Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Journey Begins...

I started my little midlife crisis in September 2007, the year of the thirtieth birthday. In fact, I celebrated it down in Ecuador, wondering if I was really going through with this...Overall, I spent about seven or eight months in South America, making my way from Quito, Ecuador through Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and back to Quito. I couldn't have done it without the help of Glen Heggstad for his recommendation of Ricardo Rocco. Ricardo helped me secure the bike and even though I spoke decent Spanish, helped me through the dizzying legal aspects of purchasing a motorcycle in a foreign country. In all fairness, I admit my trip was "interrupted" in Buenos Aires by work and a wedding in December 2007, but I returned to Buenos Aires in March 2008 and finished by May 2008. I would have loved to spend more time in each country, and less on the road, but everyone has their own restraints to consider, be it time, personal, work or financial. I wouldn't trade off any part of it, and believe that in the long term, I have become a better, stronger person after the year and a half I spent travelling (eight months of solo backpacking in Europe preceded the motorcycle trip). Yeah, yeah...cliche.

This little ditty -er, viddy- was composed by Rob. It holds the last remaining views of what my former website looked like. Enjoy!

As far as the posts by country, you might be wondering where these went after I reposted them four years ago.  I am working on a book, so I have taken down the content during this process.  The book is more for me, to finally complete the circle that I began so long ago.  How time flies and how we continually get lost in the moments.  Find me over at Moterrific or on Instagram where I post about my more recent wanderings, experiences, talk about motorcycling, and cover/photograph motorcycling events.

The Pack List

So...once you've decided that touring foreign continents (specifically South America) is right for you, one of your next questions might be...what do I bring? If you're like me, you'll devise a list, place all list items out in plain view, and once you've seen more than enough crap to fill a 3.5 cubic yard trash bin, you'll start to evaluate what's important in life. This list was formed the second half of my trip, so your version will have a trial run's worth of experience in check.

My helmet will always be plane carry-on along with my bulkiest gear. Between base camp and your final destination, you will most likely leave behind things along the way or "gift" the remainder. Best to take some quality external gear, and for the internal items - lots of old t-shirts and other clothes you’re willing to scrap. You will never see me take matching bra and panty sets on a road trip. I take my rattiest tees, socks, and panties, so that once the journey is over I have already dumped everything (and more room for souvenirs).

Basic toiletries (sunscreen, bug repellent, toothpaste, shampoo, hand cream)
Pack towel (the lightweight, quick drying kind)
Well-thought out medicine kit
Sandals (your feet will thank you)
2 regular bras, 2 sport bras
10 pair underwear
2 pair socks, 1 pair liner socks
1 long sleeve shirts (cotton and moisture-wicking)
2 pair pants (cargo and jeans)
4 tees, 1 tank top
Denim skirt
Long underwear
Tourmaster WP Solution boots
Cortech All-Weather jacket
Bohn underarmor adventure pants (didn't like these much in the long run)
North Face cargo pants
Helly Hansen Waterproof pants
Mountain Hardwear Waterproof jacket
Mountain Hardwear Fleece jacket
Shift Racing Gloves
Helmet (wired for sound)
Bandana/Scarf/Balaclava (for the occasional bee in my bonnet)
Gardening glove/rubber glove combo (100% waterproof)
Canon G7 Digital Camera (3 batteries), 6.32 GB memory
2GB thumb drive
Unlocked cell phone
Nalgene water bottle
Water Purification Tablets
Brazil guidebook
Maps (Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela)
Cargo Net
Zip ties
Duct tape
Electrical Tape
Rear/front tubes
Basic socket set
Multi-tool with pliers and philips/flathead screwdriver attachments
Silicon chain lubricant
Throttle rocker
Package of 5 various-sized caribiners
Rocco the Moose (mascot)