GRAHAM FIELD
Overland motorcycle travel author, strong desires and infinite dreams


Travel Influencers: It was a new terminology to me, I had no idea there was this breed of professional ‘travellers’ on Instagram, who post photoshopped pictures of their beautiful selves, their backs to various exotic sites. This is done in order that their multitude of followers actually follow them to the picture-perfect place to replicate their glorified and influencing photo. The influencers make a living by doing this. I have, in the last 12 months become shockingly aware of just how narcissist the smart phone generation have become. The point of travel for the selfie obsessed generation seems solely to get ‘likes’ by standing in front of a ‘likable’ site. Thus, reassuring themselves that their vacuous existence has worth, purpose and meaning.

 

You know when you get those equatorial types and the inhabitants of states of permanent sunshine taunting you with their year round t-shirt temperatures as they sit outside watching their sunset (which only rose 12 hours ago)? Knowing full well you will be scraping the ice from you windscreen to leave your house before dawn only to return from work to see it once again in darkness, as the bitter wind rips at your inadequate clothing as numb fingers fumble with the front door key.

 

Generally, when we travel we slow our pace, we find time to watch sunsets.

It’s that time of year when our attention is drawn to love. Among calendar dictated events, this is perhaps one of the saddest of the year. Even if you are happily single, on Valentine’s Day a hint of sadness or loneliness can be brought to the surface by the omnipresent emphasis of the expectations of the day. A day when the perfectly happy and confident couple feel almost guilted into having to say something that would have so much more sincerity on any other day of the year. The truly obedient buy into the chocolate and flower racket, leaving the most gullible and insecure to join the procession to the trough of the VD dinner. To be charged more than usual for less than average, surrounded by crowds of doe-eyed diners, separated by flickering flame reflections, glistening in the condensation of obligatory all inclusive fizz. But then I am just a cynic, although to be fair, a cynic in love, with one girl, several countries, hundreds of albums and quite a few bikes. It’s the latter I want to talk about.

I’ve gained quite a lot of travel experience over the years, here are some of the things I've remembered and relearned, the tips and tricks I wished I known before I left. This are my hard wisdom based of firsthand experiences and predicaments.

b&w portraitI would describe the extended bike journey as an independent overland trip, it doesn’t become an adventure until an event occurs beyond my plans. However I generally don't have much of a plan, just a destination. I do have a pretty good idea of what I don't want to experience. I don't want to be sitting at boarders for ages, enduring fines and body searches. I don't want terminal break downs in uninhabited areas; I don't want hunger, dehydration, frost bite or heat exhaustion. I don't want to pay out hard earned travel money to rip-off merchants who prey on my desperate circumstance. It’s not unavoidable but there are certain steps that can prevent this from being a regular occurrence. So in no particular order of importance. What follows are my and this is important, only my hard earned top tips.