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Who am I, now that I’m not traveling?

Reality bites.
Or, naive is he who dreams. For the universe conspires to overthrow and challenge all plans made by man.
Kinda dark perhaps. But still, who here can prove me wrong?

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Traveling was my dream. After a brutal kinetic reorientation with a unmovable object, the unstoppable force where left wounded and hurt. The unmovable object, Reality, had no pity nor did it flinch at the unstoppable force’ bold attempt to just saunter through life,- just because because “how hard can it be”? The unstoppable force here, that was me. Or the part of me that was, and still is, a dreamer.

This kinetic reorientation is just fancy-babble for “I hit a brick wall”. Late 2011 I hit a wall, and was forced to take a few (many) steps back to regain my bearings.

My method for getting back up on the horse where a simple idea that once it flirted through my head, could not be ignored. “What do I want to do if I can do whatever I want to?”
The next 800-something days I spent planning and preparing to travel around the world. First solo on a MC. Then later the plan and adhering preparations changed to a couples-world-trip together with Tonje. Nothing is ever that easy. Those of you who have read my other blogposts know the story. The rest of you newcomers, please check out my blogpost archive,- or maybe just go directly to this disaster..

So anyway, the question I’m trying to figure out now is this; “Who am I, now that I’m not traveling?”
Seems like a simple enough question, right? If I where to ask you “who are you?”, what would you say? Would you sum your life up in work, family and hobbies? Do you love your job and identify solely on what you do for a living? Or perhaps your family is your everything, and your answer to my question is “I am a husband/wife/father/mother”?

It’s a simple enough question, with a myriad of different and difficult answers. Or so it seems when you decide to ponder this question at 4 a.m. when everyone is asleep and the house is quiet.
I am a dreamer and a planner. I dream of a new adventure, and once it seems probable that it can be done, I start planning. Makes little difference if it’s a world trip or remodeling the house. Once I spot my target on the horizon, I tend to start working towards my goal. When I was planning and preparing for my world-tour adventure, I identified myself as that guy who tossed conventions aside and did that thing that no one else would. I was that guy. Dedicated. Hard working. Always on target.

After our trip,- and the dream of driving americas collapsed, I spent a lot of time trying very hard to figure out a few things.

1) What now?
2) Is this the moment in my life when I have to grow up?
3) Am I just a has-been-dreamer?

For a time just pondering the unhappy ending of our trip, I seriously wondered what the point to it all was? Why dream if you have to bear disappointments of such a magnitude? Why give the dream the light of day, only to have it crushed by events outside your control?

I guess dreaming and chasing my dreams is what gives my life value. Without dreams and plans I am a mere drone. Life has to be about more than paying bills, right? One of the biggest hurdles for me was feeling that I had to answer for my failiure, and gracefully accept all the «I told you so» comments that inevitably came after the trip-collapse.

I find that I can no longer do just that. Kind of a revelation really.
All the well-meaning advice along the lines of «you should do this, or that» really just highlight possible scenarios that I have turned over inumerable times in my head. In the dark. At 4 am,- when my brain decides that THIS is the time to question every decision I ever made.. So thanx, but no thanx.

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In this period of reflection and pondering I have found that I refuse to take the easy road, but rather prefer the road less travelled.
It’s not so much «my way or the highway», but more like my way is my highway. I try not to judge you, my fellow primate, for the choices you make, – and I respectully ask the same. Making unconventional choices may lead to pain and regret, but the end game is pece of mind. It always has been.

Perhaps the most important thing I learned the past 6-7 months is that I adapt real well. I will always make the best of the situation, and I just hope this is a lasting trait.
Traveling still is my dream, and I will keep reaching for it.

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Gorilladays.com

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple" Pondering Dr Seuss

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple”
Pondering Dr Seuss

Hey,- what now?!
What is this? New blogname, Old blog name. New design.
Is this some kinda Dr. Seuss-crazy?
Changes happen. You may plan for it or not. You may pay attention to it or not. It really makes no difference. They still happen. As my steady readers would know, our grand travelplans where cut short after about 3 months. Now we’re back home in Norway, figuring out our next step(s).
Part of this process is accepting that the title “LostBiker” is a huge misnomer.

Read More…

The last post for 2014

I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of people wondering about the next post. More news. An update. Something to soothe that little itch that an unfulfilling post spelling disaster and dreams at full arrest left.

