I do not often write a post to recommend an item but recently I enjoyed reading this book.
Motorcycle Messengers was a nice read of short stories or excerpts like a sample pack from the contributing authors. Very easy to access or read a few stories then put away while boarding a plane on my recent travels. The stories are quite varied, one made me chuckle out loud while one almost had me in tears. I will certainly look to obtain more work of at least one of the contributing authors.
It's available at Amazon amongst other options.
It would be fair to say I myself have travelled considerably. Less so by motorcycle until later in my life and while nothing is stopping me I feel it is too late now to start doing round the world adventure rides of the sort I enjoy to read about. Whilst I have the time and maybe a little money to do something I just don’t have the desire to take on the challenge. Perhaps if I still felt the need to prove something to myself or others I might then be able to delude myself about the ease of traveling by motorcycle enough to buy some fancy adventure bike and ship it off to somewhere.
If I enjoyed camping it would be another matter. Overnighting in a camper van I actually like but a bike with a small tent lacks any comfort, space or facilities and is miserable in the wet. I bought a camper van in England and drove it around Europe for a few months about 25 years ago with nothing more than an out of date road atlas. No plan not a care in the world. Now however I find myself over planning every step of travel. Helped by technology and encouraged by the travel industry to pre book but ultimately aging brings self doubt and it is best to travel as much as possible sooner rather than later.
If I wrote a short story travel book like above I might call it ‘A**holes in airports and other tales of hot air’ - well something like that because I have a collection of lousy air travel stories like most anyone but for the most part I have been fortunate in my travels.
One excerpt from my book might be about when I was younger and fearless and saved up some money and looked for the cheapest way to London with my back pack. This was when when people in Australia still took out loans to pay for air fares to Europe which adjusted for inflation were very expensive in todays money. I got myself a ticket on a ‘milk run’ flight out of Singapore on Aeroflot airlines. That was 1989, Aeroflot was a soviet state run airline then and seemed to also transport military personnel on some routes. And so it was I found myself on a Soviet built llyushin jet with half a plane of higher rank soldiers who were in high spirits drinking vodka and playing cards while we actually took off. One guy in isle sitting on arm of chair as we blasted down the runway holding onto the seat back in front while he balanced his vodka in the other hand having scolded the cabin attendant when she asked him to buckle up.
Along the way we stopped and were unloaded and left to fend for ourselves at all sorts of dumps by Aeroflot including Kabul Afghanistan where it got edgy as the airport was being run by local soldiers (possibly Taliban but I don’t know at the time) who were going through passengers hand luggage and taking valuable items such as cameras. An experienced backpacker took me under his wing and near the check point told the guards I was ill going to vomit and needed toilet urgently and after some acting on my part we were directed to toilets which almost did made me vomit as floor was covered in urine and and the toilets were overflowing. But we waited for them to be busy and slipped out and around the back of the check point thus I kept my Canon SLR which had taken me a year to save up and buy. Arriving in Moscow in then USSR I had a one day city tour booked in conjunction with Aeroflot for the long layover. I ended up locked in a hotel as it was their May Day Parade and 100,000 people took to the streets supporting Mikhail Gorbachev and his plans for perestroika (restructuring). I got some dry bread, cucumber and water as only food available but had a bed so caught up on sleep lost. Eventually I was was transferred back to the airport and some how I took it all in my stride as part of a big adventure. That was a time I could have done anything including ride off around the world but I squandered much of that time focused on the wrong things unaware of how quickly that stage of life would pass by.
Oh well you can never make up for lost opportunities of youth but perhaps you can realise it is best to act right now on whatever you want to do and not leave it too late.
This post first appeared on Motorcycle Paradise Blog May 2016