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

I used to say (as a solo traveller) that the hardest part of any journey is getting to the point where you are actually ready to leave. From the initial concept of the plan, to the obtaining of the visas, carnets, ferry tickets, the packing, route planning, climate research, bike preparation and pannier packing. Life pre-trip is an endless list of things to do, preoccupied and paralysed by contradictory information and opinions.

20190606 141712

 

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.


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.

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.