Chris' 1994  R100GS/PD ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650

Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

October 20

After 5 Months, a little reflection ...
-- Story by Chris --

We've been on the road for 5 months now -- Where has the time gone?!  Back home, friends got married, others had babies, some got new jobs, and a few even moved.  It's brought us closer to family, and we've made a lot of new friends.  I can't imagine the changes a full 18 months will bring, let alone another 7 months.

For me, the past 5 months have been fun, interesting, and sometimes work -- yes, work.  Although we're not employed or generating income, we haven't been sitting on a beach every day, sipping Margaritas -- Well, not every day.  For each country we visit there are so many things to do and see, we barely have time to write our journal entries.

Traveling is exciting as there are so many experiences to stimulate the senses, but there is a finite amount of time -- For us, when the money runs out, the trip is over.  Our biggest mistake so far, I think, is our aggressive itinerary.  When you think about taking off a year, or year and a half, from work it sounds like an incredibly long period of time.   Now, take out a world map, look at all the countries you would want to visit, and you are left with only a maximum of 2 weeks in most countries.  Imagine, two weeks to see an entire country!   Unlike a typical 2 week vacation, for a big trip, I would recommend less destinations and more quality time within a destination.

All of their culture is distributed throughout many areas within the country.  A visit to one or two major cities will only give you a glimpse of the culture and history.  In Europe, we've seen historic sights from the B.C. era right through the 20th century.  Wars have affected the cultures and sometimes changed the landscape.  With countries sharing multiple borders, major cultural and economic differences can sometimes be only a few miles away.  Our goal now is to reduce the number of places we visit and to spend more time in those areas.

We have been pretty lucky so far with our safety, motorcycles, experiences, and especially with the people we meet.  We've been successful obtaining documents and crossing borders, but as we're leaving the European Communities, we've noticed a slight change.  "Pay-offs" (corruption may be too strong a word) have become more common, and getting proper documentation and border crossings will become harder as we move through India and Southeast Asia.

When we started this adventure, we didn't know what to expect.  We are still fairly new to the game, but we've learned a thing or two so far, and we're getting accustomed to the routine of traveling.  My fears of life on the road have been replaced with fears of "afterwards" -- so I won't dwell on this now.

I guess the biggest thing I've learned is to not get hung up on the little things, like I used to:  What's done is done, and if you can't do anything about it, then just move on.  There's always another day.   Our biggest problems so far have been technology:  internet connections; digital camera discs failing; and Palm Pilot issues.  We've gotten used to the fact that our ability to check/send emails from our laptop is not always guaranteed, that loading website updates may not always work, and that readers will understand.  If things break or need to be fixed, there may not always be a simple solution and we just have to adapt to the situation.  These are not life threatening issues, and there's always tomorrow.

. . .  and these are my rambling thoughts after 5 months on the road.

Joe, one of 40 stray cats in the campground

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