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5 January, 2017


The last four months have been very frenetic physically, but more so emotionally. I parked Athena, my bike, at a friend’s place, Sunny’s, in Kuala Lumpur so I can travel to my natal Buenos Aires to see my mother who was ill and give her company during her treatment. I was in Spain giving lectures and workshops in October and November. In December, I came back to Buenos Aires to give my mother some company again and to see her recover from chemo and finishes up the last few steps of her treatment. Luckily, everything has gone very well and I am proud of her how she’s taken the situation in. In these sort of moments, words of support are very important, though I believe that it is more important to give company to our loved ones as well as respect their own way of processing things.

During all this time I’ve use every method of transport possible except a motorcycle, so I have suffered from motorcycle withdrawals. I have tried not to think of the journey to avoid these. However, meetings with old and new bike friends and lectures on travelling and about my own long journey have made this very difficult.

When I was travelling from Madrid to Barcelona, I was surprised to see how much I was missing Athena as I saw a motorcycle loaded with side bags cruising on the road next to the railways. My memories transported me to the motorways of Turkey, the interminable Mongolian steppes, the road chaos of India… in short, the 50,000km travelled in a year and a half on Athena, my Royal Enfield, since I left Barcelona a distant 1st of May 2015 after turning the key one last time.

These thoughts have also transported me to the future, imagining the path I’ll take in the next few months, the visas, the times I can spend in each location. Unfortunately, there are other thoughts that bother me somewhat; savings and finding ways to finance the journey throughout. However, the sensation that I have completed a very important part of the route, day by day, km by km, helps me put some doubts into perspective.

When I started organising this journey, the idea was that I was going to go around the world on Athena in two years. I took as an example the times and routes other people took to do the journey. However, after the first year, in May, I decided not to be pressured by scheduling and just take it at my own pace, as I have been doing so since. My motto is that the plan is not to have a plan and that the path is the journey and not a destination.

Now, with hours to go until I get on the plane back to Kuala Lumpur, I know that as soon as I land Athena will have to be tuned up again because it’s been parked since the end of August. The cases will also need rearranging. This short trip, although not originally planned, helped me renew some docs for Athena and for me and sort some other things as well. Now, the idea is to continue the journey and re-engage in the nomad life that, although I did not think it would charm me, has no return ticket just yet.



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