Riding round the world isn’t such a mysterious, dangerous and extreme undertaking as it used to be pre-internet. Easy access to a wealth of information, a whole adventure motorcycling industry and tarmac has made RTW trips so much easier and a lot more accessible to a lot more people. Yet, prejudice and misconceptions still linger. With the help of Alisa Clickenger, founder of the Women’s Motorcycle Tours, motorcycle overlander, tour guide, and moto journalist, we tried to debunk the most popular RTW myths. Get informed, get set, and get going!
MYTH #1: RTW/long overland journeys are very expensive
Alisa: I guess it depends on how your travel. If you are staying in high-end hotels, or just regular hotels for that matter every single night, then your budget might be get quite large. The best way to get to know a place is to stay there for a while, and when you’re not moving you’re not spending money on gas or wear and tear on your machine. In 2009 to 2010 I traveled from New York to Argentina, seven months on the road by myself. The entire trip was about $10,000, not including flying my motorcycle back to the USA, which was another $1,700. I could have spent a lot less money had I taken on a travel partner, because staying in hotels every night by myself – of course my lodging cost was double than most other travelers. Also, being a woman traveling alone I did not feel like camping by myself so I did stay in hotels every night.
MYTH #2: overland travel is dangerous!
Alisa: It is only dangerous to those who see the world as a dangerous place!
MYTH #3: You need special skills for a RTW/long overland journey: you must be an expert rider and speak at least three languages!
Alisa: Nope, no special skills are necessary. No matter how well you prepare yourself, or how well you prepare and plan and pack and read and research, you will never be prepared enough, planned enough, read and researched enough et cetera. Things will always, always, always come up that will astonish and surprise and fill you full of wonder and make you think why didn’t I think of that? I like to say that adventure is a muscle. The more you exercise your adventure muscle, the more you learn to deal with things on the fly. You can never be prepared for everything, but by experiencing a whole heck of a lot you are much better prepared for much more unknown. That’s the beauty and pleasure of travel.
MYTH #4: You need the newest, best, biggest bike imaginable
Alisa: Not at all – just hop on your bike and go. I’m a big fan of riding what you own. Take a look at Lois Pryce, who has traveled all over the world on a small bike and has had fabulous adventures. Certainly, folks on farkled out big bikes can have great adventures too, but why go to all that bother? The way I see it, every dollar I don’t spend on an unnecessary farkle is another dollar I can put in my gas tank. You will find when you are on the road that people outside of the United States are a lot more ingenious about fixing problems than most North Americans are. So even if you didn’t put on a pair of hand guards to protect your levers, they’ll find a way to fix it. Or not, but then again that’s part of the adventure!
Enjoyed Alisa’s thoughts? Take a peek at what other RTW and long overland journey veterans Linda Bootherstone – Bick, Lois Pryce, and Steph Jeavons had to say: Women ADV Riders WoW