One of the questions I’ve been frequently asked is what made me decide to get on a motorcycle and travel the world. It’s not an easy question to answer because there were so many factors which contributed to it. At this moment of writing, I’ve been travelling around the world for two hand half years, have gone through 54 countries in four continents, and I have managed to make so many wonderful experiences which have enriched my life immensely. In each country I have visited, I’ve been asked the same question over and over again as to what inspired me to undertake such a daunting task and travel the world on a motorcycle all by myself.
In the past, I have given all kinds of answers. “The world is a beautiful place to explore”, “I wanted to find myself by travelling the world” have been two of my favorite replies. However, the reason for my world tour is a very simple one. I am an adventurer! Therefore, what made me into an adventurer is a more important question than why I do what I do.
I was born on a beautiful island called Sri Lanka. As a small boy I developed the taste for reading, especially if the books contained action. When I was thirteen I read Madol-Duuwa, a Sri Lankan classic novel which laid the foundation in a boy dreaming of adventures. It’s about two teenagers who run away from home and travel south to start a new life on the island of Madol-Duuwa.
When I was 6 ½ years old, my father, who was a good and prosperous businessman, was killed by two robbers. That event had a dramatic impact in our lives. A life of abundance gave way to poverty and the whole burden of looking after four boys was put on my poor mother. Growing up in the third world, where a social security system didn’t exist, meant that we had to go through many hardships.
I so wanted to be like the boys of Madol-Duuwa and even dreamed of running away from home to find my own adventure. But by then I had already become a father figure to my little brothers and the love for my mother made me postpone my adventures for a later date. Nevertheless, I remained a dreamer and lived my adventures in my mind through what I read. The adventures of Tin Tin or Rohld Dhal’s Going Solo fuelled my burning desire for the big wide world.
Now I am a big man
My situation has changed by a considerable amount. I was living in Switzerland running my own small workshop repairing and maintaining automobiles. Over the years I had the chance to explore different parts of the world on motorcycles. But the thirst of seeing the whole world in a one trip never left my mind. The big day crept on me like a thief in the night; it was a spontaneous decision. From the moment I seriously considered it, to the time I left home, was merely two months.
My name is Dylan Samarwickrama. To someone who’s unfamiliar with Sri Lankans, my family name is a tongue twister. For several years I struggled to come to terms with that long name. It was simply because living in Europe with a name such as Samarawickrama made things really difficult. People not only found it hard to pronounce, but also I’ve been laughed at more than just a few times. But then one day someone asked me is there a meaning behind that name. Sure! When you translate it into English, it literally means "celebrator of adventure"
Yes! To be honest, until that day I never really thought about it. It never struck me that I have a unique name which I can identify myself to. I am an adventurer! Not only by deed but also by name!
Now, enough about the past, my trip started in Switzerland in July 2010 heading eastward.
Greetings from Mazatlan, Mexico!
Red line represents the route completed while blue is the planned route.
Indonesia riding towards mount Bromo.
I was looking for a better angle to photograph the volcano Bromo. so I decided to ride up the mountain behind it. The path was too narrow but I still wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately my right pannier hits a tree stump and I was thrown out of balance. The result: I ended up 10 meters below while my bike was held in balance by a small tree.
Ironically, I had to cut the tree to release the bike which saved my trip altogether.
Camping in the wild in Australian outback. 95% of the time I camp in the wild. Travelling for so long and being on the road without sponsors or a not yet having received a dollar discount on a single tire or whatever, leaves me no option but to experience the true adventure.
This is a video of one my most recent rides to Copper Canyon