Ok some background. So my plan- to travel the Americas on my F650gs, mostly solo over 11 months or so, or to take it as it comes.. So far I have completed the northern section of my route up the inside Passage, around Alaska to Prudohe bay and back down to Seattle as a ‘practice trip’ with my parents in tow. Now as they have flown back to Australia I set off truly solo on my journeys south….
So if anyone is interested in the build up to this check out my blog at letterstocurlyflat.blogspot.com
But for those of you that don’t want to….. a quick run down on the me, idea and the preparations.....
When does a trip begin? How is an idea conceived? From the childhood dream to visit the place of the Inca, inspired by the cartoon ‘The children of the sun.’ Dreaming then that I too might explore these ancient lands and cultures by golden condor. Was it hearing of Dads stories of his motorcycle touring in Europe in the 70’s? Or, was it the inspiration of seeing the movie “Motorcycle diaries” flying home from the UK?
Was it the amazing solo bicycle trip across Europe. Irritated by encountering numerous sexually aggressive males, and then, furious at the French policeman’s comment after a scary attack on my life, that I ‘should not travel alone as a single female’. I remember thinking; “Screw that idea! As a female I should be able to do whatever I put my mind too! But next time I am going to ride something faster so I can get away more easily.”
Was it the glorious, pillion motorbike trips through the Hebrides, or through Morocco and Europe- sitting on the back of a Hayabusa, (quite an impractical bike for adventure touring- though we tried, and succeed in part) thinking ‘I have got to get my license, for my independence, and a bike that wants to go on the roads I do…’
, on Flickr
I travelled back to Australia and promptly obtained my bike license. I spent my L plate period riding all over Tassie, and in the Victorian highlands on a little Suszki GN250. Sadly 3 months later I broke my knee, by failing to avoid a dog on the highway quickly enough. Yet despite my accident, and my time working in the trauma unit on the Isle of Man during the TT, this did nothing but strengthen my desire to ride….
I think of the trips and experiences leading up to this adventure- and the lessons that I have learnt already, and how they in turn shape the adventure to come. I am an experienced solo traveler and love the call of the wild. I have spent many a night in my tent, wandering without seeing another person for days, reveling in the joys of free camping. I love expanding my knowledge and palate by foraging wild food, to extend my self-sufficiency. I love trying to further understand people and cultures, and love the exploration of food. I find my apparent vulnerability enables a more intimate understanding of people, as they are more willing to let me in. Hitchhiking around Iceland or Hawaii, I would find the joys of being readily accepted, and taken in by people, especially the women, delightful. Those that reported they would never feel safe to pick up a hitchhiker, who then felt the urge to open their doors of their cars, their tables and their homes to me. I discovered the wonders of couch surfing, both official and unofficial. And found, when I needed a home or family in my wanderings, I could find them. I am internally grateful for the experiences and the welcome I have received around the world so far.
But this adventure, this one seems to push the boundaries for me. I know nothing about bikes or mechanics. Whilst growing up on the back of bikes, I am new to riding, and being responsible for my own bike. My father’s attempts to teach me mechanics when I was younger, often lead me to wander off in search of more inspiring occupations, or simply to the kitchen to bake yummies to sustain him. I lack the ability to remain focused on the details. I get bored easily. I lose focus and I move on. And so travel suits me brilliantly. But the bike adds an extra dimension of adventure and freedom. Winding through the hills, the bike seems to dance beneath me. Passing through the forest, the smells become intoxicating. And the ‘Vrrmmm’ of the engine gives me a sense of power, freedom, excitement and connectedness that I have not felt so intensely with other modes of transport.
, on Flickr
And so with the tunes of the australian band 'Those Bloody McKennas' ringing in my ears I prepare to explore a continent that was always on my bucket list…
“She’s got this crazy idea. Yeah she’s got this crazy idea. She’s going to wake up one day and finally disappear into the life she’s never lived. Something’s gotta give, round here, round here.
Yeah she’s got this crazy idea, she’s gonna fly away, she’ll fly right out of here. With all the sadness and the madness in this world we need some crazy ideas. But who’s got all the answers anyway. Who’s got all the answers? But who’s got all the answers anyway? But hey its ok…. its ok.”
Yeah she’s got this crazy idea, and all the strength of all the armies in this world won’t stop this crazy idea….
She’s got this crazy idea…