Hi Reddit!

Me and my wife have quit our jobs, sold nearly everything we own and are now living our dream riding around the world on a motorcycle. We started in Germany and are planning to ride overland to New Zealand, and maybe beyond.

You can find more information, pictures and blog posts on our website http://www.dananna.de/en

Moreover we'll try to create an adventure documentation to show you the countries and people we visit through a normal person's eyes. http://www.startnext.de/en/fernweh

Ask us anything!

Here is the proof http://dananna.de/en/post/2013/10/21/Ask-Us-Anything.aspx

Edit: We're off to bed now but we promise to answer all your questions as soon as the sun rises again in Greece :)

Comments: 124 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

spudmizer10 karma

What has been the biggest obstacle you have encountered living just on motorcycle s

megaperlz11 karma

My wife says she misses our garden and growing her own vegetables. I think you mainly have to get used to the fact that you don't know where you will be sleeping tonight. And if there will be hot water to take a shower.

zeraden9 karma

How do you travel through the sea? In a boat? It may sound like a stupid question with a obvious answer, but i am really curious about that! Good luck in your trip, and make sure you visit Portugal =)

megaperlz10 karma

Good question. Most of the time it's not that expensive to either ship your bike on a boat or even take it with you on a plane. This then looks something like this: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/images/BikeShippingCapeTown4.jpg

zeraden2 karma

Thank you for the reply! Two more Questions. If you think it's too personal I totally understand if you skip this ones: -How old are you and your wife ? -How much does it cost for a long trip on your bikes (for example from Germany to let's say, Russia) . This one can be approx. values, no need to be exact. And again, if you think they are too personal, no hard feelings :)

megaperlz2 karma

We are 24 and 28 years old. The costs for such a trip are not that easy to calculate. I'd say you need about 2000€ a month for traveling through Europe sleeping mostly in a tent and not buying too much crap. It might be half the money in Asia.

mariesoleil2 karma

How did you save up the money? How long had you planned this?

megaperlz2 karma

We saved up as much as we could during one and a half year. When we wanted to spend money during that time, we were always asking us questions like "will we need this when on the road?" or "how long can travel with that amount of money?" - that worked really good!

frowaway965 karma

Sounds like your living the life, congrats mate

megaperlz5 karma

Thanks buddy, we don't know yet, still feels like a holiday somehow.. Funny to get congratulations. What for? (The wife)

frowaway963 karma

No, being able to travel the world on two wheels. Not very many people get to do that. I wish i could!

megaperlz11 karma

We believe: Anybody can do this!

xtapol2 karma

My wife and I just finished watching Long Way Round, and we're taking the MSF course in a few weeks. Here's hoping!

megaperlz6 karma

WOW, that's huge! Congratulations! :) You won't regret it. Saying goodbye is the hard part (make it quick!), but it opens doors to new worlds. See you on the road!

xtapol2 karma

Haha. Unfortunately we won't be wandering the globe on our bikes anytime soon, but hopefully one day. I can't wait to start riding though.

megaperlz3 karma

Well there have been couples rushing off the day after they had their license.. Yeah my wife wanted to drive on her own now too, and now after a few months of driving, when the switchbacks get scary she leaves me behind! :D

iz03 karma

What's the best thing you've seen so far during your trip? Where was the best place you've slept at?

megaperlz3 karma

Hmm, best in which aspect? - Maybe the little herder kids waving at us in Albania (seen) and putting up our tent directly (!) at the seaside, as we did here in Greece all the time (slept).

iz03 karma

Ah, I see. What is the weirdest sounding language you've heard so far? Did you ever find a place that felt creepy/scary/terrifying?

megaperlz4 karma

Language is a topic for my wife: She thinks Albanian was really weird, like a mixture of Dutch (including the English sounding "r") and Russian maybe.. Some hotel managers thought it might be safer to park our bikes behind the building, but we never felt unsafe anywhere. Needless to say, we're not chicken-hearted.

iz01 karma

What is the most interesting thing you've heard/seen (or both) in a country? Have you seen any weird people? What is the grumpiest place you've visited? Have you been to Poland yet?

megaperlz2 karma

Haha, fun fact: The biggest news in an Albanian news channel was that a minister had posted a letter from Obama on Facebook. In it Obama was thanking Albania for its help during the last war.. No weird people. Some were reserved and shy if not a bit grumpy as for example we tried to order dinner in English which they didn't understand. We have been to Czech Republic in our honeymoon last year, but sadly never made it to Poland yet - maybe next year!

iz01 karma

Well, you should see this in Poland.

megaperlz1 karma

Haha, true enough, that is some specialty..

