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Old 07-02-2012, 04:45 AM   #16
Pantah
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Hi - Looks like quite an adventure. Sort of confusing, but an adventure none-the-less. What is this trip about? Are you just checking out? Also, what is the Ted Simon Foundation about? I poked around the website, but it seems sort of vague.

I read two books by Ted, the original and his 2001 trip. I exchanged some emails with him. Is he still going strong?

He inspired me to try some motorcycle traveling. Since 2005 I've spend about 60,000 miles riding all over the continent. I learned a few things from his tales. Probably the two biggest lessons were a) Only ride a bike you can pick up in the mud by yourself, and b) soft luggage doesn't break legs.

I originally planned to ride to Terra Del Fuego over a couple seasons by riding, storing and flying. But for me world travel is such a project, I'd never go anywhere. So I visit places I can get to easily.

If he has a contact point, I'd like to sent him a note.

Good luck on your travels. Hope your writing career bears fruit. Sorry about Minneapolis, but better to know now.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:02 AM   #17
Barone52 OP
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Ted and such

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
Hi - Looks like quite an adventure. Sort of confusing, but an adventure none-the-less. What is this trip about? Are you just checking out? Also, what is the Ted Simon Foundation about? I poked around the website, but it seems sort of vague.

I read two books by Ted, the original and his 2001 trip. I exchanged some emails with him. Is he still going strong?

He inspired me to try some motorcycle traveling. Since 2005 I've spend about 60,000 miles riding all over the continent. I learned a few things from his tales. Probably the two biggest lessons were a) Only ride a bike you can pick up in the mud by yourself, and b) soft luggage doesn't break legs.

I originally planned to ride to Terra Del Fuego over a couple seasons by riding, storing and flying. But for me world travel is such a project, I'd never go anywhere. So I visit places I can get to easily.

If he has a contact point, I'd like to sent him a note.

Good luck on your travels. Hope your writing career bears fruit. Sorry about Minneapolis, but better to know now.


Ted is definitely still going strong. Here we are at the Overland Expo this past May in Flagstaff, AZ, where we had the U.S. kickoff for the Ted Simon Foundation. One of the sharpest cats I've ever met and brimming with wisdom as you might expect.

If by "check out" you mean checking out of Cubicleland for about 20 months or so, well sure, I'm checking out. But thank you Cubicleland for providing me with the means to take this trip! (And it really hasn't been that bad working as a copywriter and brand strategist in Boston...I'm blessed for sure) Though I think of it more as a check-in to a whole new life that I really have no idea how it will turn out, which totally suits me. I'm unmarried and unattached. I gave up my house in Boston to take this trip, so I'm really up and open for anything that may come out of this. I could maybe see settling in Colombia after all this is over given that the women there are the most beautiful/friendly/sexy in the world. (I rented a bike there for a week last spring and had the most amazing experience you can imagine...check out my blog from that trip at www.adambarone.com/blog). I'll probably spend at least a month-plus there hanging with some friends I made and making new ones this time around. But that's merely a long-term possibility...one among dozens.

The mission of the Ted Simon Foundation is fairly straightforward, but quite lofty--to bring about greater world understanding through the works of people of good will...like me, other Foundation folk, and all you ADV riders...moving through foreign cultures and transforming those experiences into something of value to share with the world...whether it be writings, photography, film, or anything really. Within that framework, all the Jupiter's Travellers have sort of thesis they're working with. Mine is to find examples of innovation in third-world economies--people doing interesting things socially, technologically, agriculturally that benefit the community. Everyone on this forum can play a role in the mission, too, if they like. It's not ours exclusively. Throughout history, explorers have been vital to the development of our species and societies, and while there may not be many lands left unexplored on this pretty blue ball we call Earth, there is still the act of exploration and the changes that occur in a person and the perspective they gain and share with others because of it.

In Cubicleland (a loose term I use to encompass all those who have settled down into an employment/family life-driven safe, predictable, insular life), that perspective doesn't exist mostly because we cocoon ourselves into those lives, and thus, very little from outside the cocoon affects us, and in turn, we generally have very little affect outside the cocoon. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but in America and other "first-world" societies, what we have in material wealth and comfort and such seems to be cancelled out by what we lack in a true sense of community. For some reason in less developed areas of the world, that sense of community is much stronger. It's actually pretty ironic how disconnected we are from each other in an age when we are more "connected" than ever.

Anyway, that's a bit of a ramble. Ted can be reached through the foundation, I believe. He's also on Facebook and LinkedIn. I don't have his email, but I'm connected to him in both those places.

