In preparation for touring the world in 2017, we completed two “shakedown” trips in 2016. This was to ensure we had a few ‘practice runs’ at touring by motorcycle before we tacked the challenge of touring by motorcycle abroad.
Our first trip was to the Snowy Mountains in November and our second trip was in December. We simply hopped on our bikes and headed north, with no set plan or route, no accommodation booked. We really wanted to test ourselves, to see if we could simply set off on a journey and cope with all the unknowns?
We had an amazing time on both journeys and learnt a great deal. The two stand-out learnings were:
- We packed way too much and our bikes were over loaded with things we “may need” but never did. We soon learned that two or three pairs of clothing was sufficient – we learned to wash what we were wearing each night in the shower, if it did not dry we had another change of clothing. The same applied to toiletries, food and camera gear. We weighed our combined luggage which was +/-100kg (43kg on Maryna’s bike and 56kg on Paul’s bike) and decided on ways to reduce the load. I decided not to take my DSLR camera and lenses, replacing this with a compact camera and that alone saved me about 6kg.
- We focused on the destination instead of on the journey. Initially we were focused on “getting to where we were going”. We soon learned to take each day as it comes, to enjoy the journey for what it may be and where it may take us, learning to decide each day where to next rather than having a set plan for our journey. We soon ditched our initial plans, learned to speak with locals and asking for advice and in doing so we experienced amazing routes, people and places. We learned to listen to how we were feeling each day, taking each day at face value and this helped us to pace ourselves and we enjoyed the journey a great deal more as a result.