Kuronjii3 karma

If you don't mind me asking, how is it working financially? Did you rent or own your home? How much money do you have, and are you investing any of it? Do you plan on returning to work? Do you have a budget? And lastly, what kind of bike(s)?

megaperlz3 karma

We gave up our flat and saved up about 25k € in advance. We're not investing. I plan on building up little freelance business during/after the trip, and my wife will go back to college. So we kind of will have to work again some day, for sure ;) Our bikes are two Honda CB 500 - low, light, cheap, easy to handle and to maintain.

Poedeljan3 karma

How do you guys do maintenace on your bikes? And do you sometimes do a little work to earn something?

megaperlz4 karma

We did all the maintainance on the bikes ourselves before the trip so we have a fair understanding of most of the usual parts. I guess we'll need a little help if something more serious will break. If necessary we'll try to earn something on the side (like helping at the harvest) and we have a little business online which may help a bit.

Poedeljan2 karma

Another question if you don't mind. Which bikes do you guys ride?

megaperlz3 karma

Two Hondas CB 500 (PC 32) from 2000 and 1997. See questions above.

x420Y0L0SWAG6663 karma

You guys are seriously living my dream. In the process of selling all my belongings so I can hit the road when the lease is up.

megaperlz5 karma

Wow, awesome! Welcome in the circle of minimalist travelers :) Choose your one pair of pants carefully, haha!

RedliDesign1 karma

has anything failed on the bikes yet?

megaperlz1 karma

A loose battery cable and a broken foot rest was all we encountered so far. They seem to take a lot of stick :)

SECRETLY_FAT3 karma

This sounds like a great adventure!

When do you plan to end the trip? Where will you settle down once you are 'done'? What's your plans in general?

megaperlz5 karma

Damn, those are the questions we have to face some day, but if we have to settle for some vague answers, it might be: The trip will end as soon as we either - run out of money (obviously) - run out of patience/comfort/wanderlust

We are still searching for a place to settle down someday, but the strongest anchor still seems to be Germany. We might decide with my wife's studying plans getting more concrete.

grde03 karma

What was one of your scariest encounters?

megaperlz6 karma

The first real dirt road struck us hard. And the huge trucks rushing past us there. We stopped instantly for a pause, then fought it out over the next 7 miles. (Did I mention that my wife had her driving license for only a few months before we left?)

indeeds2 karma

Is your arse not numb?

megaperlz5 karma

Not the slightest :D We go jogging at the beach each morning, and my wife upholstered her seat in advance.

HornyMikesBastards2 karma

No phone, no pool, no pets. I ain't got no cigarettes

megaperlz1 karma

Exactly! We quit smoking water pipe as our trip started. But we still have a phone for we would have missed the GPS in some forlorn regions. Does the sea count as a pool? ;)

JustSomeDutchGuy2 karma

Hi there!

After seeing Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's TV mini series "Round the World" I've been very intrigued by such endeavours.

In the series they planned for weeks/months. What did your preparation/planning phase look like? Have you set out everything you want to see/reach?

Good luck with everything. Stay safe!

megaperlz3 karma

We did no extensive preparation for the route itself. We have a rough idea on the countries we want to visit but we are mostly planning day to day. We have prepared the bikes quite a bit and we did save up money for a year and a half.

xtapol3 karma

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's TV mini series "Round the World"

"Long Way Round"

megaperlz4 karma

Right. Poor guys! Always in a hurry, their wives and children waiting for them..

bendahl1 karma

And the follow up series "Long Way Down".

xtapol1 karma

Yep - watching that right now. Seems to be more about sightseeing and less about riding so far though.

bendahl1 karma

Me too! Just noticed it about a week ago, I'm on the last episode now.

megaperlz1 karma

worth watching?

xtapol2 karma

How difficult is it to deal with visas, border crossings, things of that nature?

megaperlz4 karma

We organised our visas for Iran and India in advance (because you can't get them on arrival) - no big problem for us, more difficult for american citizens.. Up to now, the border officials have been everything between bored, friendly and highly interested. We'll see how that turns out as we move further east! We'll keep you posted in our blog about stuff like that if you like :)

xtapol1 karma

Does that mean that, at most borders, if you just show up with a passport they'll let you in?