Well, here it is. The last post for 2014. 

2014 has been a very eventful year. We got married, and what a great wedding it was. Planning a wedding can bring the bride and groom firmer together. But that is probably due to the proven fact that when faced with great challenges, a tight group will stand shoulder to shoulder. And so did we. I do admit that at some point the challenges and demands where so great that I actually booked a wedding-slot with a Norwegian Sailors-church in Copenhagen, Denmark. I just figured “screw it!”, but my wife-to-be held firm and brought the planned wedding back on track. I still have the occasional all-night nightmare where I have to figure out how to fit 150 people on 40 chairs. Despite the occasional  nightmare, June 14 was the most important day in my life. With Tonje at my side, there is really nothing I can’t deal with…

Best day of my life
Best day of my life
…which is good, ’cause at times it’s been real hectic. Among the highlights: The motorcycle adventure was changed to a 4×4 adventure 3 weeks before our planned departure. The bikes where sold, two weeks after we left, with the help of Ståle Svendsen at Auto Garage AS. A Pajero bought and kitted. Transportation from Spain to Argentina collapsed 9 weeks into the trip, and with it the dream of driving South- and Central America disintegrated. As I was trying to wrap my head around the consequences this would have for our trip, Tonje stood firm at my side, and made sure I had the space I needed to think.

We returned  back home to Stavanger, Norway, to regroup, plan and work a little. Then come spring, new adventures await. At this point, however, the final details are a little unclear. Come January, we’ll know more. As soon as I know more, I’ll make sure to post the news here 🙂

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Bersagel, our little hideaway between adventures..

 

Choices
2014 has been a lot about choices, and about relations to former, current and newfound friends. Some friends I didn’t know I had, that stood out and went far beyond the scope of any expectations, even the kind of expectations you would normally have for close friends. It’s been a real eye-opener for me. But then again others turned out to be a waste of time and energy. We all make choices in life. All choices has consequences. That in itself is not a bad thing. Walk in the rain, the consequence is you get wet. Walk in the sun, you get warm, and potentially sunburned. Cause and effect. Consequence. I admit being very pissed, hurt and angry at some of the choices that where made, and the effect they have had in my life. In retrospect I can’t believe how much time and pondering I allowed myself to spend on just a few issues that couldn’t be fixed, people that wheren’t my friends. So very counter-productive. Stupid even.

However, all this thinking lead me to the only sensible conclusion: I refuse to spend any more time or energy on this… Some situations, along with their instigators, are better left behind in the dust. I’ll never again allow this kind of misplaced trust in former relations to affect my life. Cause and effect. Consequence. It’s not good or bad. It just is.

With this decision came peace of mind. Funny how things turn out.

2015..
2015 on the other hand, holds promises of new adventures, work opportunities, tears and laughter, good times and bad times. And I welcome it all, shoulder to shoulder with the best team-player I know, my best friend and closest confidant, my beautiful wife Tonje.

Chaos, ducks and loose ends.

So many loose ends.

There are just too many of them.  So many conciderations to make. Plans to change, and the impact of those changes to concider.

I complained to my lovely wife about all the chaos (in my head, mostly), and how it kinda kills my creativity. “I want to wright” I told her. “But I can’t. There’s too much low-flying debree in my mind. Too much chaos..”. I was complaining over not being in total control of the rapid change of our project. I didn’t explain that, but the pretty girl with the maching ring gets me.

She sipped a little white wine, looked out over the waves and gives me the simplest, most inspiering advise I’ve had in a long time.

“Wright about that” she says.
“Huh” (mentally I had just bobbed-and-weaved out of the way of a train of thoughts whose intentions where to clarify imminent failiure)
“Chaos” she says.

Kapow…

We spent the last week together at Crete, enjoying the beach and very hot days and nights. We have both worked so hard, so many hours the last couple of years. We’ve been preparing for our 13 month trip, and our wedding, and in order to make it we just had to put our collective shoulders to it and heaved-to for what seems like a very long time. We (I) where (was) bone tired and in need of a break. When Tonje came back from her final backspecialist with a final diagnose (check out the post “Major changes to pretty much everything” for more details) she needed to do some “because screw it” shopping, and so she informed me that we where going to Crete. (Airfare plus hotel for two was cheaper than the last 25 minute back-specialist consultation, so screw it!) (also bonus points for Tonje who bought us a short vacation, rather than new shoes and a dress and what not..)

