Hey there! I am Paolo, italian born but Australian resident since 2010. I am here for my yearly AmA, trying to break down some mental barriers and answer some questions that arise usually when we see somebody travelling long distances unassisted.

SHORT BACKGROUND STORY OF MY LIFE: Born and raised in low-middle class family, in a small 2000 people town, 20km outside of Milan, Italy. My mom was housewife and my dad was selling honey for a company, to provide for the whole family. Public schools all the way up to University. Chose computer engineering. Graduated with average score. I had to work since the age of 15. Small weekend jobs to have some spare cash. At 18 started to work in a consumer electronic shop and a pizza place. By the time I was 24 I saved just enough money to buy myself a plane ticket to Los Angeles. Managed somehow to stay in USA and come back only 3 years later, with no money whatsoever. In 2008, I found a stable job with a renowned IT company, in Milan, Italy. I put my head down and managed to work for 2 years, before quitting my job in 2010 (yes, in the middle of the world economic crisis) and moving to Australia. I left for Australia to find better work conditions and better remuneration (basic italian salaries are very low compared to cost of living). I found a temporary gig in Sydney and then got officially hired, after 6 months, by the same company I was contracted by in the first place. After 2 years, I was done paying and worrying about my residency permits and continued to work as hard as I could for another 3 years. In 2015 I saved enough money to buy myself my dream motorcycle, a camera and had saved enough money to sustain myself for a while. I decided then to quit my job and ride around Australia on my motorcycle. My initial plan was just to ride around the continent and go back to work. After 8 months and a hell of an experience, I decided to continue my journey and go around the world. I shipped my bike from Australia to Chile and started riding around south america. After 1 and a half years, I crossed to central America and started riding around North America. After another year I decided to fly from Canada to Ireland, and started riding around Europe. I left Italy, on my way to Mongolia, in February and rode through the Balkans, when Covid happened. I got stuck in Greece for 4 months and now I am back to my family home near Milan, Italy.

I ride a KTM 1190 adventure 2013 model, which I bought second hand in Australia. Same bike for the whole trip. No mechanical or electrical issues in the whole trip. AMAZING Machine!

Links: IG: www.instagram.com/paolocattaneophoto

YT: www.youtube.com/paolocattaneo

Proof: https://www.reddit.com/user/paolo_0/comments/i8zel2/proof_2020/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

EDIT: THANKS FOR THE AMAZING RESPONSE! I need some sleep now but I will continue in the morning. A lot of questions have been answered already so, if I haven't answered you yet is because somebody already asked me that somewhere before. See you in few hours!! And thanks again!

EDIT 2: SO MANY GOOD QUESTIONS! THANKS AGAIN! I'll answer few more than I have to leave unfortunately. Please be mindful of the fact that If I didn't answer you, is most likely because the question has been asked already. Just look for it inside the thread. THANK YOU ALL FOR THE AMAZING SUPPORT!

EDIT 3: THAT'S IT! THANK YOU ALL for this! Happy to have read mostly genuine and interesting questions and encountered very few trolls! :) Hopefully I was able to cover most of the main topics. THANKS AGAIN!!

TILL NEXT TIME!!

Comments: 771 • Responses: 105  • Date: 

AzorAhai96841 karma

Well nobody has asked it yet..

How did you self sustain yourself for so long? I understand everything is cheaper in South America but you also went through North America.

paolo_0895 karma

In north America, specifically in USA, I had some friends that helped me finding accommodation along the way. I also wild camped a lot. Froze my arse up couple of nights too...
But It's doable in Canada and USA since the land is so vast and you can always find a place to pitch your tent in safety.

sweat119528 karma

See my trouble always begins when I pitch a tent

paolo_0305 karma

I used to be the same, mate!

paolo_029 karma

Just replied to this in details. 😊👍 look it up here somewhere.

Saltyorange24292 karma

Does it not worry you how you might have exhausted your financial resources by the time you want to return? What do you think life after this would be like? I hope I don't sound rude; just trying to understand how you are managing your life. What you are doing is absolutely amazing; I'd love to travel too but I am not rich either, and the thought of ending up penniless by the time I am 30 terrifies me.

paolo_0636 karma

Hey, it's a completely plausible question and I am happy to answer that. Quitting your job, your financial stability, selling everything you have, saying goodbye to everybody and ride off...it is a "liberating" experience. In this sense, all the fears you mentioned are gone or somehow abandoned, the moment you decide to go for it! I have no fear of what lies in front of me because the mental step that I took years ago, required me to go beyond exactly this mental gap of "jumping into the unknown". Financially speaking, yeah, i don't like to have no money aside...but also, I know that I will do something about it (like finding a new stimulating gig) when the time comes. When I found myself locked in Greece during the pandemic, I couldn't really foresee what would have happened in the next months. Surely paying rent for months and being confined in an apartment wasn't ideal so I looked for volunteering jobs. Found one that allowed me to stay in an apartment for free in exchange of 3 hours of work per day. My point is that, adaptation is a key skill that I got to develop thanks to this experience on a motorcycle. I will take care of the my retirement plan, when time comes.

Saltyorange24142 karma

Thanks for the answer. That's a wonderful perspective. I guess your anxiety lessens once you realize how capable you are of adapting to different situations, which I'm sure you must have had to do a bunch of times since you started. You are amazing, thanks for the inspiration :)

paolo_0175 karma

It's incredible how inclined we are to adapt, If we simply...TRY ! I never thought I would be able to do a lot of things I am doing today. I just gave it a try...failed...and tried again. I did learn, by simply trying. And I'm clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed.

dxjustice4 karma

I feel like you cloud start vlogging your journeys, and form a Patreon to fund it. You've seen lots of fun things, and will see more.

paolo_025 karma

Yes. At the beginnings I started blogging but then I realized that it would have turned my trip into a job again...so i left the monetization of my journey aside. I just quit my job to travel and enjoy my life. Didn't want to think about money again! Patreon seem good but I haven't really found the guts to ask money to people...yet. When I ll be in need maybe i will!

NZClimber231 karma

How much does this lifestyle cost you on average? Obviously it will vary by location

paolo_0568 karma

Since the most asked question will be probably this one, I decided to break it down mathematically so, hopefully, it would be more transparent for everybody.

I don't think I could summarize with an average how much I spent per month, since the delta from month to month was absolutley unpredictable. But somehow everybody seems to love maths so... There you go.

A couple of things first: 1) different countries have different cost for food, accommodation, fuel and spare parts so to make an average, it s actually quite hard. For instance, a country like Peru cannot be compared in terms of costs with a country like the Netherlands in all terms. 2) when I travel, I am not on vacation. Just because I visit places and don't work, doesn't mean I can afford things like people that go on vacation for 2 weeks. People on holidays usually maintain the same level of comfort they have at home, or even improve it, righteously spoiling themselves, for the few days they have off in a year. I do the exact opposite. I spoil myself by not having to go to work.

