"The hardest part of any trip is getting to the start line"
This is what I was told right at the beginning and to be honest with you, I didn't believe it. How could that be possible? I have to ride my motorcycle for over 25,000 miles across four continents, surely that's more difficult? Well... When I decided to announce to everyone about this trip over a year ago I was full of optimism. It will be fine, I have ages till I leave and I shall worry about it then.
It's been over a week now since I packed in my full time job and I have not been too good to be honest with not working. It doesn't feel right. I have always had a job and that has always been my daily routine then planned my fun life around that. So, I've now got myself some part time work. A few days a week to keep me sane while I spend the rest of the time sorting out stuff for the trip. Now, more on sorting this trip out and what has made getting to the start line so frustrating at times.
Let's start with the bike. If you follow me on social media you would have noticed that I have been up to my elbows in engine oil. I am not a mechanic but I have been trying to learn as much as possible. And some of it's very frustrating but I am getting there. Progress is slow as I have to research everything before I do it. But at the same time it has been very rewarding learning. I have no idea what's going to happen and I feel I can't really plan for every eventuality, so my plan is to take each day as it comes and if something happens then work it out on the road. I am looking for an adventure and bike failures and break downs are all part of the journey.
Holy crap. So my biggest problem so far has been the Russian visa. For what I need to complete my trip is very complicated. As I write this the Russian embassy still have my passport and I have no idea if I will be granted the visa I want. Very stressful at the moment and I wouldn't be lying if I said it keeps me up at night. These are the things that people don't see happening behind the scenes. If it does come through I will write a 'how to' blog post for obtaining a Russian visa for overland travel for sure to help others through the process. What a minefield of paperwork to get through and let's not even get started on the fees for it too. All the other visas are fairly straight forward which is good news to hear.
Like with the visas, this is something that I couldn't have done ages ago. It takes some time to work out what you need and when to take them. Because of my Army history I was hoping everything would be up to date. But a lot of the things I need have expired. Not cool. So I've booked up the ones I need, got the bank card out again and paid for them. These vaccinations are needed so there's no getting around it. And we are not just talking about one or two. Because of the shear scale of travel I'm doing I am definitely getting fixed up with some weird and wonderful vaccinations.
There is so much to sort for this trip it's unreal. I can't possibly learn all the languages. I can't workout where all the petrol stations are or where campsites are going to be. I can't book transport flights because I don't know when I will arriving at these ports yet. But because of this, it's exciting. The look on peoples faces when I tell them that I've not got everything booked or who knows where I am going to sleep is priceless. I swear some people think I've lost my marbles. Well, I've not. I wanted freedom on this trip and I'm scared if I plan too much the trip will not unfold naturally and my path will be dictated by schedules and bookings.
Most of my belongings now have either been sold, donated or thrown away. I still have a few more bits to get rid of and the rest will be put into storage. At first, the thought of getting rid of my possessions was quite daunting and something I didn't want to do. Having got the ball rolling it's actually rather liberating. I have accumulated so much stuff over the years that I just don't use. Selling was helpful towards the budget for the trip but most importantly, donating my stuff to local charities felt really rewarding and nice to know that someone else will use my unwanted stuff.
What's next? Not much to be fair. Wait for the visas, get more jabs done and get the bike spot on for the trip. I am constantly reading blogs and stories of other peoples trips which is great for research and it also gets me more excited when I have a rough idea of what's coming up. I will write again soon for another update but in the meantime you can keep up to date on my social media pages. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and don't forget to sign up to my newsletter to keep up to date when I am on the road.
Thanks for reading. Now get out there and do something epic!!