“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.”
— Anthony Bourdain
In 2016, I was invited to join a group of motorcycle riders to explore the vertical length of South America by motorcycle. Our group was made up of diverse backgrounds and skills but what united us was a desire to get out of our comfort zones and experience the sights, sounds, and culture of South America. We were all excited about the possibilities of the challenge, overcoming fear, and conquering the unknown in the remote parts of the world.
It was daunting putting together the logistics for a group like this. Asking and answering as a group questions like:
- When should this trip happen?
- What season/weather would be best for motorcycle riding?
- Where do we all want to go?
- How much will this cost?
- What support do we need?
- What equipment do we need?
In the end, we came together as a group and were able to answer all of those (and more) questions.
That was just the beginning of working together as a team.
It was during the second logistic meeting that we came up with the name for this epic exploration.
Expedition 65: Journey to the End of the World was born.
We really had to collaborate as a group. Every one of the participants gave input about what they desired to see, experience, and which job they wanted. We spent time mapping out our route, covering the daunting list of logistics, and learning about how to navigate the red tape of crossing so many boarders. The many logistical items included what transportation to use, how to eat, who can fix the inevitable breakdowns, what gear to bring, how much time to spend in each country, and a projected cost.
I really enjoyed the planning process, but I was also excited to put the rubber on the road and experience this exploration.
At the start of this journey, I determined to see, feel, and experience every thing and person I encountered Along the Way.
The places and people I came into contact with were different, beautiful, and life changing for me. I wanted my mindset to be one of learning, growing, and understanding. I determined beforehand that I could learn something from the deserts, rainforests, cities, and mountains. I wanted my mind and heart to be changed by the street children, the farmers, the road workers, the city leaders, and my fellow explorers. Everyone I met had something to teach me from their life experiences.
I didn’t collect a lot of mementos as I travelled.
I wanted to fill my life with experiences, not things. I wanted stories to tell, not stuff to show.
My challenge to you is:
As you travel through your life, open your heart and mind to the experiences and people that can change you.
P.S. If you want to watch all of the amazing Expedition 65 episodes created by Sterling Noren for the Motorcycle Travel Channel, click HERE.