Hence, there are 3 major costs in travelling on a motorcycles are: 1) fuel and bike parts (tyres, oil, filters, etc) 2) accomodation 3) food

These are also in order of importance. Fuel and bike maintenance guarantees the continuity of the journey so, those have the absolute priority. Where I sleep or what I eat, do not matter much. I will survive whatever I eat and wherever I sleep. It's incredible what our body can do end endure.

After a year of travelling I found out that, because my life and routine changed completely, I didn't need 3 meals a day anymore. Removing 1 meal a day allowed me to save a lot of money in the long run. It is a sacrifice but it is doable and It is super practical. I also found fasting good for the mind.

Sleeping arrangements could also affect greatly on your expenditures so, depending on countries and weather conditions, I usually opt to sleep in my tent or in hostels. Sometimes I do couchsurfing or stay at other motorcyclists houses, friends, friends of friends, etc. I ve also slept at complete strangers houses that i met on the road and that were reaching out simply to help. It s unbelievable how many people, just want to give you a hand. It s impossible to explain it. You have to see it yourself to believe it.

The cheap hostel in Peru would cost $5-6 a night, while in the USA $25.

In this sense, I estimated an average of 10 USD a night for accommodation for and average of 20 days per month. Again, It is a rough estimate. Let s say the other 10 days I sleep at people's houses, or in my tent or couchsurfing (so at no cost). Foodwise I usually drink a coffee (I carry my own little italian coffee machine) in the am, with a piece of bread or instant oatmeal. Then I ride the whole day and reach my destination at 4-5 pm. I then eat. I mostly eat vegetarian but i occasionally have meat. I mostly shop at cheap supermarkets or local markets. Vegetables are cheap and nutritious and available all over the world. And so is pasta and rice. This whole thing costs me let s say 10 USD a day.

So for Food and Accommodation I roughly spend 500 USD. Then there's fuel. Fuel costs can vary from country to country but, for the sake of it, let s put fuel price at 1.2 USD a liter (4.5 USD a gallon). My bike in standard riding conditions does 20km per liter of fuel. In 5 years I rode 180000 km. That's 36000 a year. That s 3000 a month. So 3000/20 = 150 liters. 150 x 1.2 = 180 USD

The grand total is 500+180= 680USD per month Let s put 100 USD in for extras and whatever. It's 780 USD a month, if you will. But trust me when I say that I think I spend less than that.

There you go.

bubblesculptor29 karma

What is your coffee maker? Moka pot i'm guessing?

paolo_071 karma

I have a little Bialetti coffee machine, yes. :)

eolix53 karma

Yeah, that confirms you are really Italian. So is my SO, and when we are traveling, she will start complaining about the bad coffee by the time we get to the airport 😄

paolo_053 karma

I am Italian...but I'm also passed that point of complaining about food all the time! I learned to enjoy my meal...regardless. :)

pbear7374 karma

If you saved 40k, are you down to very little money now? I'm just thinking it's been 5 years, and I imagine you've had some unexpected expenses that would have your average end up being relatively accurate on aggregate, even if you typically spend less in a month. At $700 per month, you would be out of money. And even just the plane tickets from Australia to starting point and from somewhere to Greece where you say you were during Covid is a couple months of your budget I'd imagine.

paolo_07 karma

Yes, i had some unforeseen expenses. But luckily I also had a lot of help from people giving me shelter and food. In that sense I didn't spend all my money in food and accommodation but for the sake of average expenses I had to calculate it that way. In greece i found a job as volunteer in exchange of accommodation. That saved me 3 months of rent. Things like this cannot be included in average. I simply did the math to make people understand how much would it cost if life on the road would be without variables. There are too many to be considered.

Wentil83 karma

How did you manage it, physically? I find that my legs, back, bottom and body ache after just a few hours of riding (3+ hours), and this gets worse and worse over time (6+ hours, etc). Even on a comfortable touring motorcycle, I can’t imagine riding continuously for weeks or months at a time.

paolo_0121 karma

Yes. Physically was challenging indeed. I had to replace my seat because the was no more foam inside. It was like sitting on a stool. Back and arse are the worst affected areas. I rode with a bit of a windscreen, so that helped to ease some of the neck pain. Luckily I had some physical conditioning to start with, but eventually I got out of shape. But, like everything in life, we eventually get used to it.

UsingMuse12311 karma

How many hours do you ride a day?

paolo_036 karma

It really depends. When I do ride, let's say that is a minimum of 1 and a half to 13 hours.

SeniorKeith78 karma

How did you deal with language barriers?

paolo_0158 karma

In all latin america the most spoken language is Spanish. I struggled at the beginning but after the first month, I had a decent basic level that allowed me to communicate quite easily with the locals. In Brazil was hard again, since portuguese was completely new for me. But again, after 1 month I got used to it and I was able to have basic conversations. If you give yourself enough time, you'll pick up any language.

In other situations I used my english or sometimes, like recently in Greece, Google Translate. Works beautifully!

indianshitsRtheworst24 karma

Is it true that Italian and Spanish go hand in hand? I had some friends from Mexico who were confident that they could pick up Italian if they lived in Italy and were forced to use it every day for a month or 2.

paolo_057 karma

There are different and discordant opinions about this. I personally believe that Italian and Spanish are VEEEEERY similar. I think that any spanish speaker could easily pick on italian if spending some time in the country. And viceversa. But I also met people that thought otherwise. Not sure why. It wasn't too complex for me to pick up spanish. Definitely not perfect, but way better than a native english speaker.

StellarTabi66 karma

What kind of income are you receiving to sustain this lifestyle long-term?

paolo_0141 karma

Living off my life savings. I am self supported. Just worked for few years, saving as much as I could and then took off.

DutchShaco45 karma

That sounds epic... Met a few guys like that, but never had the balls to do so myself.

If you read this: how much of a mechanic are you? Do you do stuff yourself of do you bring your bike to the shop for maintenance/tires?

paolo_092 karma

At the beginning I wasn't really able to do much on my bike, except changing brake pads maybe. Then I tried and read forums online about troubleshooting...and of course youtube mate!! I tend to have a mechanic change my tyres, since it's a hell of a job and takes 4 minutes with proper machines. you can find tyre mechanics literally EVERYWHERE.

ConsecutiveNormalPun44 karma

But, with the estimate you gave it would cost like 9k usd per year to maintain that lifestyle. You’ve been doing it for 5 years. I guess it’s hard for a lot of Americans to imagine saving up 45k+ in the few years that you worked.

paolo_066 karma

trust me, It's even harder for an italian to conceive to save up 40k in 5 years of work. Most italians will be able to save that amount maybe in 10-15 years. That's why I quit my job in italy and moved to Australia, where salaries are way higher. It's just sad that I had to leave my family, friends and country to be able to have a better life.

screescree56 karma

Hi, sorry if this is a personal question, but how often did you get laid? Do cultural differences play a role?

paolo_0119 karma

Personal question, but interesting nonetheless. Thanks for asking "sensibly".

