Inspiration comes from many places, but I find that most of my own inspiration comes from watching others go through their own pains in learning. After a good viewing of Ewan’ McGregor’s Long Way Round, I thought to myself that I wanted to go around the world (referred to as RTW, for round the world from here on out), on a motorbike too , and since I’m not a famous actor with extra cash, I’ll have to make a well-defined budget and in the next (hopefully) 2-3 years, I’ll be able to see this aspiration come true. I want to break the planning phases into several categories. It’s not organized in a linear matter, therefore I'll go back and make adjustments to each phase as needed. Also, the titles to each blog will begin with each phase I plan on talking about. But the basic 4 phases I want to look at is:
Phase 1: Budgeting
I’ll be looking at the maximum feasible amount that I can save per month, along with that the budgeting of the trip based on global fuel cost with extras for maintenance of the motorcycle, medical, and entertainment along the trip. The cost is going to be based on hearsay, from others who have performed an RTW trip (some sources will be blogs and websites like horizonunlimited.com). Ultimately, I want to calculated it into a $/day allowance for food and petro on the most basic level.
Phase 2: Route Planning
Route planning is largely dependent on the number of people I can go with this trip on. If I end up traveling alone, the route will have to be less dangerous but obviously the more the merrier.
Phase 3: Visas, Carnets and other Paperwork
Crossing borders with a motor vehicle requires paperwork, everything about getting the required documents will be discussed.
Phase 4: The Motorcycle
Of course, this is my favorite part! The motorbike itself! I’ll be looking at several bikes and hopefully picking the right one and equipping it as I see fit. I’ve got my eye on the Suzuki DR-650 at the moment, but that can change.
Q: Why around the world on a bike?
A: Really, I’ve never thought about it much. I enjoy riding, but I remember vividly how much I hated long trips on my bike when I was younger. The saddle soreness was really painful, and it was always so expensive to pay for fuel tolls, food, hotels etc, mind you, I didn’t really have a steady job back then. One ride really changed it all though. I rode down to New Orleans with my friend Rudel and back in 9 days. It was GRUELING ride, but the trip was worth every bit of saddle soreness. I blame the bike! Being on the bike and knowing that home was not a destination the next morning is one of the most liberating feelings I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Multiply that feeling by 100x, perhaps even 1000x is something that I really look forward to.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Realistically, I’ve read many numbers in the $30,000 range per a year (and it is doable in a year). Most of the cost comes from transporting the bike from one continent to the other, and I will start touching on the cost as I find out more. Daily cost from country to country vary, and it also varies greatly on what you plan on doing along the trip.
Q:How long will it take?
A: 1 year. Hopefully. As much as I’d like to bum around and just travel the world, when the bank goes empty, so does the gas tank, that is if the global supply of gasoline doesn’t dry up soon.... I might have to travel around the world on cooking oil on a diesel bike!
Q: When do you want to leave?
A: I’d like to ride along a path that is mostly warm, and not cold as fucking hell (I've got more than my fair share of freezing bums and hands), so I’d like to travel across Europe in the summer time, and spend the winter(the northern hemisphere of a winter) in the tropics, so a good date would be around June 2015/2016. I also plan on completing my Engineering Masters degree by then as well. It’ll be a nice treat.
So that’s all for this short blog! Now to fire up excel and make a spreadsheet for budgeting!