's some sort of social balance operating, some people are always going to be restless travellers and some people are always going to be industrious nesters and that is really the only way human society can expand and develop. I'm just glad I'm a restless traveller. (and the nester is probably just as glad he's got a nice house and a flash car)

And to answer the thread question, 4 years of University to get an Engineering degree and 3 years of working and saving to fund the first leg of my travels. Work smarter, not harder and then work harder as well has been my motto so far.

With my training I'm fairly employable so I intend to stop where my money runs out and start working for a while. As mentioned in a previous post, it makes sense to stop in a developed country where the earning power is greater so I'm thinking about Canada at the moment. Or maybe travel writing will work for me and I'll be able to live off that ...

Also, I've bought a simple, cheap, 2nd hand bike(Honda XR650L) and I'm carrying as little as possible. I've knocked back on s at the pub and I'm not skiing in the Winter.

Aussie 2006 - The First Leg
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Old 12 Aug 2005
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Hi People ..

You would be surprised that you can work while you travel !!!!

=-most IT people (I do) .. can work either while travelling , either offshore (i.e. settling up for a bit in X country and finish the job / contract/milestone) ..

I do (programmeing) shitty mobile games for a living .. and I can work on that wherever I lay off my laptop. It was really difficult to have my employers agreed with that .. but at the end I got it .Not-that-good paid , but It allows me work&getpaid from wherever I am .

To my surprise , lots of people do that. Be editing ,coding , designing , there are shit loads of task which can be done off-shore , on the road. Just pick one of them . Even that you don't get your former full pay .. but most employers would be happy to get you working for some money whislt on the road. You can survive with mostly nothing (1000 Euros/700UKP ) a month can get ya travelling forever !

Also lots of Journalists... reporters , bookwriters , do that .

and should your skills are non-IT related .. you would be surprised to see how demanded your -whateveryoudoforaliving- skills are. In any country of the world.. any company would like a UK/US/EU/AUs techhnician , mechannic , sales assisst , ->you name it.

In 3rd/2nd world countries , hi-skilled techies -propperly trained - (from panel-beating ,bike&car mechs , diesel experts , whatever) are highly priced

Whatever your job be at home .. It wiill surely be more demannded overseas .That's a fact.

Just figure a way to work as you travel .. and that is

Have a nice day
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Old 13 Aug 2005
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Originally posted by balam:

So now I´m in Brazil after having travelled 45 000 kilómeters in South America for close to a year.

CHEERS! Good for you!
Are you going to make it to the HU at Creel?
Hope you can share all this beautiful experience there to us.

THE Motorcycle JOURNEY is making known the unknown.
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Old 14 Aug 2005
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One doesn't. One's wife does.

Last edited by Bundubasher; 3 Jul 2014 at 23:35.
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Old 15 Aug 2005
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I can only give some ideas on the financing part, as I'm yet to go on any trip of my own (although planning my first ever trip: Lagos - Abuja in a couple of months).

Based on my experience, what will help you is to get an expat job. You'll get loads of offers these days if you are qualified or experienced in Oil & Gas, but there's something for almost anyone if you look hard and have valuable experience.

Expat jobs are IMHO summed up as follows:

a) You are either working on a decent place and not getting much money but you're still saving some due to lower rent, cheaper food, etc.

b) You are in a tougher place (at least as per HR people's standards), getting much more money, saving almost all your income, with at least 2 months off/year and paid return tickets to your home base. And your consumerism instincts are dimished by lack of options.

Option b)sounds like a good option to finance travelling, as the advantages are:

- "Career expats" typically hop from contract to contract (12 - 36 months). This means you can take 6 or 12 months off and then go back home and hunt for a new contract when you run out of cash. And you will not be a "misfit" job candidate for taking 1 year off.

- Just riding your bike where you are could be an adventure, even if you travel 500 km on a weekend.

- Your adventure riding could be an asset when applying for a position on a place you've been to before, or just to state that you are better suited to tough places and conditions.

If anyone is interested, just try expat on any search engine and you'll find loads of sites. Most job offerings are shown on "suscribers only" basis, although you can see some being offered on newspapers back at home.

Check: http://www.expatnetwork.com/
You can browse job descriptions / offers for free (without contact details for which you'll need to pay). It can help you start assessing whether you would find offers that suit you.

Hope it helps.