When travelling from town to town it's easy to meet people. The common Idea is that travellers get laid a lot. Unfortunately, in my case, I do not go out much when I travel, so my social encounters are limited to the location where I end up spending the night. I also typically stay not longer than a day or two, which is also usually not enough to create a connection with a potential partner (in my case). A lot of women are indeed attracted by the "solitary wolf" riding a motorcycle around the world, but they are not generally inclined to have a one night experience. Hence, the answer to your question, is that I rarely get laid. Cultural differences are what make mating interesting though. One trait that is standard for your part of the world, could be extremely exotic in another. Sometimes even the accent in which you speak a foreign language, could be a favourable factor.

But at the end, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

genna8741 karma

Dai ammettilo che l'accento italiano aiuta. Storia interessante la tua. Ti auguro il meglio!

Sorry guys.. Italian things going on here ( shakes hands in the air )

paolo_013 karma

Un pochino aiuta! ;) cheers!

Leap_Loop54 karma

What was the coolest thing you saw?

paolo_0148 karma

Hard to pinpoint one single thing. Saw so many incredible things in 5 years! Nature always strucks me the most. Some places leave you speechless. Some encounters too. But the coolest experience for me was to swim with marine wildlife in Australia and Ecuador.

SomeLatino26 karma

Hey I from Ecuador! Glad you enjoyed the wildlife. Can you elaborate on your experience there? Did you visit the Galapagos islands?

paolo_075 karma

Ecuador is hands down my favorite country...for its people, for nature, for food, roads...i mean, i had a fantastic time there. I also visited Galapagos and It was one of the highlights...of my life!! I mean...wow. simply incredible. If there was ever a place on earth close to Jurassic Park...

SirWitzig50 karma

Could you maybe do a "what's in my bag"-post, show us the gear, tools and clothing you use and talk a bit about why you chose what?

paolo_084 karma

Ok.

Pannier 1 Camping Gear: - Sleeping bag - Air mattress - 3 people tent (I'm a tall guy) - $20 cooking pot set - propane gas tank - pocket knife - foldable chair - water bladder

Pannier 2 Electronics and knick knacks: - 11" laptop - 2 hard drives (backup!!!) - Chargers - portable tyre compressor - spare oil filter - spare front tube - cable ties - duct tape - bungee cords - first aid kit - spare bolts and screws

Tool bag - various moto tools

Duffle bag: - Clothes (various)

Tank Bag: - Drone - Toothbrush - Notepad - Small Lock - Pen

vshawk247 karma

How did you manage to not have your motorcycle stolen?

paolo_073 karma

Common sense. Mostly parked inside or in "safe areas" when possible. You can never be 100% sure but I never had issues of sort in my 5 years of travelling. Actually somebody stole my tool bag in Vancouver, Canada.

paramedic1101272 karma

As a Canadian id like to say “sorry”.

paolo_032 karma

apologies accepted! ;)

ShellsFeathersFur10 karma

As a Vancouverite, I'm not surprised. We have a large homeless population and they target anything they can find to steal and sell.

paolo_09 karma

It wasn't a homeless guy per se...was definitely a junkie. I went to Hastings street 3 days in a row to see if i could find my stuff...but it was gone. Bummer.

vluedream44 karma

Where do you stay at (camping, airbnb, rental, etc) ? Where you get money from? What do you usually carry with you? What is you most essential item? Have you made many friends?

paolo_069 karma

I mostly stay in Hostels (when is cheap enough). In latin America, you can pay from $5-$10 for a night in a shared dorm.
When in remote areas, I camp. Best thing ever.
Otherwise I use Couchsurfing. Occasionally I stay with friends and/or other bikers that got to know my story and want to help out.
I live off my own savings.
Most essential Item is "Common sense". AKA try not to do extremely stupid things. :)

vluedream9 karma

Thanks, got another question. What is enough savings for a year in Latin America?

paolo_014 karma

well, it really depends of what kind of lifestyle you want. If you are ok sleeping in hostels every night and eating cheap market food...doesn't really take much! depending on which countries you want to visit too and how you want to move around! you can do it hitchhiking too if you want! and that won't cost you a thing! Just time!

420SwagPuSSyKrusha8 karma

How far do you usually have to plan ahead to find couchsurfing accommodations? The one thing that has deterred me from trying it out is that my motorcycle trips almost never stick to the schedule I have planned. Either due to unforeseen circumstances or maybe just deciding to ride around an area longer. Have you given people on CS a range of dates/times that you would arrive, or do you have to have your arrivals planned thoroughly?

paolo_013 karma

Yes, you usually have to investigate one or two weeks ahead to find accommodation with couchsurfing. Especially because I am a single guy. If i was a girl, i could find somewhere to sleep in few hours. Ahah. Oh well, women are less threatening i guess! ;) But yeah. You do need to check first and give a rough estimate of days of your permanence. Typically 2-3 days is the max. Then if both parties are ok, you can extend.

SelkirkandMain39 karma

Did you tend to keep to yourself most of the time, or would you go out to meet people and socialize with the locals in the area?

paolo_069 karma

I am not really a "social beast" anymore. I socialize in hostels and when I look for food mostly...but I don't go out at night. That is quite personal, but I prefer a quiet night than pubs. This allowed me somehow to save a lot of money in the long run. I may have missed out in "social opportunities", but I prefer this way.

Impregneerspuit9 karma

But you did meet a lot of people right? Im not social at all and it keeps me from traveling, im afraid that it would ruin the experience if I dont click with anyone haha. You gave me some confidence this will be a smaller problem than I think it is.

paolo_039 karma

I am an introvert and generally speaking, kind of a geek. So yeah...not really the outgoing kind of guy...but, when travelling alone, you don't have that social pressure anymore. You are by yourself and there's nothing to tell you what you have or not have to do. you are free. And yes...you will meet tons of people!!

DUBIOUS_OBLIVION38 karma

How badly do you stink?

Joking of course, good luck with your adventures .

paolo_0161 karma

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? ;)

Franka03530 karma

[deleted]

paolo_077 karma

I am not sure. Yet. Definitely the more I go on with this adventure (and life) the more I become aware of myself and my surroundings. I am looking forward to have somehow a peaceful life in harmony with my surroundings. Stress has been out of my life for a while now and I want to keep it this way. Don't have a family. Never had kids or wives. I think it's going to stay this way...but you never know.

UsingMuse1235 karma

You've been doing this 5 years now.

Do you feel the need to keep moving after you've been somewhere for a few days?

