We remember what it was like when we first made plans to travel the world. We couldn’t contain our excitement as we knew that life would never be the same. We counted down the days, felt giddy and made endless plans.
When Phoebe and Joel contacted us to tell us about their upcoming motorcycle adventure around the world, we could put ourselves in their place and feel that excitement all over again. I would have loved to have the knowledge to send someone an email to tell them about it, and have our first cycling adventure introduced to the world.
We thought it would be great to let you all know about a new travel couple that is coming onto the scene. We plan on having them give us some updates from the road to see how their adventure together goes.
A Motorcycle Adventure, The Journey Begins
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Once upon a time not so long ago my girlfriend Phoebe and I were sitting in a Thai restaurant in Beijing on a particularly smoggy, lung-clogged day.
“Why don’t we just get out of here?!” she said teasingly.
Up until this point we had both been feeling somewhat suffocated in one the worlds most populous cities. While we enjoyed the challenges of living in a culture as ludicrously frustrating and unequally intriguing as China’s, we felt anchored by the more material benefits of the expat circus.
At every chance, we jumped into our vacations head first, and were hit by the mighty blue depths of depression when responsibility beckoned us once again back to Beijing.”
So, as soon as Phoebe put the question on the table between the pad Thai and the green curry, I didn’t think twice.
A New Trip
Whilst we both sported deeps scars from the bite of the travel bug, we felt we owed it to ourselves to do something big, an unrivalled trip that we could look back on and question the sanity of in more mature years to come. We also saw it as a way of getting our creative juices flowing, maybe even enough to lead us down a life path never before considered.
I had previously done a few long motorcycle tours, and having introduced Phoebe to the slippery slope of motorcycle obsession in the mountains encircling Beijing, it wasn’t hard to convince her that the majestic motorcycle should be our transport of choice.
There is really no substitute for being the master of your own two-wheeled destiny, free to roam through the elements, exposed physically and emotionally to all the bliss and harshness this crazy little world has to offer. Your senses tingle with excitement every time you hit new terrain, every time the sun warms you, every time you pick up an exotic scent through the helmet.
You truly ride the waves of euphoria, only to come crashing back down to Earth when the motorcycle Gods are against you: It’s the very polarity of emotions that keeps you returning for more.
So having cashed our chips in and given up our careers, we find ourselves deep in the mire of trip preparation. The burning of properties of camping stoves and the compactness of origami cooking utensils are no longer an elusive mystery. These minute details are currently the hinges on which our lives hang.
Our plan to zigzag our way up, down and around whatever we deem interesting enough to see, seems rather fine. We will point our noses to the wind, and embrace the uncertainty, wrapped in the knowledge that everything turns out all right in the end.
We do know that we’ve set the finish line a long way off, and as D-day approaches, the monsters of insecurity hiding under the bed start to surface. Phoebe’s rather figurative demons: Her overwhelming fear of snakes, are ones she hopes to conquer with a dose of hypnotism before we leave.
My concern of maneuvering a fully laden bike through the sands of Africa. Well that remains to be seen! Whatever happens though, we know that the hardest moments make the best stories, and we’re sure to be laughing about it later.
The one thing I do know though, is that I have my perfect partner for such a daredevil adventure. Phoebe is one the most curious creatures I have ever had the pleasure to meet, unsatisfied by the comfortable, mundane life she could quite easily be living if she wanted to.
She pushes herself beyond most peoples’ normal limits, and pushes me to want to be more productive and more positive in life. Phoebe loves being pillion, and always aims to solve life’s little riddles from the back of the motorbike.
Always one to think big, she has grand ideas for the trip, having set herself (and inadvertently me), the goal of finding out ‘what makes people happy’ the world over.
So come one, come all, and enjoy our topsy-turvy question-filled existence, as The Short Road To Happy and The Motorcycle Thing do epic battle with the world, and hopefully live to tell you all about it 😉