Category Archives: Australia

Riding Perth to Southeast Asia: Starting off with an event in Perth

Beginning early June, I’ll be adding Perth to Southeast Asia to the motorcycle adventures, picking up where I left off in December, 2015. I’ll have the pleasure of being hosted by Overlander Adventure Equipment on Wednesday, May 31st, for a talk about the journey so far, and to start this next trip off with some friendly faces.
“Join us for an exciting FREE presentation by Elisa “TravelBugBlues” Wirkala – RTW motorbike traveller, climber, adventurer, & Contributing Editor of Women ADV Riders magazine!
Lumped with a mortgage, $30,000 student debt, & heavy dose of the travel bug, Elisa Wirkala made specific lifestyle choices so she could live AND adventure. Keeping an eye on her tight budget, but not minimising enjoyment, Elisa quit her job as a teacher to travel the world – 4 years ago! Starting with regular overseas travel as a student, by age 28 Elisa had visited 30 countries & seen much of the USA. Buying & selling bikes as she goes, Elisa keeps a minimalist approach to her travel & gear. And that student debt? Gone in a year, while her house earns equity & helps fund her travels. Find out how you too can live the travel dream!

In December 2015, Elisa crossed Sydney to Perth on a 250cc bike, having previously ridden Europe & the length of the Americas. Meeting Elisa through Horizons Unlimited, OAE’s Tam was inspired to complete her own cross-country 250cc adventure. 
Time to come and get YOUR inspiration!”
When: Wednesday 31st May
Time: 6pm for 6.30pm start (approx. 1.5 hour session)
Where: OverlanderAE, 1/14-22 Farrall Road, Midvale 6056
Hot drinks & biscuits provided
RSVPs not required, but bring your own chair!
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Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean: Mission Quokka and the Grand Finale (plus sneak-peak of next journey!)

It’s official. I’ve finally finished this video series of the 3,000 mile solo ride across ‘Stralia. Continent # 4 of the 6 I intend to ride is now finished (Or is it?! Sydney to Darwin to Indonesia and beyond beckons…). As far as mileage is concerned, this around the world is now well past the half way mark, with 20,000 Latin American miles, 3,000 European (plus 1,000 of hiking the Camino de Santiago) and 6,000 Australian (3,000 0n this ocean to ocean segment).

But more importantly, MISSION QUOKKA IS NOW COMPLETE. I repeat, Mission Quokka is now complete!

For those of you know were not privy to the story and birth of Mission Quokka, let me recap: Following serious heartbreak and a return to the United States to figure out life’s next stage, I came across ridiculous photos with the hashtag “Quokkaselfie” (what exactly is a hashtag, anyway?). I was immediately filled with joy upon seeing the smiling faces of these tiny Australian inhabitants (marsupials) smiling up into the camera with grinning tourists behind. The quokkas were found on the exact opposite side of Australia from where I’d been living, across the vast and completely townless Nullarbor Plains. I immediately wanted to go see them for myself.

For the next month- a dark time in life-, I Googled quokkaselfie when I needed a smile, a pick-me-up, or a reminder of the cuteness in this world. I agreed that it was a little ridiculous to ride across an entire continent just to see some small furballs with rat-like tails, I knew I needed to see them for myself. Call it Animal Therapy.  I would go search out my new Spirit Animal.

So I returned to Oz and went on a mission.

I present the culmination of this 3,000 mile Animal Therapy journey: Mission Quokka.

(Watch till the very end, and see the Sneak Peak of the next Travelbugblues adventure! Please share this video with anyone who needs a Quokka induced smile).

Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean: Forest Rooftop, Fiery Ride and the Last Days of Oz

 

IMG_6862The days in Oz wind down, but the adventure never ceases.

I navigate my way through a blaze of hot crackling flames and choking grey clouds, burning eyes, nose and throat through the thin gauze of my scarf tucked up into the opening of my helmet. The sun vanishes in the thick suffocating plume, and I told my breath and steer by the yellow lines Continue reading Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean: Forest Rooftop, Fiery Ride and the Last Days of Oz

Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean Motorcycle Journey: Engine vs. Human Power

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There’s no doubt about it, I love motorcycling. But with 50,000 miles under my expanding belt (and a waistline progressing with age), I’ve wonder if it’s time to put the keys away for a while and go back to human powered journeys, like in the past. Hiking, or riding a bicycle, can be significantly cheaper than a motorcycle after all*, and this blog is dedicated to frugal adventures. And to clarify, a ‘human powered’ adventure would be something that requires getting from point A to point B while expending your own strength and energy. Trekking, cycling, kayaking, running, climbing, skiing, etc. No need for gas or oil means you can spend more on food, much deserved (and needed) during a human powered adventure. And while using your own steam to get around sure is tiring, you’re allowed to eat anything and everything you want, while getting trim and healthy. An adventure, frugal fun, a workout and getting to eat to your heart’s content? Not a bad tradeoff! Sure, it’s slower, but there are definitely many bonuses.

Now motorcyclists, don’t get up in arms! I’m not quite ready to give up my motorized ride forever Continue reading Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean Motorcycle Journey: Engine vs. Human Power

Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean: The Nullarbor Part I

Nearly three weeks into my coast to coast Australian motorcycle journey, I woke up at 8:30am to the usual sounds of Oz. Squeaky toy rainbow birds chirping happily away alongside flocks of others birds with all kinds of exotic sounds, with the occasional hurricane of semi-trucks on the Eyre highway near my bush camp. A few hundred miles west of Port Augusta, I woke up feeling content, if not a bit dazed by the sunny white brilliance above.

The father and young son I’d chosen to camp near for safety reasons were long gone, having started their day earlier than I cared to think about. This late in the morning, they’d already be a couple hundred kilometers east, on their own road trip across Australia in the opposite direction.

I packed up as quickly as I could, trying to keep the dust off my feet as I hopped around one-legged into my armored motorcycle pants among the dirt and ants. It had been a chaotic and heartbreaking couple of months leading up to this struggle into my pants in the middle of nowhere. I had decided to leave a beautiful life in Australia after this one last jaunt across the continent, and although it was my own decision, it didn’t make the going any easier. I was leaving a place I adored, and people I loved. Salty tears stained the inside of my helmet, but I had a little nugget of growing peace somewhere deep down.

My own sense of power and self sufficiency was growing steadily, in tiny increments. Life throws terrible times our way, but being out here- being so freaking isolated- was somehow a powerfully soothing force on a heart that was showing significant signs of wear and tear (I imagined my own heart, a pitifully ragged little thing in my chest held on by a few sinewy, bloody strings and duct tape). Continue reading Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean: The Nullarbor Part I