And as far as my writing career bearing fruit...I started as a sportswriter when I was 15 years old covering HS basketball games for the local paper. I went on to college at Anderson University in Indiana, where I majored in journalism and philosophy. Continued sportswriting for newspapers during that time. Graduated. Took jobs at newspapers in Ohio and New Hampshire. Transitioned into working as a copywriter and brand strategist...a move that was absolutely financially motivated. Been doing that the last 10 years or so...a well-paid gig that, as I said, gave me the means to do this trip.

I'm 33 now. I've been at it for 18 years, and the fruit tastes amazing!

-Adam
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- Adam Barone | Freelance Journalist | Jupiter's Traveller with The Ted Simon Foundation | Copywriter and Brand Strategist with Adam Barone Copywriting, LLC
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:50 AM   #18
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That was a good post Adam. I enjoyed your rambling.

I must admit, I victimized myself in your Cubicland. I was a helicopter pilot in the Army and Vietnam was the only place I've ever really lived in another society. Since then it has been the corportate straight and narrow. Heck, I was with the same darn firm for 27 years!

Well, I went to London on a company junket once, so that's a little something... I came to Boston in 1990 from the Bay Area. Culturally, that was a shocker for me. Today I feel almost worldly...

Glad you could use your artistic talents to make a career. Most of us can't. We have to pursue paths that are less intellectually rewarding but more financially expeditious. Then we have to convince ourselves that we like it...That's where motorcycle travel comes it.

I'll follow along your journey. Stay well.
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"There I was..." -Griffin Niner Three Hotel
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:08 AM   #19
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Boston (and I SHOULD mention Cambridge if we're being fair) is absolutely a rich city to live in. If you're going to get worldly living anywhere in our country, it's there. So multicultural and so many intense, smart people doing what that they're passionate about in very innovative endeavors. That aspect of Boston is part of the inspiration for this trip. I had the opportunity to work with some of those folks, and I value those interactions and exchanges. If you're engaged in something going on in Boston, whether it's doing what I did in the advertising/brand strategy field or education or the medical field or any one of the startups and some vibrant large companies, pushing the envelope is the norm.

I hope to find people doing that sort of thing but with far fewer resources--maybe just some raw materials and a vision. Whatever that is.

I'll add something about Ted Simon. The guy is one tough hombre in addition to being wise and sharp. To do what he did at 70 (his second time around the world) is nothing short of amazing. Especially having now taken a nasty spill in some gravel today and f*cking up my ankle nice, stiff, and softball-like. I can put weight on it and jump--in pain--so it's just a sprain, but I'm being a huge baby about it. Got myself a nice hotel room on the beach in Mazatlan. Got AC. Like I said, BABY. It's gonna be so stiff in the morning (that's what she said!)




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Originally Posted by Barone52 View Post


Ted is definitely still going strong. Here we are at the Overland Expo this past May in Flagstaff, AZ, where we had the U.S. kickoff for the Ted Simon Foundation. One of the sharpest cats I've ever met and brimming with wisdom as you might expect.

If by "check out" you mean checking out of Cubicleland for about 20 months or so, well sure, I'm checking out. But thank you Cubicleland for providing me with the means to take this trip! (And it really hasn't been that bad working as a copywriter and brand strategist in Boston...I'm blessed for sure) Though I think of it more as a check-in to a whole new life that I really have no idea how it will turn out, which totally suits me. I'm unmarried and unattached. I gave up my house in Boston to take this trip, so I'm really up and open for anything that may come out of this. I could maybe see settling in Colombia after all this is over given that the women there are the most beautiful/friendly/sexy in the world. (I rented a bike there for a week last spring and had the most amazing experience you can imagine...check out my blog from that trip at www.adambarone.com/blog). I'll probably spend at least a month-plus there hanging with some friends I made and making new ones this time around. But that's merely a long-term possibility...one among dozens.

The mission of the Ted Simon Foundation is fairly straightforward, but quite lofty--to bring about greater world understanding through the works of people of good will...like me, other Foundation folk, and all you ADV riders...moving through foreign cultures and transforming those experiences into something of value to share with the world...whether it be writings, photography, film, or anything really. Within that framework, all the Jupiter's Travellers have sort of thesis they're working with. Mine is to find examples of innovation in third-world economies--people doing interesting things socially, technologically, agriculturally that benefit the community. Everyone on this forum can play a role in the mission, too, if they like. It's not ours exclusively. Throughout history, explorers have been vital to the development of our species and societies, and while there may not be many lands left unexplored on this pretty blue ball we call Earth, there is still the act of exploration and the changes that occur in a person and the perspective they gain and share with others because of it.