How long is the longest you've been stationary since staring and did you ever feel like you wanted to get off the road for a longer time.

paolo_09 karma

Well...yes I always feel the need to see something more and explore. I get bored easily. But I have to say that during my Lockdown in Greece I was absolutely at peace. I really enjoyed my down time and i took advantage of it by taking care of many little things i left behind.

brock_h30 karma

I always hear about people "giving up everything" and traveling the world. However, most people have worries about their economic status. Can you speak to yours at the point when you embarked? How much money had you saved, did you have any debt, what did you do with your belongings (Were there things you stored somewhere because you did want to sell or get rid of them? Did you pay for storage?), did you create a plan to generate additional income (e.g., plans for side jobs while traveling), and have you thought how to re-integrate into the "working world" when you traveling concludes (or are you hoping YouTube, etc. supports you)? Thanks!

paolo_094 karma

So, I started saving money when I moved to Australia. In 5 years I rounded up $40k more or less. I had no debts and, regardless the bank offering me "super interesting" offers about Credit Cards or Mortgages to buy properties, I didn't end up getting in debts with any banks. I also avoided kids and wives. I was renting an apartment and sharing it with a friend. When I decided to leave I sold all my furnitures on Gumtree (local Craigslist) and donated all my clothes to Salvation Army (Goodwill). I had no belongings left except what I piled on the bike when I left. And few months in I also realized that I didn't even need some stuff that I brought along. I did quit my job with no plans to work while travelling. I wanted, for the first time in my life, have a moment to simply ENJOY THE MOMENT without thinking about work and life as I knew it. I wanted to experience freedom, without the burden of thinking about my future constantly and what's going to happen next. I was raised with this mental construct too, so to break free from that was indeed liberating. I do not know how is going to be when this part of my life ends. If I have to go back to work, I will. But with a different heart and mind.

eveningsand26 karma

How has the pandemic altered any future travel plans?

paolo_043 karma

The pandemic changed things quite drastically. A lot of other travellers I know got stuck somewhere or had to cancel their plans until further notice. Still not sure what to do in the long terms. Covid definitely made everything more unpredictable.

scotty_p4025 karma

How does your license work? I mean if you have a drivers license in one country and you drive through multiple countries. What happens if you get pulled over?

paolo_040 karma

Having European or Australian driver license is sufficient to drive in most foreign countries. I do have an International Driver License, which is simply a piece of paper you can request from your local Automobile Club, that translates your license in many languages and which is helpful when finding an "scrutinous" policeman. At the borders they never check your driving license.

DinoDinossaur24 karma

how were the first few months without the things that you were used to having? (sorry for the bad english, it isn't my main language)

paolo_052 karma

Your english is fine, mate! First month was HARD! 😅 I had never camped in my life and the longest moto trip I took by that time was only 350km. So yeah, in the beginnings the learning curve was steep! Basic things like "where to sleep at night every night" or "how to store food" were kind of abstract concepts for me. My first night camping was also my first night on the road. It was horrible. I paid so much money to camp in a so so campground, with noisy and drunk neighbors. It also rained at night. Haha An absolute fail! It got better and better with time. Also looking for food, packing and taking care of the bike. It was a full immersion in a brand new lifestyle for me. A great experience indeed

Hugodf417 karma

Can you speak on your base knowledge of bikes at the start of your travels? I'm interested in purchasing a bike to cruise around America in once (if) this pandemic blows over. Did you ever have to do any emergency DIY work when you couldnt make it to a garage for professuonal repairs?

paolo_031 karma

First of all: DO IT!! it's an amazing experience. I had basic/zero motorcycle mechanical skills when I started. I often used youtube as a source of "inspiration". Now I rather do the job myself than taking my bike into a shop. If you are going to cruise around the US, you wont need to carry much spares, since you can buy and have most parts shipped wherever you are. Somehow even breaking down, if happens, is a great part of the overall adventure.

BrentNewhall16 karma

Thanks for doing this!

How much do you talk to strangers? I can imagine either being very sociable, or taking the opportunity to be more solitary.

Also, when you were traveling the world, how specifically did you keep in contact with friends and family back home? Was one service/approach more effective than another?

paolo_018 karma

I love to talk with Locals!! It's the best thing! I love to talk with older people especially. They can really give you a better perspective about the place and overall more interesting stories about their lives. Sometimes there's a language barrier but I try regardless. Hostels are also a great place to meet friends and people from all over the world. Aside from this, travelling solo on a motorcycle or bicycle naturally attracts curiosity, so I also met some good friends of mine at gas stations or random rest areas in the middle of nowhere.

To keep in touch with family and friends nowadays is quite easy. Mobile data networks are excellent worldwide and you can buy local sim cards to use local carriers data traffic. I use whatsapp and fb messanger the most.

nahbroski16 karma

Can I join you ?! Lmao

This is my Dream .. good for you man . Good for fuckin youuuu !!!

Share the love & grow strong .

paolo_013 karma

Thanks for the support mate!! Go for it! You can do it!

dilligaf022015 karma

100k+ on a KTM and no major problems? INCONCEIVABLE!

Do you have an ADV th'd?

paolo_014 karma

ahha I know right!??! It's actually almost 200000 km mate and still going strong with no mechanical issues!! Crazy!! I am in awe too! I am on ADVRIDER, yes. But don't have a thread about this.

The_foob14 karma

Not to be nosey but what would qualify as enough money to "sustain yourself for a while"? And how long do you consider that "a while" to be?

paolo_025 karma

I had no Idea how much It would cost me to live, travel and not work, since I had never done it before. But I knew how much It costed me to live in Sydney for a year, without any extras (just food, accommodation, rent and bills). I assumed initially that my trip around the world would have lasted a maximum of 1 year and a half. Was I wrong! I pretty much had saved $40k in 5 years of work.

antihackerbg14 karma

Have you been to Bulgaria yet? How much did you see if you have?

paolo_09 karma

No, I haven't. But It's definitely on my list.

antihackerbg7 karma

Are you taking reccomendations for places to visit in countries? Because i have a few reccomendations for bulgaria.

paolo_013 karma

Of course!! 😊 maybe send those to me as DM so those don't get lost in the post. Cheers!! 🙏

DUMPSTERJEDl13 karma

This is such an incredible story! This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard or read. I just recently finished reading “The Motorcyle Diaries”. I gave you a follow on ig too. What’s the next country you plan on traveling through?

paolo_010 karma

Thanks a lot!! :) I am planning to ride back to Australia via Asia. Not quite sure yet about the itinerary...since covid stopped me for now. Thanks again for the nice words!

fucthishi0imout13 karma

What are the cheapest and best places you would suggest a young person go visit? Also, just out of curiosity, when do you think you’ll stop?

paolo_020 karma

Well, there are plenty of great places to go explore on a tight budget. Latin America and South East Asia are generally speaking quite cheap. I would recommend Bolivia or Peru, in SA...and Cambodia in SEA. As a start...