megaperlz1 karma

Mostly, yes - you'll need the passport for yourself and the socalled 'Carnet de Passage' for the bike, for which you have to deposit 3k € per bike here. We wrote a bit more about that here:http://dananna.de/en/post/2013/07/18/Carnet-de-Passage.aspx

capnjames1 karma

[deleted]

megaperlz1 karma

Oh woooow, that sounds brilliant!! We would love that! We're so very excited about Auckland (my wife even thought about studying there a while ago) and would be thrilled! Would you drop us a line via mail or in FB so we can get in contact as soon as we're close please? we(at)dananna.de http://facebook.de/danandanna

nosaJ42971 karma

Any advice for someone who wants to do something similar? I went to costa rica over the summer, and ever since then ive wanted to go back and bike across the country. Im currently a freshman in high school, hoping to go right after i graduate high school. What should i do now to prepare for it?

megaperlz1 karma

Going right after high school is very smart! My wife just got her Bachelor's degree so she as well takes advantage of the easy way to take a pause. As preparation we recommend to save a little money and just go for it! Be stubborn like hell and try to talk your parents slooowly into supporting you with that. If you're lucky, they'll understand that you need some time to orientate yourself.

Coupstick1 karma

Your life is on my bucket list. Travel is the best educator, I think, and road trips are real adventures. There are so few to be found these days. But I must know: What's the biggest mistake you've made so far on the trip? (Bad food? Bad place to camp? Angry authorities?)

If you have enough cash leftover, and a hankering for new views, come to the states! :) Yellowstone is where I plan to live the rest of my life out if I ever get diagnosed with some malignant sickness or the world is going to end.

megaperlz1 karma

Haha, must be calming to know where to go to when apocalypse is coming down on us :D Yeah we think we see and learn more than we could have at home. We have to admit there are not so many bad stories to tell until now for the greater part of the route lies still ahead of us. We hope we'll make it to the states! Maybe we have disastrous stuff to tell when we arrive there :D We are lucky fellows, and the worst thing that happened so far was loosing our beloved camera in the waves. Waiting for a new one (right now) costs us a week of traveling, but who can we blame? :D

BillyJohnsonJr1 karma

Right on! What kind of tires do you run? How have you found a balance between wear, dirt ability and smooth road handling?

Also, I'm jealous! I hope to do some smaller trips like through Baja within the next few months!

megaperlz1 karma

Our bike has quite small tires and we're not seeking the off road tracks (but that happens eventually to be sure). We use rain tires for the road: Heidenau K66 http://www.reifenwerk-heidenau.de/modules/reifenliste/view.php?point=2&rtyp=9&PHPSESSID=7bdf6jbpjo2r486720ep2g5h50&profil=58&pic=59&lang=en These are the only tires with a little off road character that fit on our Honda CB500 - and they are plain awesome! The handling is incredible and there is no difference between dry and wet roads. Dirt tracks are fun. We'll see how they work in sand :)

gahdaammit1 karma

This again? Every god damn week.

"Anyone can do this!"

Yeah, anyone with their own business and the capacity to save 25 fucking grand.

God this site. Every week another pair of white post college kids with money spams up the site with this garbage.

megaperlz1 karma

Sorry but this is not true. Take for example Gustavo Cieslar who left his home with a 125cc motorcycle and only enough money to go into the next town! http://www.re-moto.com/index.php?lang=deu

bobbybonbass1 karma

Was it difficult giving up the security of a home and a job? Sounds like you work for yourself so I imagine it was a bit easier. Just curious because I think that is what keeps most people from pursuing their dreams. That comfort in security is a real dream killer.

megaperlz2 karma

Hmm back home we moved every two years or so, and we used to throw out rubbish and go more and more minimalistic over the last few years. For us, the traditional "comfort" never made us feel safer. And yes, at some point we were asking us "why not do it?" - and we had no answer.

stephen_hawkqueen1 karma

Personally I've always wanted to settle down and live a life with loving family in a nice home but what you're doing is absolutely amazing an inspiring! How much planning and thought went in to this? Months? Years? Is this something you've dreamed about for a while?

megaperlz2 karma

Hmm we too are thinking about starting a family somewhere down the road, but there are so much more possibilities to do so. The weird thing about the conventional way was for us the huge dept that comes with building a house. Instead we saved, and love not knowing what life will be like in a year. Or tomorrow ;) We made the decision to travel together with our planning for our wedding (one and a half year ago). This dream is only one of many, and we intend to live them all :)

mrtylerrrr1 karma

[deleted]

megaperlz1 karma

:D Well, we really are a lucky couple, as we never fight and have no problem to stay in one tent together for many rainy days.

hadapurpura1 karma

What do you plan on doing after the trip?

megaperlz2 karma

My wife is going back to college afterwards. I'm going to try some freelancing. But we don't know where, when and how yet ;)

ajnack1 karma

Were you at all inspired by Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? It's one of my favorite books.

megaperlz2 karma

Nope we didn't read it yet but heard of it.. Our zen is the handbook of our own bikes until now ;)

ajnack1 karma

Thanks for the reply. If you ever get a chance to read it, I would definitely recommend it.

