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Old 04-01-2011, 04:27 AM   #1
bigalsmith101 OP
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Oddometer: 962
No Jobs, No Responsibilities, No Better Time than Now

No Jobs, No Responsibilities, No Better Time
Nearly three years ago I had a dream, conjured up in the midst of a summer tryst in South America, backpacking during a year off from school.

I will ride my motorcycle around the world. Alone? Maybe. With friends? Perhaps. With a significant other? Possibly. Either way, it was pivotal. That moment was the beginning of a mental journey draped over the cutting board of the past three years, mixed with a college education, hammered into shape by a strong determination, and cooked into a possibility by the efforts of unexpected employment.

My university graduation took place on June 12th, 2010. It was a nice warm, sunny Saturday afternoon in Bellingham Washington. I now had a degree in International Business, with a Spanish minor equivalent. Congratulations Alex. Round One Complete.

Work started two days later, Monday June 14, 2010. Location: Juneau Alaska.

In the past seven days, I had taken and passed 4 university level final exams, written 12 pages between two papers, received 40hrs of instruction on how to drive a commercial vehicle, taken and passed my Commercial Drivers license examination, moved all of my personal belongings from my college apartment back into old room at my parents house, moved 3 motorcycles home, packed for work, and flew away to Juneau, Alaska.

Unknowingly I was to remain there for 6 months. Working 6 days and often over 50+ hours a week, I made my home in an Extended Stay hotel. All expenses minus personal food and my cell phone were provided. I had less than $300/mo in personal expenses. My income was magnitudes greater. What did I do? I saved every cent earned. Why? I was riding around the world on my motorcycle. When? Yet to be determined.

I worked as an emergency services contractor for the local Home Depot.

You might ask… YOU DID WHAT? I delivered appliances. That's right. I graduated from a 4 yr university, and was employed delivering appliances and material for Home Depot, and I liked it. They paid the best, and I wasn't in it for the long term. Saving money was the goal. Best decision yet. But even better yet. I can bring my own assistant. Meet Kristi!
Kristi. She’s my favorite. She knows all about my goal, and even listens when I tell her all about them, two, three, four times in a row. Better yet, she knows her goals as well. School first. She works with me in the summers and continues her schooling otherwise. Her planned graduation date is the summer of 2012. She wants to come. Maybe we leave then? Awesome, I’d like her to come. She’s capable, adventurous, fun loving, and spirited. Can she ride a bike? Not yet. Would she be willing to learn? Of course she would. Did I like her enough to have her along the whole way? Well, we’ve been together for 3 years. I like her a lot. Meet Kristi!

I liked my job. I worked for a good man who paid me well. I told my friend. He got a job and liked it too. He was paid well. He liked my idea too. Third piece of the pie? It so happens that I’ve known Tom for 16 years. Long enough to know he could handle it. Around the world? So what, big deal. Hence, Tom came to work with me and learned to drive big trucks. We’re fellow Eagle Scouts. Tom studied International Business as well. Tom speaks Spanish too. Ball is rolling now. Are we getting somewhere? Meet Tom!

We worked and we saved, and we worked and we saved, and we studied.

We were making headway. We set goals. We’d start the summer of 2012. We’d ride around the world. We’d spend 25 months doing it. We’d hit 6 continents, see 70+ countries, ride 60k+ Miles, and ride…. What kind of motorcycles? See the link to the decision making process here.
Decision made, Dr650’s the steed of choice. Awesome, Let’s buy some. Done. Bikes purchased. Congratulations, Alex, Kristi and Tom. Round Two Complete.
Tom’s Motorcycle

My Motorcycle

Kristi’s Motorcycle

Yay! Motorcycles are bought! Let’s ride the hell out of them in the mean time! And so we did. Even in the snow.

We got LAID OFF!
What did you say!?!? We got laid off... kinda. We worked as independent contractors, for a contractor who supplied emergency services to a company that delivers for 70% of all of the Home Depots in the United States and Canada. Someone quits, can’t be replaced locally, we fill the job temporarily, they find a new guy, and we train the new guy, than we leave. Well the guy we work for knows what he's worth and charges for it. The company we contract too doesn’t like it. My employer didn't like being treated poorly. So he stopped contracting to them. So Tom and I now have no jobs….

