The road ahead spanned more miles than I was ready to count. Very few looked an ADV ride like this in the eye without at least a little bit of anxiety tucked away somewhere, and though I’d already covered half the world on motorcycles, I was no exception. Riding up the west coast of Australia to Darwin, and then across SE Asia (and maybe beyond?) was a daunting enough adventure. But as the wheels of the Boeing 737 plane touched down in Perth—a plane likely made near my home in Seattle—I still didn’t even know what motorcycle I’d be riding. I had over $3,000 bucks burning a hole in my pocket from the sale of my KLR650, a bike I’d just ridden across North America. It wouldn’t take me too far with the higher prices in Australia, but savings and a small income I received from my Seattle rental house would cover the additional costs. Continue reading A Frugal Worldwide Ride: Australia
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).
The 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
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
Someone recently asked me what they’d need to bring on a trip like the one I’m on now, and the cost. The only real requirement of a motorcycle trip is a motorcycle! That said, here’s a list of the things I’ve taken along on this current journey across Australia. Continue reading Pacific Ocean to Indian Ocean Motorcycle Journey: Gear and Cost