I Hope I will be able to go on for few more years...but so far I am pretty content with what I've done already.

DaMasterDebator12 karma

Did you ever get down and dirty with anyone?

paolo_043 karma

Yes. Mostly with my motorcycle. :)

implicit_feelings12 karma

How do you overcomevia issues?

paolo_024 karma

I believe you referred to "Visa issues"?!

Well, having an Italian passport is quite handy since you get visa on arrival (valid for 1-3 months) as a tourist in most of the countries in the world. I had to request and pay for my Russian and Mongolian visa though. You can request that 1-2 weeks before entry in any available Embassy.

amandapanda278410 karma

How long do you usually spend in each place? Do you like to keep moving or get to know places well before you go?

Also, do you ever get scared or anxious thinking about financial worries, missing your loved ones, or being alone in foreign countries? I think these feelings would take away some joy for me. I really admire your outlook and drive!

paolo_012 karma

Well It depends. I usually spend maybe 1-2 days in one place. If I like it I may spend a week. Sometimes I had to wait for parts and stayed longer. I tend to organize myself so I don't have to spend too much money. I do miss my loved ones. My family is small but we are very close. I also miss the affection of my dogs at home. But...gotta give some to get some, right?!

I love to be alone in a foreign country and simply be amazed and mesmerised by everything around me. It's overwhelming but also super stimulating!

beamer1459 karma

And what about other practical stuff like insurance for the motorcycle(is it allowed to be abroad for such a long time ?) ? Maybe obligatory x-yearly technical vehicle inspections (so far not needed in a lot of european countries but about to change so you were lucky I guess) ? Official site of residence (or what is it called, it is really hard to be 'homeless' in some countries, probably depends on what your current 'home country' is ) ?

paolo_014 karma

Ok so, insurance for motorcycle is something you need to get every time you enter a new country. Some insurance companies will insure foreign vehicles, but it isn't always the case. My bike is australian so after a certain point you need to inspect the vehicle to renew the registration. There is a process through which you can go to an associated mechanic in the country where you are and have the vehicle inspected and the results sent to the Australian motorvehicle authority. Then you can renew your papers online and have the new registration sent to you overseas. My official country of residence is still Australia, because it is where I want to go back to.

DEEPSIX110 karma

Hey Paolo, I recently rode a motorcycle across Vietnam and it got me inspired to ride from Alaska to Argentina, hopefully leaving next summer, virus permitting. I’ll most likely be riding my Honda CRF250L, not quite a KTM haha. Do you have any advice for a young man looking for more adventure?

paolo_07 karma

Yes. Great bike first of all!! You ll love it! South america is kind of paradise for motorcycling so...yeah. I would recommend you to pick the right seasons to ride alaska and patagonia. Crucial for the outcome of your expedition.

Jverkler10 karma

Did you have any sort of health insurance during this time? (I'm thinking mainly in the United States where an unexpected visit can cost thousands)

paolo_025 karma

yes. There are specific TRAVEL INSURANCE which cover medical and unforeseen expenses like the one you mentioned. I use Worldnomads, which costs me around $800 a year and cover the whole world.

idontloveanyone9 karma

How come you’re happy and I’m depressed as fuck?

paolo_048 karma

I don't want to open a can of worms, but I was super depressed too. Depression is a state of mind in which you tell yourself that "something is wrong". Whether the wrong comes from inside or outside of you, your mind is telling you that there's something that needs to be fixed. It's a good indicator that you are on the path of healing yourself if you want.

Sincerely, if one is not depressed a bit, these days, it would be completely unaware of your surroundings and even your own existence.

Before leaving for Australia, I spent 2 and a half years in deep sadness (you can call it depression if you will), caused by several factors. I had a meaningless job (for me), I HAD TO live with my parents and I was even going through break up with my ex, which ripped my heart apart. I basically didn't get out of my room for 2 years, while I was helping my grandma on her deathbed and my dad was sick with Alzheimer. Fun, uh?

I am not saying that it's good to be depressed, but you can choose to use it as a propeller to wish for something better. You can change your reality. It's entirely up to you, how you see the world and the opportunities you have in life to grow.

deeryk9 karma

I was just looking at your Instagram photos... Wow! You take gorgeous photos and have such an interesting story to share. Have you ever thought about writing a book? It seems to me that travel and adventure magazines would also pay you to write stories for them. Just something to think about. Good luck!

paolo_012 karma

Thank you, but I think that I'm not doing anything that hasn't been done before. I do like to share and help people see the world for the beautiful place it is...but that's about it. Thanks for the compliment, though!

A_poor_greek_guy9 karma

I am from Greece.Where in Greece have you been?And how did you make money during these years to "pay the bills"?

paolo_08 karma

Oh mate!! what a beautiful country! I had a great time there! I spent most of my quarantine and lockdown in Crete, but I entered Greece from Albania, then rode down to the Peloponnese and rode to Athens, Evia and even Santorini!! Check my insta for all the amazing places I've seen! I am still stoked for the great hospitality I received from the greeks and the amazing places I've seen!! For the economical part of your question, please see previous answers, where I explained in details the money factor.

tyrajyri7 karma

Any issues or denials to get your bike through customs anywhere?

paolo_06 karma

Nope. Just showing my paperwork and off i went! So far I haven't been in countries that required Carnet de Passage.

JohnYossarian877 karma

OP, you're doing what I've dreamed of doing since I was about 21... I'm 32 now. I've saved a bit of money, and have no debt, and am still considering it... but feel as though it would be irresponsible at this point? *shrugs* I have a few questions,

Ever considered staying at a spot for a few weeks and doing some manual labor for extra scratch to help you along in your travels?

Ever had any problem with weird parasites in some of your rougher spots (scabies, bedbugs, intestinal issues) such as cheap hostels and whatnot?

Since you don't go to bars or anything like that, what's the easiest way for you to meet new people? Ever felt any "I'm about to get robbed" vibes while on the road? Did you make rules like not traveling too late, etc..

I'm considering doing this very thing, since I make a good living but am already a minimalist and don't really need anything... I don't care about owning a house, or having nice clothes or any of that nonsense. I suppose it'd just be a drag to hit a dead end, have to return to the workforce after a few years of traveling and finding myself unable to secure a decent gig again. Anyways, if you've read this, thanks for your time and thanks for doing this AMA! Good luck man, and stay safe.

paolo_011 karma

Mate, when I left for my first trip around Australia, I was 34yo...so I completely understand where you are coming from. It take a bit of time to prepare and commit to this. I highly recommend it though. I stopped occasionally and did some jobs, yes, but were more like small temporary gigs...that paid maybe for a new set of tyres than anything. Still! Once I pressured washed mine trucks for a week in South Australia. Haha i was covered in mudd but I was happy. I also cleaned few apartments in greece in exchange of accommodation....things like that. Things will come your way if you look hard enough.