Good luck with everything!

megaperlz1 karma

Thanks a lot buddy! :)

an_ancient_cyclops001 karma

How is you talc supply? Fending off monkey butt properly?

megaperlz2 karma

Err, what? Well my wife upholstered her seat, but I'm good with the original one. We never ride too long distances at one day anyway.

an_ancient_cyclops001 karma

It becomes an issue when you are sweating on leather seats. It gets.. kind of raw down there.

megaperlz1 karma

We didn't encounter that problem so far. My wife says she can't recommend wearing thighs underneath the gear which she did in cold Austria. We usually wear normal pants or shorts under our riding pants, and when we stop and have a break somewhere, we pull off the gear and let the sweat dry. We're not in a hurry, we never drive too far each day.

lolzergrush1 karma

Good to see someone else knows the beauty that is Montenegro! Wonderful, totally unappreciated place.

Did you visit Danilovgrad, Cetinje, or Kotor? Those were the highlights of my visit. Of course everyone loves to see Budva...

megaperlz1 karma

Yes, we loved that little country and definitely will come back one day! We haven't been to Danilovgrad nor Cetinje, but we really enjoyed driving through Kotor.

lolzergrush1 karma

Kotor is beautiful. I had the pleasure of doing an environmental survey for a tiny little farm that grows flowers up on the hill, you could see the entire city and coast.

You should definitely visit Cetinje if you return. Back when Montenegro was the "Switzerland of the east" during the Napoleonic era, all of the major European powers had embassies there, each built in that country's architectural style. The buildings are mostly still intact and are using for community functions now, at least they were in 2002 when the country had far less tourism. When I was there, the French embassy had been turned into a music school - tourists were so rare that as we walked by, the students literally came out onto the street and dragged us in for a tour while they staged an impromptu concert for us, it was amazing!

Also about your trip, that's really amazing! I wish you safe travels. As a former aid worker, I made a similar decision about leaving the conventional life and comforts behind and doing what I wanted to do, which was saving lives of the least fortunate people in the world. It's a serious commitment, but if you'd like to consider a life of service to your fellow humans instead of mortgages, may I suggest you consider humanitarian relief work careers? I've known several couples who decided that's what they would do with their lives and they have no regrets. There are far too few people with the right education and skills that are willing to live in this way long term, and to be candid, nothing meaningful is ever achieved from "gap year" projects.

If you're interested, an organization called RedR is known for offering some of the best training in the world for aid workers, and they have a great one-day class called "So you want to be an aid worker?" They have an office in New Zealand and if you're wondering what to do after your great trek has ended, this might be just what you need. It depends on your skills and backgrounds of course, but you already have the most important thing which is the will to take risks and live without certain comforts.

Stay safe!!!

megaperlz1 karma

Holy crap, that sounds awesome! If only we had known earlier about the cultural heritage.. It's difficult to get tips like where to go and what to search for as we don't like that worn out 'lonely planet' stuff. Thanks a lot, we'll definitely be there some day! (Any additional tips are always welcome)

lolzergrush1 karma

You're welcome! I made an edit to my post please have a look over it when you can!

megaperlz1 karma

Thanks for the information! Although we think we know our respective calling already..

autoantigen1 karma

What inspired such a huge change in your life styles?

Good luck to you guys, I wish you the best!

megaperlz1 karma

That's a though one. Maybe a mixture of too little spare time together and an unconventional attitude in general. Then some books helped us to shape the idea.

paperlace1 karma

What kind of advice would you give to someone who can't even begin to fathom how to get started on such a journey? This has been a dream of mine that always seems so out of reach because of ties and obligations.

megaperlz2 karma

Well the first thing we did was reading. We started with random backpacker adventure books.. Then we tried which way of traveling suits us best: We tried backpacking in Sweden, road tripping (in a car) to Belgium and the motorcycle trips with and without tent in Scotland and Germany. With that we got a little traveling practice and found out what gives us just the right balance between adventure and comfort. After that we just settled for a departure date, told everyone about our plan (in the wedding invitations) - and then there was no way to not doing it :D

ConorPF1 karma

[deleted]

megaperlz1 karma

Sounds great! Who said you need a lot of money for an adventure? ;) My wife's grandfather crossed the Atlantic on a boat - maybe it is these role models that keep our dreams alive after all?