In Cubicleland (a loose term I use to encompass all those who have settled down into an employment/family life-driven safe, predictable, insular life), that perspective doesn't exist mostly because we cocoon ourselves into those lives, and thus, very little from outside the cocoon affects us, and in turn, we generally have very little affect outside the cocoon. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but in America and other "first-world" societies, what we have in material wealth and comfort and such seems to be cancelled out by what we lack in a true sense of community. For some reason in less developed areas of the world, that sense of community is much stronger. It's actually pretty ironic how disconnected we are from each other in an age when we are more "connected" than ever.

Anyway, that's a bit of a ramble. Ted can be reached through the foundation, I believe. He's also on Facebook and LinkedIn. I don't have his email, but I'm connected to him in both those places.

And as far as my writing career bearing fruit...I started as a sportswriter when I was 15 years old covering HS basketball games for the local paper. I went on to college at Anderson University in Indiana, where I majored in journalism and philosophy. Continued sportswriting for newspapers during that time. Graduated. Took jobs at newspapers in Ohio and New Hampshire. Transitioned into working as a copywriter and brand strategist...a move that was absolutely financially motivated. Been doing that the last 10 years or so...a well-paid gig that, as I said, gave me the means to do this trip.

I'm 33 now. I've been at it for 18 years, and the fruit tastes amazing!

-Adam
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post


That was a good post Adam. I enjoyed your rambling.

I must admit, I victimized myself in your Cubicland. I was a helicopter pilot in the Army and Vietnam was the only place I've ever really lived in another society. Since then it has been the corportate straight and narrow. Heck, I was with the same darn firm for 27 years!

Well, I went to London on a company junket once, so that's a little something... I came to Boston in 1990 from the Bay Area. Culturally, that was a shocker for me. Today I feel almost worldly...

Glad you could use your artistic talents to make a career. Most of us can't. We have to pursue paths that are less intellectually rewarding but more financially expeditious. Then we have to convince ourselves that we like it...That's where motorcycle travel comes it.

I'll follow along your journey. Stay well.
__________________
Check out my blog. Learn about my mission or buy me a beer...or a tire. @thumperjournal on Twitter
- Adam Barone | Freelance Journalist | Jupiter's Traveller with The Ted Simon Foundation | Copywriter and Brand Strategist with Adam Barone Copywriting, LLC
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:38 PM   #20
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An update...live from Guatemala City!