Didn't have any problems with bugs or parasites no. Got lucky on this one i guess. But i do believe I built my immune system pretty well.

The easiest way to meet people is in hostels. Being in your 30s you are already on the "old side" for a hostel, but you are still ok. ;) haha

Sometimes yes i felt i was going to get robbed or mugged...but never happened. I never travel with cameras and other expensive items with me. When i am on the bike, there s always the "surprise effect", meaning that people are more shocked to see somebody travelling solo than tempted to rob him right away.

Grudge7026 karma

What was your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?

paolo_015 karma

I have one favourite place, which I always mention because I support the underdogs... I also love nature and food, so...

Ecuador is my favourite country.

SirLoftyCunt6 karma

How do you deal with dirty toilets in some areas where you cannot find any usable ones if that has ever happened? Also what do you do when there are none around, like on a desert road or something? This and my trust issues with getting help from strangers is what keeps me from even thinking about doing something like what you're doing.

paolo_011 karma

Very pertinent question as I find myself sometimes with no toilets around. There's a basic system, which I wasn't really accustomed to...that is "squatting"...that help with the mentioned activity. When in the wild, you need to have the curtesy at least of (some privacy, obviously) digging a hole in the ground with a stick or something...and then covering it up when you are done with your business. Toilet paper and wet wipes have to be bagged and disposed in the first available garbage bag. This concerned N2, clearly. For N1, being a guy, it is quite practical. But there are a lot of girls travellers which simply "hide behind something". It is quite unorthodox but I guess you get used to it eventually. It's just a matter of doing it the first few times. Then It becomes ok.

ausyliam6 karma

Is your ass now made of steel?

paolo_024 karma

I had to draw a line in the middle of my bum to see where my cheeks were... ;)

BamiNasi6 karma

Do you avoid public attractions where you have to pay a fee like castles, palaces or other famous tourist attractions. If you avoid them, are you curious about them and want to visit them but you don’t have enough money or don’t you care about tourist attractions?

paolo_013 karma

Good question! I recently posted the story on my instagram about Machu Picchu in Peru, which I refused to visit because of the exorbitant entry fee. $70 USD to enter the site is an unreasonable amount...regardless the fact that it is undoubtedly a beautiful site to visit. I usually avoid big tourist traps, but sometimes you gotta pay. The most I've paid was $35 to enter Iguazu Falls and $35 to enter Perito moreno Glacier. Both worth it sincerely, even if overpriced. I left the others aside and went for the cheap ones instead.

theneonsamurai6 karma

Did you get any inspiration from Emilio Scotto’s ride around the world? Any plans (or desire) to try and break his record?

paolo_07 karma

I do not know him. I also never read the Motorcycle diaries or Zen and the art of motorcycle. Also never seen long way around or tried to grow a beard like Che guevara.

Just doing my thing, my own way. But there have been many before me for sure.

stratnoob6 karma

Did you ride in Nepal as well? If so, how did you find the roads and the journey through Nepal? Also what was your most adventurous experience here? I am a Nepalese so I am asking these to learn what people think when visiting my country.

paolo_05 karma

I haven't been that part of the world yet. But It's on my list!!!

Connor_445 karma

Ciao! I am a italian too, precisely sicilian. Next summer I will probably travel all sicily, how much money do you think i need to bring, and how can I save as much as possible? I want to stay a bunch of days while traveling through cities. Like 3 days at Agrigento, for example. Any suggestions are welcomed!

Sto scrivendo in inglese pure per far vedere ad altri i tuoi suggerimenti

paolo_08 karma

Ciao! well, I cannot tell you how much you ll need to travel...even just Sicily. It depends where you are willing to sleep, what are you willing to sacrifice in terms of food and what time of the year you are planning to travel. Just know that food and accommodation are the most expensive elements of your trip.

ausyliam5 karma

What was it like going through the Middle East? I've always wanted to explore that part of the world.

paolo_06 karma

Haven't quite reached the middle east yet. Stopped by the covid. booo

Mr_Shad0w5 karma

How do you plan what route you will take? Do you navigate primarily with map+compass? GPS on your phone? Both?

If M+C, what sort of compass do you use, and where do you obtain your maps for each country or locality?

paolo_011 karma

Hello! I mostly use Google maps for my navigation and planning. Most of the info i get from the places I want to visit, are obtainable from the app itself. It's a brief guide but works for me. If in remote areas I use Maps.me, which works offline and has trails too.

AlexDKZ5 karma

Hey man, back when you were trekking across south america, did you visit Venezuela?

paolo_08 karma

When I was In brazil, It didn't occur to me to enter Venezuela. Then when I reached Colombia, the border with it was closed for vehicle due to the unstable situation. I really want to go. It's the pebble in my south american shoe. ;)

N0wayjose5 karma

I have enjoyed watching your travels on IG. What is the scariest situation you have ever gotten yourself into while traveling?

paolo_08 karma

Thanks for tagging along! I had few close calls with my bike...but I guess, If you ride a motorcycle, it is quite common. I almost fell into a canyon... Ouch

Captain_Ezreal5 karma

What was the moment you thought,

''It was all worth it''?

paolo_012 karma

It was when I arrived back in Sydney, after riding all around Australia... After the first few days of riding I remember I had still some doubts on my mind about resigning and selling everything, etc. When I returned in my own beloved town, it was like i saw myself in the mirror. I saw myself as the person I was before...and the one I had become. And I didn't like the person I was before...so I understood that my life had changed forever. I realized that giving everything up was worth the realization of who I was at that time. I also realized that I couldn't stop there...

IAmLotw4 karma

Have you been to the Philippines? If so what was your experience and opinion about the place?

paolo_05 karma

Nooo! but definitely want to go there!!! I have a lot of Filipino friends in Australia and they told me about some incredible places to visit!

porter50004 karma

Have you ever worried about not being able to get a job later on once you stop travelling, due to the big gap between jobs in your CV?

paolo_024 karma

I am not an HR guy...but If I was... I would hire a guy that travelled the world on a motorcycle to have on my team, instead of somebody with straight AA, tons of certificates and no life experience. but maybe I'm wrong. ;)

Lalalanevermind4 karma

Wah! Thanks for the AmA! I've always wanted to have a chat with people who like to travel the world. Your answers are very straightforward, I love that!

Did you ever get into trouble with local people like pickpockets and tourist scam? Did you ever have any emergency medical troubles? Do you try to enjoy local street food? (If so, did you ever had any stomache because your body isn't used to that type of food?).

