I’d be telling porky pies if I told you I’d been planning this trip for a long time. The truth is I made the decision about 5 months ago, in October 2014, after realizing how uncontent and unfulfilled I was in my job and an acceptance of the fact that my time in the adult’s playground of New York, had come to an end. I had the finances and no imminent responsibilities. All I needed was the willingness to dare.
Ever since I was a kid I had always wanted to ride a motorcycle. As I grew older I knew it was something that would eventually happen, I just didn’t think it would start with an epic three continent-spanning adventure. I remember a time when I was in my final year in college back in 2010. I found a copy of the well-known Motorcycle Diaries. It told the story of revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara early days when he made a trip from Buenos Aires to North America. I marvelled at this tale and from then on the seed was planted.
A couple months ago I started to binge on Long Way Down and Long Way Around episodes. For those of you who aren’t familiar, these are documentary TV series which chronicles the adventures of English and Scottish actors Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman as they ride from Scotland to New York via Russia and then most northern point of Scotland to the most southern point in Capetown, South Africa in two separate trips. It showcases the amazing cultures they become immersed in, unwavering hospitality at every bend but also the trouble they run into from breakdowns, to security threats and injury. Everything is laid bare and the show does a great job at capturing their emotions good and bad alike as the two men are tested more than they’ve ever been before. To me, the show represented the most realistic vision of what to expect and was a great source of inspiration and excitement.
Having made my mind up, the next big step was quitting my stable, comfortable financial technology consulting job. Gripped with excitement and shitting myself a little, I threw caution to the wind, gave my required three months notice and boom, the wheels were in motion and the trip was a reality.