New Color, New Dimension, New Value
THE MISSION/PLAN: Sell 98% of everything I own and take a 2 year trip from Atlanta, GA to Central America (Panama). I plan on spending most of my time in Panama, just seeing and doing whatever want. I am a photography buff, and I would like to become better at that craft. I have set aside some money to fund my trip, but also plan on trying to get some type of employment (maybe teaching English) while in Panama. I will depart on 15SEP12, and take my time heading south, seeing what life has to offer in a different environment.
Me and my Doctor at my last physical in April 2012
Getting my necessary shots at my local health department
THE MOTIVATION: Tired of doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. I am recently divorced and I have downsized my worldly possessions to six boxes, that is being stored at a good friends house. Over the past two years I have had some low times, mother and sister passing away and other things I would rather not discuss. So, last year I got this religious email from a friend:
Stir Up Your Dreams
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you...” (2 Timothy 1:6, NKJ)
Do you need some freshness in your life today? You may simply need to stir up what God has placed on the inside of you. Stir up those gifts, stir up those dreams, stir up those talents inside. Start stretching yourself. You were created to be a dreamer and pursue the desires God has placed in your heart.
These words are my motivation for the remainder of my life. Instead of sitting at home and felling sorry for myself…I decided to stir things up!
I started reading all of the ride reports on the ADVrider.com and Horizons Unlimited, and then decided to get a motorcycle license (took the MSF training course) in July 2011. In August 2011, I purchased the bike, started riding, and outfitted the bike for my Adventure.
Family and Friends thought I was crazy, and I just told them this is something I wanted to do, and nothing was going to stop me.
THE MAN: My name is Raymond, and I am 45 years old in decent physical/healthy condition. I currently work for a small government contractor as the Director of Contracts. It is a great job, but it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. As I mentioned previously, I am recently divorced and have no children. So, right now, all I have now is to depend on and take care of myself.
Me and the bike at my last days at work
THE BIKE: 2011 Suzuki DL650 – I did extensive research on what bike would best suit me, and my type of Adventure. I heard great things about the DL650, so I pulled the trigger. I did not have to make any major modifications, just some modifications to make the bike fit me better.
(Yann D) Skidplate
(Yann D) Radiator guard
GIVI Crash Bars
SW Motech centerstand
Richland Ricks forkbrace
Richland Ricks mirror extenders
RAM GPS shortie GPS arm
Garmin 200W GPS
Twisted Throttle Footpeg lowering kit
ALTRider Large kickstand foot
Speed bleeder valves for front brakes
Lighting LED Kit
Suzuki hand guards
Givi Trekker Luggage
Cool! I'm in.
I had to delay my 15SEP12 start by 2 days. I finally left Atlanta, GA on 17SEP12 at 12PM, due to the fact that I realized that I had too much crap. I thought I had trimmed everything down to the essentials, but I had to send 1/3 of the so called essentials to storage. I will probably have to trim down again before I enter Mexico. All that being said, I made my way from Atlanta, but suddenly got tired after I had a bite to eat and decided to bed down in Carrolton, GA. (Only 2 hours from Atlanta) I was a little disappointed in myself, but I would rather be safe than sorry. Got up the next day and headed out, I rode for about 7 hours, and ended my day in a town called Hammond, LA, about 40 miles from Baton Rouge, LA. The ride was filled with rain and dark clouds, but it ended with 2 hours of sunshine. I will try and make it to Victoria, TX tomorrow, another 7 or 8 hours ride.
Getting new Anakees II mounted prior to heading out.
Getting gas in Jackson, MS
Gonna put on my Aero and follow you. I think the shots are a great idea and investment for your travels. Vaya con Dios.
I'm subscribed! :D
Looks like you got your bike kitted out pretty well.
Do you speak any Spanish?
I've got some amigos in Panama, so lets chat when you get down there.
Sounds like you've been somewhat tested the last year or so ............... I hope you find what you're looking for Raymond.
Thanks for posting and taking us along!
Ride safe and enjoy your journey.
Enviously Yours, Rob
Best of luck Raymond, you situation seems to be a common theme in our hectic world we have created. People just seem to be fed up with life and the rut they are in. Good for you for having the courage to break free and get out and live your dreams. Stay upright.
Best to ya Raymond.
Looking forward to your slow adventure through Central America as I've never been there and a first timer's report will be of real interest.
Remember counter steering and avoid target fixation. :wink: :gerg
Have a safe trip
I have been in your sittuation few years back, I am totally understand, have fun with your trip and be safe. Take it slow. I am looking forward to your report and pictures.
I am in! :lurk
Jealous as hell. More pics mate.
A Good Day
I left Hammond, LA this morning around 9:30 AM, and all was well. Today was a great riding day, 80 degrees and full of sun. The only interesting thing I noticed today was that Texas drivers, love to speed. I tried to maintain a steady 80 miles per hour, but kept getting passed by every driver. Texas drivers treat the entrance ramp to the interstate like a NASCAR driver leaving the pit, they are at 80 miles per hour before they hit the interstate. Other than that, I made it to Victoria, TX at 5:30 PM without any issues. I will head out in the morning, and get to Brownsville, but will make a stop in Corpus Christi. I will be searching for two pac-safe nets for the two dry bags, I have atop my GIVI side bags…just a little extra security and peace of mind.
Everyone, thanks for the kind words of encouragements, and I will have better pictures once I get into Mexico. Right now I am just blowing through the states trying not to stop.
Ready to ride out of Hammond, LA
Getting gas on Hwy 59 South
Motel room in Victoria, TX
All the best on your journey.
Look forward to reading more.
Quick question. Where did you get those world decals on your side cases? They look great.
Wonderful start to what promises to be an epic journey. I really like the email you quoted from your friend. Sounds like you needed a fresh start, and I admire you for "stirring things up".
Ride safely, and make sure you update us when you can. Especially looking forward to some of that photography you promised us. :clap
Raymond, I'm in, Bike looks great! Safe travels to ya.
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