Eztec81 karma

How do you keep insurance covered?

megaperlz2 karma

We got a travel health insurance ('ProTrip') which covers pretty much everything and is necessary here in Germany. Our German health insurance is simply paused. Additionally, a noble sponsor supplied us with an accident insurance. All in all, you can insure against many possible cases - everyone has to decide for himself.. We wrote down everything in our blog here: http://dananna.de/en/post/2013/08/26/Insurance.aspx

indeeds1 karma

Has the constant travelling put any undue pressure on your relationship together?

megaperlz1 karma

Quite the contrary, to be honest :) We learned to be more careful with what is important to whom in which situation and always just go with our gut feelings.

lapekes1 karma

What makes/models are you riding?

megaperlz4 karma

Honda CB500, PC32. Built 2000 and 1997. We chose them mostly because they were cheap, but we came to love them - Very reliable, great handling in the dirt!

Mr--Hankey1 karma

Did you get a flat tire? How many times? And what then? Do you have innertubes for change?

megaperlz2 karma

No flat tires until now, but we are prepared: Not with inner tubes, but with easy repair kits and the knowledge how to use it in theory :D Our tires are really great. They're rain tires from Heidenau, we feel no difference between dry and wet tarmac at all!

popcorntopping1 karma

Do you have stashes shipped ahead of you on your route? (IE: clothing, tires, provisions)

megaperlz3 karma

What? No! :D We have - 1 suitcase loaded with clothes, - 1 suitcase with kitchen supplies and food, they come with a water tank of 7 litres, - 1 suitcase with the tent, - 1 suitcase with our sleeping bags, - 1 rack pack for the mats, tripod and other big tools. Expensive technical and everyday stuff fits into our portable tank bags. There's nothing else we really need. You can get some sort of tires or everything else you need on the road.

jonnierios1 karma

How much money did you take with you? What countries are you planning to visit?

megaperlz3 karma

We saved up around 25k € in advance, but we only carry as much cash around with us as we're going to need for the next few days. Until now we have been to Europe, but soon we'll head to South East Asia via Turkey and Iran (the route between Iran and Thailand is still pending). After that, we'll explore Australia and New Zealand. Nobody knows what comes after.

Ficiani1 karma

That's so cool guys! What made you to make this decision? Weren't you happy with your life back then? What about your families? Kids, parents? How did they react to this decision? Do you have the support from them?

megaperlz3 karma

We have been happy already, but we just expect more from life. We don't have kids yet, but our friends and siblings are just about to have their own families. We agreed that it's 'Now or Never'. Not everyone of our parents have been supportive, it has been quite tough at times. But our friends were all like 'OK, just come back with a baby on its way and off you go!' They're the best! :)

Aucto1 karma

If you don't mind me asking, what's the money situation like?

You've sold all your stuff so you now have considerably less overhead, is money still something you have to stay aware of?

(Coming from a hopeful traveller to be)

megaperlz2 karma

We keep track of everything we spend. Our goal is to stay below 1,5k € monthly (which we didn't reach in Europe) at an average. So yes, we are very aware of how much money we have left, if not more than ever!

Ironprox1 karma

How did you like Croatia? :)

megaperlz1 karma

We're German, how can we not LOVE Croatia? :D Everyone we know loves it there! (Although the masses of tourists can be creepy at times.)

TehSlenderMan1 karma

How old are you guys? If I may ask.

megaperlz1 karma

I'm 28 and my wife is 24.

aCornField1 karma

What kind of camera do you use on your recordings? I see most of your pics are taken straight from the bike as you ride and I find that very awesome!

Apart from that, congratulations and have a very nice trip, it is nice to see people go out there and live the life they dream!

megaperlz1 karma

Thanks a lot, good to know that our footage is appealing to someone! :) We use a very famous little camera: The GoPro Hero 3, which we came to love. It is so small, nobody notices it on the handlebar, and the images are so bright and the wide lens never stops to amaze us. The film footage is only fluent with 60fps at higher speed, so if you think of buying one, go for the black edition!

_m991 karma

Do you ever get homesick?

megaperlz1 karma

Not really. Sometimes we (especially my wife) miss chitchat with friends.. But we wouldn't know which "home" to miss. Luckily, our loved ones have Skype and email.

priscilla1360 karma

You're living my dream! I don't care for homes or roots. Without reading all the comments, how do you make a living?

megaperlz1 karma

We don't care much about roots either. We saved up as much as we could over one and a half year. A little online business of myself helps a bit as well, but we don't count on it.