July 12 , 2016

After a year on the road, I am taking some time off from this amazing journey. It’s time to take a break, consider my future travel plans, and future life plans for that matter. 

I had hoped to get through Russia, Mongolia, and SouthEast Asia before taking a break. But this trip has never been about adhering to plans. 

I’m headed to a place where you can buy meat and vegetables in the same store, although it may be a bit longer walk from “home” to get there.

Or buy motorcycle tires and inner tubes in the same store, though it still may be easier to ship them in.

Where “public transportation” is not defined by a mini-van, a Chicken Bus, or a tuk-tuk.

Where “private transportation” is not defined by a bicycle, or a donkey.

Where “highway” means the road is paved, and “paved” means the road is in a condition that can be driven by a regular car at speed, without fear of being swallowed by a pothole, or suddenly and without warning ending in a gravel or dirt or sand footpath.

Where the distance to the next town is measured in kilometers or miles, not the number of tribes you pass through. 

On the other hand, I am also going to a place where people are not as open and welcoming. 

Where people consider their options and the ramifications before offering to do something for you. 

Where “free wifi” is an advertising slogan, not a given, and it’s only “free” because the hidden cost was added into something else you got charged for. 

Where ten dollar hotel rooms are either unheard of, or unseemly.

Where you are rushed through a dinner at a restaurant in order to “turn” the table, rather than invited for the evening.

Where having someone else fill your vehicle with fuel is either non-existent, or considered an extravagance, rather than the norm. 

And where the most important invention in Western architecture — the toilet paper roll holder — is a standard fixture in restrooms.

Note: Bucket instead of toilet paper; water tap on wall. Yes, I am spoiled by western standards.

So what I’m saying is, there is no one perfect place. At least I haven’t found it yet. I’ll let you decide where this place is. I’m not sure yet how long I’ll stay. I’ve learned to take things one day at a time. If I like it, I may stay longer. But one thing is for sure: within a very short time, I’ll be planning the next leg of the journey, and looking forward to the road. I am addicted to this lifestyle and the stress-free life it has given me.

Thanks for following along. I hope I have inspired you to pursue your own dreams, regardless of where, how, or the means of transportation. If you need more motivation, don’t hesitate to email me, or better yet, come visit, take a ride with me, and we can discuss what it’s like to ride the world, what it takes, and how to get there.

And if your dream sounds like one of my own, maybe I’ll see you down the road. 

Life’s too short. If not now, when?

To be continued…

21 thoughts on “Intermission…

  1. Thank you for allowing us along on the journey so far. Can’t wait to see you.

  2. Well hell. Who will I live vicariously through now…. Thanks for sharing and for the trip so far. Enjoyed it very much.

  3. Hey, everybody needs a little down time. Looking forward to your next adventures!

  4. I’m heartbroken! This was like an awesome vacation without leaving home–the best. Couldn’t wait to read it every morning and when you went days without posting, I’d call your brother! You were wonderful to remind me that cultures are different (re:
    the toilet paper roll holder) but people are pretty much the same, just adapted to their physical environment. And how unbelievably kind strangers can be–including you.

  5. I’m familiar with “squat” toilets. Tom more than me. That’s a fancy one….

  6. No… you can’t be stopping. You won’t be happy. Keep going.

    In that case, come visit us, let’s go sailing.

  7. What the heck… You can’t just stop the show in the middle of it’s run, can you?
    Don’t be gone too long Pat. We are all addicted to YOUR travels.
    Take care,
    Rick and Linda Schunk

  8. Can’t blame you one bit, but selfishly I will admit that I will miss your tales and photos.
    If I were a betting man, I would bet that you’ll get your fill of “western toilet paper” in a few months, and then head back out. Maybe you are seeing how Judith and many others do this for a month per year because they prefer toilet paper too. Just a WAG.

    Are you leaving your 250 over there? I’m secretly hoping you can use it as an advertisement with Yamaha in the future.

    Whatever you do, I hope you incur happiness on your daily trail.

    (And it is good to read replies from your family..Hi Debbie, Kim, Joe Bob)

    • Hi Kyle! Been a long long time, huh??? Now I’m wondering how many other people I know on here!

    • Actually, unlike many of the European adventure tourists, Judith spent six months last year riding from Anchorage to Chile. She’s pretty hardcore, for a little Swiss girl. 😉

      If nothing else, I’ve learned that everybody has a different plan, and different approach to traveling. Some have a limited time and stay on the main roads and in hotels. Some have a limited budget and travel slower, improvising on lodging and making a lot of friends along the way. Some only have a few weeks a year of vacation, and either leave their bikes behind each year, or rent. In the end, all that really matters is that they are doing it. It’s the experience that counts. But the more you experience it, the harder it becomes to return to a “normal” life (and the less reasons you can come up with for doing so).

      I know Judith is passionate about long-term travel as well, and I’m sure that as soon as the means presents itself she will be back on the road. In the meantime, she’s pretty good at staying busy doing off-road trips to other countries in Europe (Romania, Italy, Croatia, etc) with other riding buddies.

      Madeleine is another example of someone who has experienced shorter long-range trips and is ready to set off on a full-time round-the-world ride. She long ago took that first step and figured out that travel is better than staying home working. It really only takes once to realize it and become addicted.

  9. No Pat, No, No, No, this is not true, tell me it’s not true, it’s a belated April fools right ? Ur just jokin right ? Now my wife will go into a deep depression without her daily adv fix, and I will fall apart, my world is over, over I tell u. But it’s ok as long ur happy. Ur selfish, ur just a selfish man I tell u. Nah, I’m just playin, just pullin ur D.I.D. Chain, u a good guy, with a great attitude for takin us along. Thanks Pat and enjoy ur r n r, just send us a text please when u “back on da road again.”

    • I’ll be following your prep and travels as well. Hope to see you on the other side of the world somewhere!

  10. sometimes it is good to make a stop on the way

    think about what to do next

    to think, to dream about the future

    it’s about what we think is becoming a reality

    I hope to meet you one day on the road, but for more than two days

    I wish you good dreams and plans, and strength of will

  11. This toilet is a masterpiece of improvisation for tiles laying

    (you can see the difference in the meaning of the standard
    and harmony 🙂 !! )

  12. Looking forward to hearing all about it in the first person. And, also, looking forward to your book!

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