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    • rtwPaul

      2010 was a real bad year for me, had a stroke, went blind (sight returned thankfully), father dying of cancer, losing my house, losing my business - what did I do, go on a motorcycle ride of course!

      I left to head to the start point to collect my bike that had shipped in to Ushuaia, Argentina in early March 2011, planning on around 6 months of travel to clear my head...well it didn't exactly pan out like that, I'm still on the road 2670 days later and have no plans to return anytime soon.

      Along the way questions are asked -
      Why do you do it?
      How do you do it?
      How do you afford it?
      Do you get lonely?
      Do you get bored?
      Where's your favorite place?
      Where's you least favorite place?
      Is there anywhere you could have stayed forever?

      All the above can be answered in one sentence most of the time and without thinking.

      Then one day an older lady is standing by my motorcycle and asks - Do you get remote? Do you really get out there, way out there dozens or hundreds of miles from the nearest person? I think even though she didn't know me she was concerned for my safety!

      Now here's a question to make you think...so I'll answer and you can join in with a story or photo. I post one for each year on the road for myself

      In 2011 I was in Bolivia high up in the Altiplano and it is remote, there's no life up at 17,000 feet, no air it seems, no vegitation and rarely any rain

    • wx

      That looks desolate, yet beautiful.

      My answer to your question is no, not like that.

      My question to you is #3 on your list.

    • RussP

      Being remote is fantastic and riding alone really gives you clarity of thought.
      If I ever have something really big on my mind I go for a long ride, helmet time is the best way to think things through.
      I have ridden in the Atacama and the isolation and silence is stunning, but I also love outback Australia the big sky and long straight roads are where I do my best thinking.

    • rtwPaul

      It basically comes down to one word 'CHOICE'.

      Determinationto make it happen then conceiving plan, in my case, small amount of cash rolled into stocks, traded vigently after taking a lot of my time to educate and be the only one making the decisions.

      Once I had enough for a good downpayment on a property then I bought and also continued trading and also rented out that property creating passive income that was reinvested...rinse and repeat until my income and net worth was more than it costs me to travel.

      In my last 7 years traveling my most expensive year was last year at a daily average of $65.86 per day and that was for two people, for absolutly every single thing we do and need...I can not live in once place for anything close to that

      Consistent travel is NOT as expensive as you may think

    • RussP

      Paul you would love Australia and NZ, but be warned neither is a cheap country to visit.
      I'm in Sydney if you need a bed for a few nights.

    • rtwPaul

      I will take you up on that but it'll be a while, riding south america again, 4th time here, then its Russia across to Europe....then headed your way, remind me when i'm getting close ;-)

    • rtwPaul

      2012, didn't get too remote but there are some places you ride where people are close by but you know not to stop and as it's daylight you are safe(ish) but the whole country feels like its looking at you trying to figure out a way to get something from you!

      This was the feeling I had crossing Honduras 2012, a remote road in the middle of nowhere but still triple checking all around before taking the shot

    • rtwPaul

      2013 was a slow riding year for me, I was considering starting an offroad touring company, so I rode around the western US trying to figure out interesting routes that had a little remoteness to them.

      There is a track outside of Moab called the White Rim Trail, its just over 100 miles around, I took a friend with me and found out from his experience I didn't want a touring company!

      I have him very simple instructions - its going to be hot out here today, you have 3 liters of water, take a little sip every 5-10 minutes and you'll be good.

      That was it, the riding side of it was not an issue for us...30 minutes in he stops me and asks if I have anymore water. Why I ask? I'm out!

      This made me think about taking 5-10 riders out in a place like this, it'd be like training and hearding kittens...nuff said.

      He said why don't we just run back to Moab, its only 24 miles away.

      In his dehydrated state he had switched his GPS to direct routing, so it drew a straight line to Moab and didn't follow the trail.

      He kept telling me he was going to die, in all honesty it was likely it was around 105f and no shade anywhere.

      The remoteness of the trail comes in to play where it has a close proximity to a city that you can't get to quickly, on a trail that makes you ride 100 miles if you like it or not and that may see only a dozen or so people a week.

      I got him down to the Colorado River where he jumped in fully clothed in motocross gear, boots and all and sat there for two hours refusing to get out!

      We eventually made it out 'alive'

    • Herb

      I do like to get remote. I don't think I've been as remote as some of the posts here, but I'd like to.

      Talking about strokes and stuff; my family has a history of heart attacks. I know if something like that happens to me when I'm way out there, it will be the end. I'm at peace with that, and willing to take the risk.