GUATEMALA, Guatemala — The landscape change in Guatemala was dramatic. From low-lying inland tropics, much of which has been cleared for farmland in the Mexican state of Chiapas, to a gentle ascension into puffy white clouds at 5000 feet on my first Guatemalan morning. After lunch, I rose another 3500 feet on wicked steep twisties, which, other than their geometry, were as nice as they were scary. Making a gentle descent back to around 5000 feet, I found Antigua, Guatemala—where I’ve been for the last week and change. Did I mention Volcanoes? One of which just erupted for the first time in over a hundred years…right in my path.
The Guatemala border was a long time coming. In the weeks leading to my successful crossing, I felt like a sharp knife repeatedly plunging into a freshly shot whitetail deer, but refused puncture.
My route in Mexico started in Ensenada, just south of San Diego. Baja was all desert and miserably hot at times, but also the start of exactly what I signed on for on this trip—new experiences.
Breaking down in the desert, of course, had to happen. If not, then I truly don’t experience Baja. Taking a hard spill on the Baja 500 course DURING THE RACE and getting trapped under the bike as gigantic 700-plus horsepower trophy trucks threatened to squash me was probably my first full-scale adrenaline rush since leaving Boston on April 20.
After a week and a half of beach camping on the playas near Mulege, Baja California Sur and a week of couchsurfing in the oven that is La Paz, BCS, I boarded the trans-Sea of Cortes (or Gulf of California as we call it in the USA) ferry for Topolobampo, where I paid my first bribe to a cop (at least I negotiated)! Wrong way down a one way. Classic-Barone-traffic misbehavior.
On the mainland of Mexico, it went:
- Mazatlan, Sinaloa: Enjoyed sunsets and well-formulated painkillers as I nursed my badly sprained ankle back to health; attempting burn outs on a gravely Mexican gas station parking is not among those recommended new experiences.
- Guadalajara, Jalisco: Hung out with some crazy Australian backpackers and banged an outrageously hot stripper named Fernandana.
- Mexico City, DF: Went couchsurfing again with my new buddy Marc, who gave me the run of his Coyoacan (think Mexico City’s version of Brooklyn) apartment for a week as he flew back to the states for a trumpet gig. It was here that I met a girl named Paolina Margaret Parra, who continues to rock my world from over 1,000 miles away and counting.
- Puerto Escondido via Oaxaca: Once again, I baked in the sun in this Mexican tourist-centric beachside retreat. One morning, I enjoyed a pleasant stroll on the beach, whose topography was brilliantly reshaped by a Tropical storm the night before.
- Tapachula, Chiapas: A series of unfortunate events begins for the Rumble Bee. While attempting to navigate my way through the correct order of immigration administrivia to check out of Mexico, I managed to pick up a passenger—a gigantic three-inch nail in my back tire! Once fixed, Rumble Bee’s coolant thermostat seized, causing Bee to vomit like an antifreeze-guzzling frat boy all over a parking attendant’s shoes. Coolant thermostat removed, I set off again…still overheating. Tom at MAX BMW Motorcycles in New Hampshire, who’d been coaching me through the issue, informs me I best seek out professional help. The nearest BMW Moto shop was back in Oaxaca…12 mountainous hours away, which I surely would not make in this condition, in this lifetime, riding the Bee as circumstances would require: a couple miles…overheat…wait 20 minutes to cool down…ride another couple miles…overheat, wait, and so on. Not to mention the obvious strain all the constant overheating would put on the engine. That ride would surely have been the funeral procession for Rumble Bee. I chose the alternative…
- A $1,000 truck ride back to Oaxaca: Two Mexican drivers, me, and the Bee in the bed of a brand new made-in-Kentucky F-350 flat bed for 12 hours. A professional set-up usually in the business of moving furniture. More-or-less, the limousine of emergency motorcycle transport. Very safe. It was either that or stand on the side of the road with a sign offering pesos for a 12-hour lift. Not so safe.
- Oaxaca…Ciudad de Amore Mexicana: OK, it’s not Venice. Or Paris. It’s more like a Tootsie Pop, nice in the middle but forgettable on the outside. But…Pao showed up, and for that, I now thank the Bee for getting sick. I’m gonna keep my waxy poeticisms de Pao to myself until the book comes out, but rest assured…la chica es poesia.
- Bus back to Mexico City to pick up a new radiator fan: Upon further inspection, the radiator fan was missing a blade and seized, so it was me and Pao on the most pleasant eight-hour bus ride of my life back to Mexico City, where I visited the largest BMW Moto dealer in the country to pick up the part I needed. I stayed with her, her mother, and niece Ali in their Tlalpan (a borough of Mexico City) apartment. I coached Ali up on salary negotiation for her first job as an architect, had some of the best huevos of my life thanks to her mother’s skills de desayuno, and of course spent more time with Pao.
Pao is the one on the left. On the right is the bard-poet-minstrel extraordinaire of Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Rey Oh Beybe…AKA Cafe Caliente (Hot Coffee). I picked up his two CD’s and his Johnny Cash-like ways have been reverberating around my head for the last month.

Check out Rey Oh Beybe’s anthem, “Cafe Caliente
Pao and I at El Árbol del Tule near Oaxaca.

I Thought I said goodbye to Pao, only to break down again: Solo, I boarded a bus back to Oaxaca, where I successfully installed the new radiator fan. Then, I got hit by a dump truck on my way to get a new rear tire before heading out of town. Thankfully, I only needed a new front rim, but that meant another week in Oaxaca, attempting to locate one. Enter my new buddy Lance from the ADVrider online forum, fearless leader of the ADV Cartel. Located near Mexico City, he had F650GS with a good new front rim and tire—exactly what I needed—and I had a bad-ass chica in Mexico City about to board a bus back to Oaxaca again to see me. Again, exactly what I needed. Pao—the tiny thing—met up with Lance, got the tire, and lugged it onto the bus with her. We had an all-too-short four-day weekend together with lots of great food, drink, and space-time continuum shattering. Long live love and The ADV Cartel!
- Time to leave Oaxaca and Pao for real: I left Oaxaca, headed for Guatemala. I made a wrong turn, which put a few extra days on my route to the border crossing. No sweat. Wrong turns are like unexpected side dishes that come with a meal “just because the manager appreciates your business, sir.” I ended up in the oil-exporting/importing town of Coatzacoalas on the Carribbean coast of Mexico. From there, I bounced over to Catemaco, where I took a boat ride to check out some monkeys living Lord of the Flies-style on their own little islands in Lago Catemaco. From there, I made my way to Palenque, where I saw an extremely bad-ass set of Mayan ruins. A huge Mayan City of which only 10% wasn’t still shrouded in jungle. I took a photo that apparently included a UFO…or something. Here it is…
Taken while standing in the “palace” of Palenque, an extraordinary set of Mayan ruins near the Mexican city of the same. I don’t know what that is in the sky, but it was there in two consecutive photographs I took, maintaining its spatial relationship to the ruins, so it wasn’t dust on the lens. That’s all I can tell you…