So, there we where. I was sitting on the beach,  next to my love, focusing so hard on all the things I had to think about that I forgot to actually think. I spent so much time worrying about every little detail that I  forgot to breathe, enjoy the view and just spend time with my wife, just being us. I lost track of all the little things, like the local beach salesman announcing “ffRRRREESH FRUITT!” WATTTERMELLONPLEASE!?”. Or the wonderful dinners we enjoyed after the sun had set and the temperature came close to 28 degreed C and the Norwegians had stopped melting.

I spend so much time trying to cover all the bases. Getting all my ducks in a row. Selling the bikes. Finding and buying a new car (everything now points towards a Pajero), packing down all our stuff into two piles; one pile for the trip, and one pile for storage. Renting out our apartment. Getting a USA 6 month tourist visa. Research. So much research. And so I worry. Tonje tells me not to worry but I do. She tells me it’s all going to work out, and I kinda know she is right, but yet I worry. All the chaos and all the loose ends paint a mental map explaining all the ways it’ll not work out, why we won’t make the deadlines, why I should just quit while I’m, if not ahead,- then at least not too far behind. I’ve always been a light sleeper, and if my ducks are especially unruly and just won’t get in a row, then I tend to wake up at night, head full of lowflying debree, chaos and loose ends. If I do wake up without waking the wife, I always scramble (quietly) for my trusty Kindle and read about something so far away from reality that it drowns out the background noise, the chaos. If me waking stirrs the wife, she talks me down, tucks me inn and I drift off again. And that’s pretty neat too.

Working as a Coach, I profess that “Never complain about what you can’t change; Instead either change yourself, change you goal, or accept the new reality and move on”.

It is also a well known fact that it is often easier to give advice to others, than to follow them yourself.

I truly don’t oppose change. I find it exciting. But just like with a rollercoster ride,- it’s great afterwards! However while underway, racing down a barrelloop while your mind is screaming about the near certainty that it’s all coming off the rails and the day is going to end badly,- then it’s not so much fun at all. You know for a fact that at the other end of the barrelroll going off the rails,- there will be ducks scattered everywhere, and not a single one alligned up to anyhting else. Loose ends,- or ducks. Chaos.  But then, once you are out of the barrelroll-of-doom and most of your ducks are aligned (not all ’cause that will never happen), then it’s all kicks and giggles.

…Kapow

I breathe through my nose, smelling the salt and the sea and the sun, Tonje, my love and companion, made friends with Tony, the local beach restaurant wachdog, and did so with such ease that my ducks got confused and forgot to scatter about in a chaotic manner.

Tonje and Tony

Tonje and Tony

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Ahhh. The nice peace and quiet after the ducks have gone home to sleep…

That night we took the bus with the locals into Platanyas, for dinner and drinks. Oh how it seemed like a good idea to get fruity umbrella-style drinks. It’s not. Ever.

Umbrella-style drinks. Sounds like a good idea, but it's not.

Umbrella-style drinks. Sounds like a good idea, but it’s not.

We finally settled on a nice corner restaurant, enjoying a little red and a little white, watching people shuffle by and marveling at the Crete driving culture. Or lack there of.

A little red and a little white

A little red and a little white

Some day..

Some day..

“Someday” is just code for “never”..

Someday I’m gonna chase my dreams. Someday I’m gonna learn how to play the guitar. Someday I’m gonna travel the world looking for real meaning in a world of chaos. Someday I’m gonna leave my corner of the world and look around, live on the road, breathe the adventure.

Someday..

Make sure that your “someday” turns into “today”. Start however small you need, but take a hold of your dream and go for it. No one is going to do it for you. Your friends and relatives may or may not understand why you are doing the things you do. They may or may not understand your dream.

But that really doesn’t matter.

It’s your dream to follow.

Just a little ride

The last few days have been great for riding. Even though I’ve enjoyed riding my F800GS most of this wet windy miserable winter, Tonje has had waay less practice. So now that opportunity called we ponced on it.

Yesterdays ride was Tonjes 2nd ride of 2014.  Concidering that it’s only 146 days till we leave on our adventure, we’ll have to use every chance we get.

