Patrick has some heavy-weight adventure touring experience under his belt and, along with his girlfriend Shellie, also runs the awesome adventure blog, Unleashyouradventure.com. It’s always good to hear about other people’s stories from the road, so I decided to ask him a few questions to find out more about his touring adventures. Check out his inspirational modesty and see how it’s possible to ride the world, even if you aren’t a millionaire maverick.
1. How old were you when you first got your licence and what was the trigger for you to do so?
I was 18 and got the bike licence together with my car licence. My dad had one so I needed one too.
2. You’re really lucky to have a girlfriend who shares your passion for bikes. Do you and Sherrie plan all of your trips together, or does one of you take charge when it comes to deciding where you’ll be going next? Do you ever miss riding solo?
We plan the trips together and to be honest there is not so much planning at all. For our last trip , we just decided to ride East until we hit Newfoundland and so we did. Sherrie rides her own bike so I can still take an extra tour when I feel like it.
3. You guys both have a BMW F 650 GS each, which I’ve ridden myself and loved, was there a reason neither of you went for the 1200? Would you ever be tempted?
Yes I give you 3 reasons: Money, Weight and Height. We’d rather spend the money on the trip than on a fancy bike, a smaller bike is much better off road and Sherrie is not the tallest. She perfectly fits on the F650. But yes, I was tempted, but not by a 1200 GS but by real offroad bikes, especially in Mongolia.
4. What has been your single most memorable motorcycle adventure?
Crossing the interior of Iceland. A very challenging but also amazing trip. We saw the incredible landscape of Iceland’s interior but had also to deal with storms, a sunk motorcycle and a blown tire accident which brought us to hospital.
5. You guys both have some seriously heavy-weight touring experience; what would you say the biggest challenges have been whilst riding in far off lands? It must be really stressful trying to buy a bike when you aren’t in your own country. What about sorting out insurance?
The biggest challenge? Get your ass up and go! Once you are on the road everything usually falls into place. The hardest part is to set a date and hit the road. We had some difficulties to buy new bikes in South East Asia but I wouldn’t call it stressful rather than a challenge. We had health insurance with world wide coverage and got a bike insurance where it was required.
6. What’s the smallest budget you have survived off whilst on a long-distance journey?
Our normal budget was 30 EUR/day in South East Asia. You could get away with half of it if you had to. I met a guy in Argentina who lived off 10 EUR/day including gas. That was pretty extreme I guess.
7. Your blog is inspiring for anyone interested in long-distance touring. How do you manage it whilst out on the road? Do you take a laptop with you and blog en route, or do you just take notes and write it all up when you get back?
We had two netbooks with us and updated on the fly. Internet is good in most countries. Before that we had only one laptop and we ended up fighting over it all the time.
8. How do you manage having a full-time career with your need to take off on round-the-world trips?
Sherrie works as a freelance English teacher and I was an IT consultant. Now I took up the challenge to create the best travel search engine for Europe, GoEuro which does not leave much room for travelling at the moment.
9. Looking to the future, how do you see you passion for bikes and adventure evolving? Will you be toning it down or revving it up!
We got a daughter last spring so travelling is a bit on hold, but not for that much longer 😉
10. Have you ever had any close calls that have made you stop and reconsider your motorcycle obsession?
Yes, I had two accidents with blown tires and a pillion. In both accidents we could have been killed, thank god nothing happened besides a few bruises. But when I came home after 14 months of travelling I walked up the stairs to my parents house and broke my foot.
Thanks for your time Patrick, I for one will be following your adventures – best of luck and please keep us all updated!