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Old 16 Aug 2005
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Oil and gas is a pretty good industry for this sort of thing, I was working for an international company on the rigs in Australia before resigning and riding India to the UK via Central Asia over 10 months. On the last leg of the journey i sent a few emails and had my old job back (UK based)when i reached London. Working 2 weeks on 2 off allows me to save lots and travel Europe in my time off. My company works in 60 or 70 countries worldwide so there is a possibility to continue travelling with regular income.
Of course, it helps when the price of oil is $63 a barrel, but it's traditionally a boom and bust industry. People tend to get laid off pretty quick in the downturn.
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Old 2 Sep 2005
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As a baby boomer, approaching 60 and a West Coast US resident, my perspective may be a little different than my younger peers (isn't that the point of a BB, to get different view points?). I'm a semi-retired full time RV'er, that is, I live in a 37' 5th Wheel trailer that I haul with a med.duty Intl "semi". My 2000 Triumph Legend rides nicely behind the cab (thanks to an electric boom), which I've put 37K miles on.
In other words, I left the concept of "home" as a specific geographic location 3 yrs ago subsequent to a divorce.
I work seasonally selling RV campground and/or timeshare memberships to support my travel jones. I've found having access to condos and private campgrounds to be the safest, most cost effective and convenient way to live the gypsy biker life. Beats eating all of your meals out and staying in motels. Camp somewhere 1-2 weeks, do a different ride everyday and move on!
The down side is that, while your cost is down to fuel and food, you have to buy everything upfront: your rig (RV), bike and membership(which is still less than mortgage/rent plus utilities) and this, obviously, only works in the States, altho' one of my best rides was from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas (1,000 miles solo 1 way) with 2 weeks in primo condos @ $35/night when I got there.
There is a growing subculture of folks leaving the ball and chain of job and mortgage for something freeer. And like MC's, there's a whole range of price, quality, configuration and size of RV's and memberships.
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Old 2 Sep 2005
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Sometimes its about living REALLY cheap combined with a bit of ingenuity! My brother financed a year of travel by living in a caravan he bought for £500 on the construction site he was working on (a motorway construction). There was obviously no rent and the construction company were happy to give him free electricity as it meant there was always someone on site which was good for security. He sold the caravan after a year or so for £250. Hence his years rent had been £250! I guess theres often a way round things, its just finding the way.


*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 30 Sep 2005
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I have a cunning plan!!..I plan to open a campsite in Estonia next year.i have worked hard to get the money to buy the land but thats history now that i have it.all permission has been granted.To keep costs down,i live in a very nice caravan on a nice quite site,i pay £1,250 a year to live here(TOTAL).Once the campsite is up and running,i will spend 5 months working at my camp and then spend the other months on the bike touring.i taxi drive now for a posh taxi company to keep the hassle from punters down and work my own hours in newcastle.im single with no money commitments. my advice to you would be to stay single!!.Once the camp is running in Estonia(tourism up 26% this year),i plan to start motorcycle tours in the baltics.Any investors??....email me please.
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Old 30 Sep 2005
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We attended a seminar put on by Susan and Grant in 1998 at a BMW rally in Montana. At the same rally Helge Pederson spoke about his 10 years on two wheels. We were amazed! Wow, what a concept, travelling around the world on a motorcycle. But, we just couldn't see ourselves selling it all and heading off. When we got home from that rally we started thinking and plotting. We discovered that both of our employers offered a leave of absence plan where you could save up and then take up to a year off while they paid you the amount you had saved. Cool! We rented out our house for the year and while we spent a year exploring Europe and North Africa someone else was paying our mortgage. We had an absolutely wonderful time on our trip but as others have mentioned it was a bit of a struggle coming back to work. We flew back from London on a Thursday, picked the bikes up on Friday and I was back at my office on Monday morning. Ouch.

We knew that we were hooked and promptly set to saving for another year off. If our employers wouldn't give us the leave of absence we would have quit. Fortunately, we didn't have to and we've both signed up for another year long leave of absence starting in summer of 2007. So I guess we're on the 4 year work/1 year off plan!

While this plan doesn't give us the freedom of travelling indefinitely it does give us a bit more security for the future. There is always a trade-off and this is the balance that we've struck. The main thing is to get out there.

Ekke Kok

'84 R100RT 141,000 km (Dad's!)
'89 R100GS 250,000 km (and ready for another continent)
'07 R1200GS Adventure 100,000 km (just finished Circumnavigating Asia)

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Old 1 Oct 2005
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I'm new to Touring. My first trip will be in September of next year, through South America.

I do however have a different, less finalistic approach to raising money. Yachting. There are some big f#@$%n' boats out there that need crew. Great pay. Tons of travel by boat. I'm in Greece right now. Another big advantage is that there is no overhead. Meals, toilettries, sometimes plane tickets home are all paid for.
Some drawbacks are, that it really helps to be single. You will be away from home for long periods of time. Another is that there are periods of time when you work for months with only a few days off (you don't spend any money though).
Having a trade that applies to boats helps too. Carpentry. Engineering (great engine rooms!). I'm a chef for instance. We just finished the summer charter season. Super busy. On the other hand, shitloads of serious tips on top of your monthly cash salary (You don't get taxed if you work on foreign flag boats).
I'm not sure what your situation is. Let me know if you want anymore info. Take care.
Brennan Dates

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Old 1 Oct 2005
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Learn to work on your own bike!!!

Will save you thousands!!!

Cameron Weckerley
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