    • Dracula

      Paul, I may have asked you this elsewhere, one aspect that fascinates me is how you appear to never get tired, uncomfortable or god forbid, sick. And I know that's not the case. How do you deal with that? I know on one hand there is money and on the other, time. You certainly balance skillfully these resources, but I consider it more of an art form now you could pretty sure write a very good book on, given the extent of time you spent calling "home" wherever you park your motorcycle. Personally I am getting soft because I really love having my morning Turkish coffee ;-) not being kicked out of hotels at noon having to schlep my gear down the stairs, love having my home and garage with tools ready to work on the bike, at the end of a long hard day's riding. But that only allows me several hundred miles range, and not seeing "the world". I am always eager to read your thoughts on how you mentally work out that aspect of traveling.

    • wx

      Good questions.

      Also, how do you not get lonely? I know you have a companion. But I find traveling to be a lonely experience, especially if it's always breaking new ground.

    • Dracula

      I can't answer for Paul and really want to see his answer. But in my view, that is largely dependent on the kind of life one leads in their normal daily lives, when not traveling. In following Paul's not just travels, but life journeys since the first years he started sharing them, I feel I could understand and even relate in some way.

    • rtwPaul

      Travel is a lonely thing solo or with a partner. I would explain it like this -

      You travel for you and no one else. For me I returned to long distance travel to get away from people!

      How many times have you been somewhere and you want to come home and want to tell everybody about it, but after a very short while 'most' will be trying to change the subject saying things like, "did you see the Bears game the other night".

      Most people cannot come close to being able to relate to extended travel, never mind my sort of extensive travel, even my mother rarely knows where I am, is a good example .

      You do have a few choices, find places to stay with like minded people, hostals come to mind. Not my thing at all but it is an opportunity to meet people as you move.

      Forums, whatsapp groups and facebook pages can find you people as well.

      If you are the type that does get lonely and are traveling solo a very simple tip - if you are in a place regardless of country and are lonely and want to talk to someone and no one wants to appear to talk to you, all you have to do is one thing...get out a map, you will have more 'new friends' than you would believe!

      I'm not the type of person who really needs others to feel fulfilled so for me its not an issue at all, but i will say this, have something to do besides traveling, your brain will become full eventually and every mountain/ town square/ church/ beach will start to look the same. When I feel this coming on I take a break from riding, and again this is a time to meet people of yu ick the right place.

      So, in summation, no not an issue at all

    • rtwPaul

      I do get tired, uncomfortable and sick, i rarely talk about it, really you think people want to hear about me complaining when I'm doing what i'm doing.

      How do i deal with when t does happen? I stop moving and sit still for a while, usually in a bigger town or city so if it does get worse I'm close to whatever I think i need or in a worse case senario, an airport.

      I also miss the things you mention, except the coffee, I detest coffee, even the smell.

      I guess I have lived a full life in comparisson to some, or a dull life compared to others. If there's something I miss is a garage, my tools and the opportunity to create something, whether its metalwork, welding, building a motorcycle, working on a motorcycle...but it goes back to my tools.

      Recenty I have been considering finding a home base again, a friend of mine call it my RTW headquarters, he wants me to build it on his land in Louisiana!

      I'm thinking more like Spain, have a base, plan a very detailed trip of 2-6 months per year, set up right, right bike, right gear and go fully prepped. This gives the opportunity to come 'home' and relax and start thinking of the next adventure. RTW does get tiring and its not always good days.

      If you look up 'MotoNomad', Adam Riemann, I think this is where my travel will eventually evolve into.

      As for writing a book about it, NO not interested!

      There are so many people doing what I do and everyone of them is right about everything, all the time. There are way to many opinions out there nowadays for doing this.

      Yes I could easily set most out there with a perfect balance of riding, relaxing, correct gear, correct bike set up, income on the road etc...but to anyone who has an opinion and has traveled I will be wrong in one form or another, I honestly cannot be bothered with all the negativity.

      Ask me on a one to one basis and you might get a different answer...

    • Dracula

      Paul, great post & reply to my questions. I for one am interested in existential woes associated with RTW travel (if we could call them that) just as much as enjoying seeing the peaks and highs all your readers indulge in, from the comfort of our armchairs. And even though I agree that one travels for themselves, in the end I think it's as much about you enjoying what you are sharing, as it is for reader's enjoyment, and will always respect your choices.

      I did check some of MotoNomad videos, spectacular adventures indeed, those folks are like what 25 ~ 30 year old athletes, in great shape and have daring skills. The KTM 500 seems a great choice of motorcycle lightweight and powerful, it appears tons of fun to ride. But I would be curious as to the maintenance it requires for such extended trips.

      A rtwPaul home base in Europe somewhere, makes allot of sense! I will be following along the possible development of it, as always!

    You've been invited!