Great and fun ride with my girl, even though it was a bit nippy. Clear skies and 5 Celcius (41 Farenheig) is about as cold as I will endure on the bike.

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Fears amd dreams

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Sometimes it’s a little scary. Been dreaming and planning and preparing for so long.

My fears and dreams coexist. We’re going. 182 day left til the adventure begins.

I can’t wait..

Eye surgery complete!

Correct your eyes, they said. It’ll be fun they said.
They lied! Holy crap that sucked big time!

“Breathe 20 times and it’s all over”. Well when you hyperventilate its mote like 180.. No pain, but you see EVERYTHING while they operate!

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This is me last night…

Today however I see clearly! Perfect vision!

With shades on everywhere. Innside. Outside. Kitchen. Bathroom.

So. Much. Light!

It’s all good in the hood. And thank god Tonje was there to aid and prevent me escaping…

🙂

New Years eve – some garage work

Why should this day be any different?

Keeping it short due to the waiting party.

Today’s work was both fixing a loose sidestand on my bike and fixing Tonjes left panier, who took a beating during the testride we had 2 weeks this summer.

I had to go all Thor on the panier and hammer it back into shape. One of the plastic clamps that connect it to the frame of the bike had do be taken off, then subsiquently glued and screwed back on. As good as new!

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Then I took off the sidestand in order to ajust it. It felt a bit loose,- and there is no time like the present, so off it came..
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And later on again. Quite happy with the result.

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I guess this is a good place to wish all my family, friends and readers a happy new year.

To all those who have supported my, and now our, dream of riding the world for 13 months. THANK YOU!

And to all of you who keep telling me how dangerous and impossible it is; THANK YOU. It motivates me greatly. I mean, if it was easy, any idiot could do it 😉

Corrective eye surgery!

So after long and careful consideration I have decided to have corrective eye surgery done… and I confess I’m a little queasy about it..

I’ve used glasses and contact-lences for 20 years, and at least contact-lences never bothered me. Much.

I admit there have been both skiining accidents and martialarts impacts that has caused me to loose one or both lences. And sometimes wind has caused me to blink out one or both contacts while riding.

The biggest concern however is eye-infection caused by changing contact-lences while camping abd riding our F800GS’ for more than a year.

It’ll get done 27th january 2014.

Unless I chicken out.. Tonje aka HotStuff already had a similar operation, so I’m leaning heavily on her experience and courage in this…

Maybe one day..

Maybe one day, when all my other adventures are done?

About creating your own life

A good friend of mine sent me this career advice from Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin & Hobbes.

He just told me to swap babies with motorcycles..

Thanx Glenn 😉

It’s a good advice, but anyone will tell you it’s difficult to follow a dream very many don’t understand.

My dad once said, around my time in elementary school, that as long as you know you did your best, noone (that matter) can or will or should give you grief about it. That too is a very good advice. One I live by still 🙂

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The waiting game..

Ever noticed that time goes by very slowly when Your waiting for something good?

 

Very slowly!

 

Waiting for a large shipment from Touratech, another rather big one from Wunderlich (that got a little lost in customs, but is again on it’s way) and the finishing touches from Altrider. The last package has been sendt, returned by some German mail-office and resendt..

With some luck it will all arrive this week.

 

In the mean time I enjoy some down time with man-flu, aka the common cold.

 

Ain’t life grand

 

 

New rider – the extremely lost biker…

16th August 2012 i wrote a post on the merits on going alone versus going with someone. It was pretty early in the planning stage of this oh so great adventure. For new readers and those with shoddy memory, please check out the original post => http://lostbiker.net/2012/08/16/going-it-alone-or-going-with-you/

Last october I started working as a doorman. Being single and sick and tired of the hassels of my grown-up job, I happily traded daytime for nighttime and assumed the position (and posture) of a Gorilla.

I read alot of other peoples experiences regarding such and similar adventures, and the advice was: “Tell everyone or it will never happen!” So that’s what I did.  I would tell everyone I met about the big plan. I would talk to colleagues and friends and family until their ears where red and warm..

One of my colleagues became a good friend, untill suddenly one day in february she was more. A lot more. I had blabbered on about how I was going on the trip of a lifetime and that it was the perfect time to do it, me being single and liking my solitude and yada yada.