Err I think I've made too many questions at once. Have fun & enjoy your life adventure, whatever you decide to do in your future!

paolo_07 karma

No problems! It's a pleasure!! So, I never really had problems with pickpocketers. But I also always look around while walking in big cities. As I mentioned before, the only bad occurrence I had was in Canada, where somebody stole my rusty tools bag from my bike, while parked in Vancouver. I never had medical issue...hurray!!! I do LOVE to try all food. The "weirdest" the better! I think I have a fetish for local street food. So yeah, I eventually had a bit of stomachache but it was mostly my fault. I had a raw shrimp from a market in Mexico. Not wise! haha I built my immune system I think, just drinking tap water from everywhere. If locals don't die...I shouldn't either, right!? ;)

bigbaltic4 karma

Why did you choose such a big bike? Is all the driving on roads? What modifications did you make before heading out?

paolo_07 karma

I chose my dream bike. I had no Idea where I would have taken my motorcycle in the future. At the time of purchase, I was in love with it. I still am!

I just added a lighter muffler, skid plate and rear rack. The bike itself is a marvel of technology.

I go on and offroad. see my youtube videos... ;)

greatbigballzzz4 karma

When did you find out about COVID and how has it affected your travels?

Thanks and warmest regards!

paolo_010 karma

Oh man, that was such a bummer! I left italy on the 15th of Feb, 10 days before the first case in Lombardy. One week later it was already mayhem. As soon as the Italian disaster exploded, people started to look at me as carrier of virus...like they were doing with asians in general, no matter if they were from indonesia or mongolia or china. I entered Albania and there were rumors of borders starting to close. So I headed to Greece, since it is still EU and I could get sent back to Italy easily. After spending 4 months in Greece, I took the first available ferry back to Italy, where I am waiting for the pandemic to settle a bit. Then I'll leave again.

Feuersturmer4 karma

Hi Paolo. Where would you say the best roads were? I mean, good condition, few potholes. Where would you say the best views were? What kind of spare parts did you bring along to make sure you could always keep going?

paolo_04 karma

Mmm best roads...i think ecuador had pretty spectacular new roads. At the time I think most roads were 5-10 years old and conditions were optimal.

Best views probably Peru. Nothing can beat the view from a 6000 m mountain...

You can't possibly carry all spare parts. You never know what could happen...but I did bring a spare front tube in case of a flat and some spare screws. Duct tape and cable ties are also a must for any traveller

CraniumBeeDance4 karma

Sorry to ask yet another money question, but I think this is the biggest block to doing something like this for most people!

  1. When you went to LA initially (when you were 24), you say you pretty much only had enough money for the plane ticket. How did you sustain yourself when you arrived and how long did it take for you to 'get on your feet'?

  2. How do/did you deal with 'scarcity' mentality of perhaps one day not being able to find a job (even an odd job, or a temporary position) and running out of money, and facing a more unstable housing/financial situation?

Thanks!

paolo_013 karma

Thanks for the question mate. Again, absolutely plausible. When I flew to LA, I had saved some money for the plane ticket and arranged a couch for the first 2 weeks with a friend of a cousin of a distant uncle (the only real connection I had a the time). Meanwhile I was trying to sell my motorcycle at home in Italy. I sold it 2 days after I left and my family helped me completing the sale and sent me the money overseas. I think I sold the bike for 1200 euros. That lasted me quite a while. I did back and forth from Italy to USA few times and I was getting some occasional jobs in Milan to pay for my trips. I made just enough to pay for flights and accommodation. But I remember that a lot of food was offered to me. I was sleeping on people's couches and at times I was eating one Starbucks Frappuccino a day. I know...not the best diet...but I think It was around $2.5 and full of sugar and coffee so It kept me going. Generally I survived thanks to people I met along the way and their generosity. I had a wonderful time in USA. Most people are really willing to help. Some other instead want to take advantage of you. Learned both lessons the hard way, I guess.

Eventually, after thousands of closed doors, I managed to find an IT company that was willing to sponsor me for my visa stuff. It was a complicated time for me, mostly because I wasn't prepared mentally for such cultural gap and such challenges. When you are alone, without your family and friends around, and you have to take care of yourself and your life, you start to know who you really are.

Somehow It is an experience that I would recommend to everybody. Those are some of the most intense yet rewarding experiences I had in my life.

CraniumBeeDance9 karma

Thanks for answering!
I was curious to know the reality of upping and moving somewhere without a job waiting for you or much money in your pocket and a frappuccino for your daily meal is certainly a peak behind the curtain!!
But I agree with you that most people are kind and willing to help. I believe in that in general.

I admire your resilience. I've certainly dealt with a lot of closed doors and isolation from family and friends too, but often get scared to "do what I really want" because I'm so afraid of being stuck somewhere without money.

Wishing you continued success and safe travels!

paolo_06 karma

I wish you good luck too! I am sure you can endure much you can think. Go for it!

taybesemer3 karma

Have you heard of the bike dog?
The_bike_dog on insta

paolo_05 karma

Yes!! I follow him on Insta!! Amazing feed!

georgerinNH3 karma

Have you had any accidents or near misses in your travels? If more than one, are there any that stand out?

paolo_06 karma

Tons!! Unfortunately riding a motorcycle doesn't leave any choice. I almost fell into a canyon in Peru. That wasn't good. Also, close calls with maaaany trucks in Bolivia. There are no driving rules there much... I crashed at 100km/h in Argentina and crashed against a wall, in San Francisco, distracted by my GPS. Normal day at the office! 😅

diego-d3 karma

How has your sex life been on the trip? Haha sorry, it does say ask me 'anything'. I guess what I'm saying more specifically is a lot of guys have a fantasy of doing exactly what you're doing and doing plenty of "socializing" in different countries no strings attached. Just wondering if your trip has been fun in that regard or if it's too difficult when staying in hostels etc

paolo_04 karma

I did answer this question already but I'll go into few details again. Travelling in hostels is good and bad. You meet a lot of people but there s no privacy. I tend to respect other people generally so I avoid having sex on bunk beds, bathrooms and stuff like that (which happened to me instead). Not the best to have your bed rattling and having to wear headphones with loud music, trying to get some sleep. Haha

Anyway, the main "issue" in travelling and socializing is that you always have to leave. So unless you go partying and go for the wild night...every night...it's not simple to get close to somebody, even in that sense.

Anyway, my sex life was definitely complicated, compared to the one I had when living in one fixed place in Australia.

Gorl082 karma

Where you ever afraid or unsafe? I’ve wanted to backpack through South America, but as a single woman I’m afraid of putting myself in a dangerous situation.

paolo_03 karma

It's completely understandable to be worried in that sense. What I can tell you is that there is nothing to worry about. There are women travelling solo in many ways (backpacking, cycling, motorcycle, etc) through south america and they are FINE! No problems. I can list you the "do and don't" about travelling, but I believe that having a bit of commons sense is crucial. If you look for female solo travellers on insta, you will find tons of them. I am sure that they can give you a better and more specific understanding of what entails to travel solo as a woman in third world countries. But again, DO NOT WORRY. It is SAFE.

Gorl083 karma

I did it in Europe and Iceland, but South America makes me more weary. What about bringing children? Did it feel safe for kids?

