When I got laid-off I was thrilled. That meant I could finally take the road trip I’ve wanted to go on for years. The plan was to explore California on my Suzuki SV1000. I wanted to avoid rain and snow, so I headed south from the San Francisco bay area. Other than head south I didn’t plan where I’d sleep every night or what I’d do. I wanted to have an adventure and that is exactly what happened.
Ever since I was little I have wanted to be a nomad, a monk and an artist. This road trip encompassed all of that, in addition to being a rite of passage. I intentionally faced my fears, because the fun that was yet to be had was taunting me. Traveling solo on a motorcycle was a scary first for me, but has since consumed my mind. All I want to do is ride! I don’t need a man to protect me. As was camping solo in the middle of nowhere, no wild animals attacked me, so I can write-off that fear as well, which gives me more options when I travel.
During the 28 day long road trip I rode 2,683 miles around California.
As you’ll see from the above picture, I explored California, cruised down Highway 1, where I fell in love with Big Sur and all of the beautiful wildlife, where I saw a whale, a bobcat and a condor! Like a true biker my priority was to ride the most scenic and beautifully paved roads over finding the most efficient route. Plus I didn’t need to be anywhere. That’s the joy of not having an itinerary. The adventure was in the riding and discovering whatever came across my path. Basically I continued down Highway 1, spent a few days at a Buddhist monastery in Escondido, camped in Joshua Tree where I discovered my love for the desert and back tracked up north to the bay area.
I stayed in hostels, a monastery, and a few nights at motels. I camped in the redwoods and in the desert and I was a guest at friends-of-friends houses and at several communes. I was introduced to so many different walks of life. Constantly I was touched by people’s generosity and love. I expected this solo trip to be lonely, it was quite the opposite. Each time I left a city or town, I didn’t want to go and say goodbye to such wonderful people.
My riding has improved drastically. I rode within my skill level, but pushed myself to the next level. It was my first time with a bike fully loaded down with two saddle bags, a duffle and a backpack. The extra weight changed the way I was use to riding. Plus I had to account for the extra width when I was lane splitting. I took the bike on dirt roads and had an absolute blast! I was fortunate to have ridden in only three days of rain (a sign that we are very much in a bad drought). I’ve ridden some of the most trying conditions I’ve been in to date, which has boosted my confidence and my skill level.
I was depressed when the travel money ran out and I had to go back to living in one place. I felt like I was just getting warmed up. I am made to travel. I was born to ride! I loved the cycle of staying in a town for a while, having all sorts of new experiences (which were often centered around art), and then going off into the woods to camp and debrief. This trip helped me to face and overcome my fears, putting me one step closer to being a nomadic sculptor.
I’m so grateful for having supportive friends and family and for their help for getting me ready for this trip. I’m deeply touched by the generous strangers who I met on the road. And I continue to have a deep love and appreciation for the bond between bikers. You guys are a part of my family!
Until next time.