So much for the Perfect plan, huh? Well I tried to hold on to both the dream and the girl. But oh the pain! 15 months on the road alone, just aking to be home? Damn it, it’s exactly what I didn’t want!

The dame started floating the possibility of visiting here and there on my trip around the world, and I clung to it.  Then when time came for me to get my new ride, she got on board and bought a twin ride for herself. Only problem is she didn’t have a license yet. Still don’t but we’re working on that.

Summer comes around and this fantastic girl decides to join me on the trip. It’s clear that she has no idea what she’s getting her into. None. Whatsoever.

Imagine the guts. To boldly go where no, or very few, sane people have gone before. For fun. Bacause it’s there.

What can I say? What a keeper. And keep her I will. I took a knee, and babbled out a proposal. Some of the neighbours thought I stumbeled, but swear that’s not at all what happened!

What did happen though is that she said yes! Holy crap! 😀

So together we plan a marrige, and keep planning the trip. Now it’s going to be a 14 month honeymoon 😉

The blog is called LostBiker based on my proven lack of navigationskills on a MC ride to Denmark (I ended up in Italy..). But if I have a nickname, so should she, right? Well, she picked “the Extremely Lost Biker”.

However, the ScalaRider on her helmet calls her “HotStuff” everytime she turns it on. I like that nickname much better…

On the blog-post I referred to at the very top, I listed a few things that that neede to be in place.

  1. Motorcycle licence, valid internationally. => well clearly this is not up to speed. But we’re working on it. 😉
  2. Your own MC capable of going off road, as there will be something of a road-shortage where I´m / we´re going. => Check 🙂
  3. Be completely self-sufficient in terms of equipment and funds. Motorcycle riding is all about freedom, and that also entail the freedom to go your own way. => Check, but I’m not letting the extremely lost biker aka HotStuff out of my sight..
  4. Necessary training (before departure at least); first aid, some mechanical skills, MC-offroad skills. => Well her mechanical skills are not so great (although rumor has it she changed the front breaks on her first car all by her lonesome), but she brings other skills to the table. It’ll work out GREAT! 🙂
The LostBike & HotStuff

The LostBike & HotStuff

Rural Internet connection

So, 2 weeks at the cabin. The internet connection is not great.

Which is good for rekaxing. And for reserching how internet-usage on the big trip will be like. Slow, that is..

I did manage to get an order through for Mudslings from http://www.nippynorman.com

Will deal with all the rest once we gwt back to our urban hideout.

Must say, I do love it at the cabin! Thanx to my girls mom for letting us stay here for two weeks! Think I may move here and have the postal guys bring me my snailmail here in stead 😉

Heartwarmer..

Earlier I submitted a post along the lines of “be careful, it’s dangerous”. It was all about all the warnings I got from friends and relatives regarding all the bad people in the world and how the world is a bad place and “all the others” are dangerous.

Well, this very nice dashboard cam compilation from Russia is a spirit-lifter that disproves all the bleakness in a lot of peoples expectations.

Enjoy it 🙂

It’s on!

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In a way, sanding kitchen cabinets has very little to do with motorcycle adventure riding.

And yet, thoughts and pictures of sanded down cabinets finds it’s way to my adventure blog. Sanding cabinets is not very adventurous, granted, but it’s what it represents more than what it physically is.

All in

That’s what this is. All in.
Sanding the the cabinets is a very physical start of selling the apartment. And selling the apartment is a major milestone on the road to realizing my dream,- the 15 month long world tour on a motorcycle. Once it’s sold, two things happen: 1) I’ll have the capital I need to jump into this amazing and somewhat unsettling and scary adventure. 2) I’ll be free to do just that.

A good friend once quoted Janis Joplin to me, telling me that:

Freedome is just another word for nothing left to loose

I choose to disagree.

All inn means that you risk everything, beacause the risk is concidered accepable, and the reward is everything. I have everything to loose. If I don’t follow my dream, I fear that may break my spirit. Yet, going may break my heart.

I have a all-consuming yearning to go and see whats over the next ridge, over the next horizon. Freedom is a scary word, because it represents somewhat of a detachment from what is concidered a a standardized living in our society. But concider this: is it scary for me, or scary for you?

Be that as it may, I keep sanding my kitchen cabinets, keep researching, keep planning and keep dreaming of the great adventure.

It’s on. I’m all in..