Also, when it came to your hostel stays, did you ever see any families?

paolo_06 karma

Kids will have a blast in SA! I met plenty of families travelling with kids. It is challenging because of the school thing but it is possible!! The internet and online classes nowadays...

People in SA are very family oriented and have special care for kids. It is an incredible experience for kids to see a reality like the one over there.

Hostels are not quite the best for kids, I admit it. You can find plenty of bnb alternatives and family rooms all over the continent. The same options are available all over the world (hostels, bnb, hotel, motel, apartments, etc).

tommymc882 karma

I'm thinking of purchasing the same bike, is it the R model?. What made you choose this bike as opposed to something that is shaft driven? how did you find the chain maintenance aspect over so many miles? It's amazing there were no mechanical problems at all.

Is there a specific brand tyre you use and how many miles would you get from a set? were there many puncturers or blowouts?

Knowing what you know now, would you have changed anything with the bike or added something before beginning the journey?

paolo_02 karma

I ride the 1190 adventure NON R model. I prefer chain because it's sincerely I wouldn't want to find myself with broken shaft in the middle of Bolivia. Chain can last up to 40-50k km if well maintained and lubricated. It doesn't take much of your time and it helps reminding yourself that you have to take care of your bike too. I really loved Shinko 705 as tyres. Cheap and super grippy in all surfaces. I didn't have many punctures at all. Maybe 4 in the whole trip! Lucky!

Sincerely, this bike has been beyond perfect and I am still in awe by the reliability and performances of this machine. Kudos to KTM for making such a monstruos bike! If you are not into fast corners and putting your knee down in turns, the R model is actually better because of the customizable shocks. Mine comes with WP electronic suspensions which can't be replaced with others.

MrBantam2 karma

Great AMA. Just watched a few of your YouTube videos. Do you have music playing constantly while riding? How has your music likes changed and is there any songs you still play today from the Australia trip? Thanks

paolo_03 karma

I never listen to music while riding. I actually put some earplugs and try to enjoy the ride and let my thoughts flow. It s my meditation moment. Music I listen to change constantly...depending on mood and situation. I probably still have some ACDC tunes laying around in my playlists somewhere. ;)

MariannaS012 karma

Where are you now and what are your next 5 countries on your list?

paolo_03 karma

Italy now! The next 5 up will depend on how covid behaves in the next few months.

Ugnspannkaka2 karma

[deleted]

paolo_040 karma

I do not have a single moment which I consider my favorite. Generally speaking, I could say that the "feeling of freedom" that riding with no schedule and limitation gives, Is the happy memory that I will bring with me even when this experience will be over. The scariest is certainly the moment when I almost fell into a canyon, while riding in Peru. Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world and I lost control of the bike, riding down on a tiny dirt road. Fortunately I managed to stop right at the edge of it...but It took me a good 10 minutes to recover from that close call.

purplebaskets2 karma

How did you cross the Darian Gap?

paolo_02 karma

There were 4 options: - shipping container (Not so cheap, time consuming and risky in terms of getting the bike out from the port) $750 - air freight (fast. 4 hours and you are from one side to the other. not cheap, quick and headaches free) $1000 - fishermen boat (slow. Unsafe? Bike gets covered in salt for 5 days) $600 - sailing boat (5 days cruise to the san blas islands. Expensive. But fun holiday overall) $1200

I went with the plane.

georgerinNH2 karma

What is the worst weather you have had to ride through, and how did you deal with it?

paolo_04 karma

Oh man!! 2 days. One was when I rode 750km under frozen rain in canada, against 60km/h headwind, along lake superior. After i reached my destination, i watched the news and saw that they closed the road I just rode on because it collapsed, devoured by the amount of water that fell from the sky. Average temp was 2 degrees Celsius.

The other day was when I arrived in Vancouver 2 years ago in march. 30 cm of snow. -5°C and worst snow storm in the last decade. If i didn't die that day...

--Ty--2 karma

Amazing.

A question: were you an experienced bike rider before you set off on your trip, or did you decide to use a bike on a whim, and learned as you went? How much biking experience would you recommend to someone before they try a trip like this?

Also, what are your thoughts about using a bike vs a car? With a car, you can sleep in the back, making accommodations cheaper, and maybe a bit more luxurious than a tent, but they're also larger, more unwieldy things that cost more to fuel and repair.

paolo_03 karma

Hey! I've been riding motorcycles since I was 14yo (even earlier). So I guess I was kind of an experienced rider, but I wasn't an experience long distance rider so... Not sure if it makes sense to you.

I met different people who recently learned how to ride, doing the same thing I was doing with small learner bikes. I mean, there are literally no limits on what can you do if you want to do it and just...do it, without thinking too much about it.

You know what they say... 4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul.

LeftGhostCrow1 karma

Hello!

First off, this is incredible, and a dream of mine. Unfortunately i'm an american with a crap load of college debt!

I read your other answers and I just had a couple questions!

  1. You mentioned your first night camping in a campground, and how it wasn't the best setting. As time went on did you just start setting up on the side of the road? or were there any other challenges finding camping spots when there wasn't a campsite hostile friends couch etc?

  2. How safe did you feel when you were mostly alone camping in between citys/towns?

    Thank you so much for doing this AMA, hopefully one day I can do this!

paolo_06 karma

Hey! I am aware of how the US system sucks you in a world of debts but... I hope you will one day break free from it.

After my first night camping, I switched to couchsurfing and hostels right away. I was terrified of camping! ahha Then, one day I found a spot that was too beautiful to leave. I was by myself and It was quite remote. The balmy temperatures, the starry night and the beautiful sunrise over the ocean made me reconsider camping. After few more attempts I found out that camping in the wild was waaay better than sleeping in a crappy hostel or at some stranger's home. More privacy, quieter and cheaper too! Luckily for me, I had lost my camping virginity in Australia, one of the best and safest countries for camping in the world in my opinion. You are by yourself most of the times. Half of my trip around Australia I slept on the side of the road or in the bushes. I became an expert in starting small fires and cooking with no utensils. I realized that the "danger" in terms of safety for me and my motorcycle was directly related to the amount of people around me. So, the more desolated the area, the safest. Cities are clearly the opposite. Thanks for your questions.

kirksucks0 karma

A guy I used to work with Peter Corboy did this back in the 2000's. You know him?

paolo_01 karma

Sorry, I do not know him.

JeffersonSpicoli-6 karma

So are you going to end up in an even crappier job after abandoning all of your responsibilities like this?

paolo_013 karma

Haha who knows! What I know is that whatever job you do...it is still a job. More money means more responsibilities but at the end of the day, a job is a job. It's the meaning that changes your life. It's the why you do what you do, that drives you. Not necessarily the job you perform. We all end up in the same place...so I will do whatever job makes me happy when the time comes.