Well what now you ask?
Plan B. This sucks. Not everyone can be happy. But circumstances exist, opportunities have arisen, decisions must be made. And made they were. Tom and I will leave early, and go until we have to stop! How much earlier? 14 months earlier. How long will we last? We saved about 50% of our goal. Half way sounds good! Congratulations Alex and Tom. Round 3 Complete. (No more job!)
What about Kristi? School is important. She will continue her schooling and visit us during her school breaks. She’s bummed, but understanding. She’s wistful to join, but determined to ace school. Now’s not the right time for her. However, it IS the right time for us.
Time to modify motorcycles!
Tom’s Motorcycle!

My Motorcycle! (sans top pelican case, since added)

Modifications are now complete. Elapsed time is around 9.5 months from date of completion of round one. We leave 27 hours. Saturday morning, April 2nd, 2011. It will be Tom’s birthday. He’ll be 24. I am 24. We’re young, but we’re prepared. We’re Eagle Scouts, remember?
Our new goal is to travel for 9+ months. Destination is “South”. We hope the generic hope, to reach Ushuaia. Will we? Yes we will. When? We don’t know. Why you ask? Because. It doesn’t matter where we go, just as long as we go. And go we will. Like the wind. Stay tuned brothers and sisters, Round 4 is just beyond the horizon!!!

bigalsmith101 screwed with this post 11-26-2012 at 08:13 PM Reason: In response to the positive vibes
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:41 AM   #2
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Hotlanta
Oddometer: 985
I'm in

Well done so far. Great intro and it sounds like you got your sh$t together!

Can't wait to hear the rest.
I'm here to chew bubblegum and kick ass....and I'm all out of bubble gum

06 Suzi DL1K
99 Suzi DR350SE
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:47 AM   #3
Big gulps eh?
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Joined: Aug 2004
Oddometer: 899
quite an intro....

safe travels.
Keeping the working stiffs at bay by singeing away the loose ends and carrying nothing more than I need.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:55 AM   #4
Well there it is..
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: God's Country
Oddometer: 1,468
Outstanding... Looking forward to the Adventure..
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:06 AM   #5
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: South Louisiana
Oddometer: 75
Sounds Good

Im in on this one. Good luck dudes.
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:57 AM   #6
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Binghamton, NY
Oddometer: 2,058
Subscribed! Excellent intro.

Don't you know there ain't no devil, it's just God when he's drunk.
Tom Waits
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:11 AM   #7
Old Motorcyclist
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Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Oddometer: 3,480
Great start! Will be following along. Thanks for sharing with us.
A14 KLR 43k miles ,07 1250S Bandit 75K miles , 03 Chevy Truck 80K miles '43 model me. Simper Fi
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:12 AM   #8
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Gent, Belgium
Oddometer: 66
looks promising, i'm in
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:15 AM   #9
Ranger Red
Team Green
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Great Basin
Oddometer: 140
Everything in moderation, even moderation.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:33 AM   #10
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Perth , WA
Oddometer: 361
Excellent intro ! Keep it posted !
-zie egret.
Mads Mikkelsen - '' I'm a beer man. I tried to drink whiskey and Scotch but I don't get it. It smells like a girl who didn't shower and just splashed a lot of perfume on . ''
Jack FM - '' Vampires , what a pain in the neck ! ''
Unknown - '' I've learned to give away not because I have too much but because I know how is to have nothing . ''
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:27 AM   #11
Butler Maps
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Joined: May 2002
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Oddometer: 19,403
Southbound on DR650s

i'll be down in mexico by june if you want to look me up!
Butler Maps - motorcycle maps for riders by riders -
NM map COBDR AZBDR IDBDR South East map
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:38 AM   #12
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Roswell, GA
Oddometer: 2,293
Very nice intro, I'm definitely in.
"Reason takes a holiday as Dr. Horrible spends money he doesn't have, on a motorcycle he doesn't need, in a misguided attempt to recapture his youth which, upon reflection, wasn't all that great in the first place."
"Ride to the bar in your pirate outfit, guzzle some beer, play "Free Bird' on the juke box and then go home. Badass."
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:40 AM   #13
The Breeze
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Utah
Oddometer: 216
Great Intro

I'm in!

Great introduction. Glad to hear you've pulled the trigger and are heading out. IMO, you couldn't have picked a better bike for the trip....bombproof/reliable and simple to work on if need be. Have a great trip and keep us posted!!!
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:27 AM   #14
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Nov 2010
Oddometer: 118
This will be fun

If you go through or near Portland and need anything let me know.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"
A society which makes war with its police had better learn to make friends with its criminals.
2011/2012 RIFF RAFF
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Far West Chicago Burbs
Oddometer: 744
cool. in.
Some ride reports:

Why do I keep thinking I'm gonna wind up in a love / hate relationship with a Guzzi?
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