1 Don’t be deterred by what people say
There will be plenty who will ask in the kindest way ‘are you sure?’ and those who say you’re crazy, but staying at home and wishing will never get the adrenaline racing.
2 Never let doubt get in your way
We live in the 21st century and everywhere you go within a few miles of civilisation you’ll find somewhere to buy the most necessary things or have mobile reception to get a situation sorted… or at the very worst get a flight home.
3 Don’t take an accordion
On my trips I’ve met crazy riders who took beach chairs, showers, refrigerators and even one who took an accordion. Remember that whatever you take, your poor donkey will have to handle it. Create a list of things that really matter.
4 People are generally good
You will always meet people happy and willing to lend a helping hand, often in the most unlikely of places. It’s usually the people with little in the way of material possessions who want to help the most.
5 Plan ahead
If you’re short on time, then put the departure date back if you can. There’s nothing worse than starting your journey when you’re rushing because instead of enjoying the fact that you’re starting your lifetime adventure, you’re falling apart.
6 You can’t plan everything
I know, I know, you might be the master planner but all that prep can fall to pieces in seconds in bad weather or because you missed a ferry.
7 If that happens…
Don’t turn white with rage, don’t get mad. Just let the adventure carry you. Always think that maybe thanks to that incident you may meet great people or get lost and find the most scenic nook in the world.
8 Forget about the time
The split second you put the key in the ignition and start your bike you should put your watch in your saddlebag. From that moment you’re making a conscious decision to leave the rat race! Now it’s time to chill out.
9 Take the path less travelled
Want to see the world? Then avoid main roads! Give interstates and expressways a wide berth unless all you want to see are the white or yellow lines that divide lanes. Also, don’t ride the same road twice. Life’s too short, the world’s too big and beautiful to waste time riding the same road more than once… unless you loved it.
10 Start with what you know
Begin by exploring your own country. Rediscover it because you will be surprised at what you find. I’ve met Polish people who plan to visit Israel, Africa, South America… but ask them if they’ve seen the Kłodzko Valley or Bieszczady Mountains and they answer ‘not yet’.
11 Let fate be your friend
Real adventure starts when fate plays with us. A road washed out during a flash flood, closed because of a snow storm or tornado that passed the day before all offer new challenges.
12 Don’t panic
It’s easy to feel nervous when you have to make a 300km detour but calm down and ask yourself why you’re doing it and if you can shorten the route for today by changing your destination.
13 Don’t do too much
Never plan too many miles a day in the saddle. Feast your eyes on the beautiful world. Don’t speed up from point A to point B – you’re not the road runner.
14 Look local
The best guides are always closest. Don’t be scared to ask the cashier in the shop or old guy at the gas station for a few tips. They know their neighbourhood like the back of their hand and will recommend the best roads or places to visit that you won’t find in any guidebook.
15 Adventure by numbers
When routes have a higher number they will almost certainly be more thrilling and probably empty. Instead of choosing number 8 choose 30, 89, 618 or 4656.
16 If you’ve got this far don’t delay
Go before it’s too late to get out of the rocking chair.