- Three days of Ruta Maya: From Palenque, it was a three-day ride down a highway that ran along the Guatemalan border, but due to insufficiently-staffed border crossings along the way, which did not include a Banjercito, where I could get the $300 deposit returned on my temporary vehicle import permit, I rode nearly all the way back to Tapachula. I crossed into Guatemala in La Mesilla, Mexico. My last night in Mexico was pretty sweet, too. I found a camping spot on this blue water lake in the Lagunas de Montebello National Park.
In Antigua, Guatemala…I have found my first subject of innovation in an third-world/emerging
Ecofiltro is working very hard to solve the drinking water crisis in third-world communities of the world.

economy. The company is Ecofiltro, an expat-led firm that manufactures and markets ultra-cheap water filters for use in the poor, rural villages that abound in Guatemala. They turn ordinary river, lake, or rainwater into a clean and great-tasting vaso de agua for less than 1/10 the cost of bottled water and zero of the health concerns of drinking untreated water. It’s a compelling story and a great example of how capitalism, which has gotten a bad rap of late in some circles, can truly add value to a culture and an economy…when it’s the right kind of capitalism. Capitalism based on innovation and developing innovation into a business model, i.e. human creation. I’m very excited to have found my first story. Now, I just need to query the right publications to get it out there in the world. They just opened a new factory back in March and are at the beginning of an eight-year plan to plant 99 more factories in 99 more third-world/emerging countries around the world by 2020. Indeed, it’s an exciting time to be Ecofiltro CEO Philip Wilson.
And of course, it’s also an exciting time to be Adam Barone.
__________________
Check out my blog. Learn about my mission or buy me a beer...or a tire. @thumperjournal on Twitter
- Adam Barone | Freelance Journalist | Jupiter's Traveller with The Ted Simon Foundation | Copywriter and Brand Strategist with Adam Barone Copywriting, LLC
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:13 PM   #21
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War over the price of a head gasket in El Salvador

I'm at war in El Salvador. But I'm thankful that my mechanic is on my side. The boss man of the BMW moto shop in San Salvador is the enemy. He's been on the job for three months, and he's neither a bike or a car guy. His previous job was selling shoes. No one in the shop knows he got the job; obviously he knows somebody important. Anyway, I was helping Rafael, my mechanic, troubleshoot the problem with my bike...pressure testing the engine...and we've narrowed it down that my head gasket is going bad...just too many miles with the temp light on (unavoidable miles, I would stop when I could do so safely, but there have definitely been miles put on the bike with it on and the damage was done). Anyway, the head gasket is a $30 part, and but the boss man was going to charge me $150. Yes, that would be a 500% mark-up, which is quite insane but normal for this guy, who I hear has been charging customers upwards of $250 for an oil change. In the states, I can get an oil change done on my K1200LT by a dealer for $100, and that's expensive. The gasket is a flat piece of rubber that will fit in an envelope. And when I put up a stink about it, he came back with a better price... $115. Still too high. A bus ticket from Guatemala City to San Salvador costs $25, the shipping method in play here, would put the cost of my part to about $55...and that's the price for a person, not a piece of luggage. Still quite a bit less than $115. Then we got to talking about labor charges after I told him that I won't pay the $115 for a head gasket. After telling him I was quite familiar with labor charges. This resulted in price of $245 in labor, which is actually fair...still about 3x what a non-bmw moto mechanic would charge here, but comparable to what I would pay in the States for 3-4 hours of labor. Moral of the story: white skin, stranded biker = gouging opportunity...because everybody knows that every 34-year-old white American male is a millionaire.
__________________
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- Adam Barone | Freelance Journalist | Jupiter's Traveller with The Ted Simon Foundation | Copywriter and Brand Strategist with Adam Barone Copywriting, LLC
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