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‘Put aside your fears and just go’ » Every person should read Elspeth Beard’s travel memoir

In 1982, at the age of 23, halfway through her architecture studies, Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a 35,000-mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6. She returned 2 years later to become the first British woman to ride around the world.

Nicola Moyne »

‘I first rode a motorbike when I was sixteen; a friend was taking his Husqvarna down to Salisbury Plain and asked me along. I can’t say I was instantly hooked but in 1979 I bought a second hand 1974 BMW R60/6 with about 30,000 miles on the clock. It gave me an immense sense of freedom and over the next couple of years I gradually travelled further afield. My first trip was a tour of Scotland, then Ireland, finally progressing to a two-month trip around Europe in the summer of 1980.

‘The following summer I persuaded my brother, who had been picking apples in New Zealand, to meet me in Los Angeles where we bought an old BMW R75/5 and rode together across to Detroit. All these trips gradually built up my confidence, so when I got back, I bought a Haynes manual and set about stripping down parts of the engine to get my bike ready for a bigger trip across the globe. It was already eight years old and had done 45,000 miles so I replaced all the cables, bought a new battery, changed all the oils and put new tires on. I also took the cylinder heads off to fit an extra base gasket in order to lower the compression. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I had been told by a friendly mechanic at the BMW shop that this would be a good idea!

[…]

‘Travel helps us to understand other cultures and not just rely on what the media tells us. It’s easy to be afraid of things you don’t understand – that’s why it’s really important that people go and find out for themselves. Those two years on the road completely changed my life and made me the person I am today. They gave me the confidence to take on anything life throws at me without any fear. The truth is, you will always be able to come up with reasons why the time isn’t right. Put aside your fears and just go.’

Read the whole article at Marie Claire »

‘Put aside your fears and just go’: why every woman should read this travel memoir

More » Ultimate Motorcycling

 

 

 

LGBT travel index puts Sweden, Canada, and Norway at the top

The LGBTQ+ Danger Index lists the 25 safest countries for LGBTQ+ travellers »

1. 🇸🇪 Sweden
2. 🇨🇦 Canada
3. 🇳🇴 Norway
4. 🇵🇹 Portugal
5. 🇧🇪 Belgium
6. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
7. 🇫🇮 Finland
8. 🇫🇷 France
9. 🇮🇸 Iceland
10. 🇪🇸 Spain
11. 🇲🇹 Malta
12. 🇳🇿 New Zealand
13. 🇳🇱 Netherlands
14. 🇩🇰 Denmark
15. 🇿🇦 South Africa
16. 🇮🇪 Ireland
17. 🇦🇺 Australia
18. 🇺🇾 Uruguay
19. 🇨🇴 Colombia
20. 🇦🇹 Austria
21. 🇩🇪 Germany
22. 🇸🇮 Slovenia
23. 🇱🇺 Luxembourg
24. 🇺🇸 United States
25. 🇬🇺 Guam

 

Antonia Wilson, writing in the Guardian »

Sweden has been named the most LGBT-friendly country in the world for travellers according to new research into gay rights in 150 countries.

The LGBTQ+ Danger Index was created by ranking the 150 most-visited countries using eight factors, including legalised same-sex marriage, worker protection and whether, based on Gallup poll findings, it is a good place to live.

Canada ranked second-safest, followed by Norway, Portugal and Belgium. The UK is sixth safest on the list, but the US does not make the top 20. The researchers, American couple Asher and Lyric Fergusson, who blog about staying safe while travelling, said one reason the US is only at number 24 is because gay rights vary from state to state.

Read the whole article in The Guardian »

TransAmerica Trail » An overland drive across America

The Trans America Trail is a roughly 8,000 km / 5,000 mile vechicular route that crosses the United States using a minimum of paved roads. It is meant to be for leisure, travelled by dual-sport motorcycles, off-road vehicle, or touring bicycle.

M. R. O’Connor »

He has sold thousands of self-made paper maps and road charts containing his idiosyncratic directions. Some people travel Correro’s trail for a weekend; others traverse all sixty-two hundred miles of boonies, from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Port Orford, Oregon, crossing fourteen states.

In the course of the summer—the best season for dirt roads—Correro estimates that there might be as many as six hundred riders on the TransAmerica Trail. There’s no way to know for sure. He does know that people ride it using motorcycles, bicycles, four-by-fours, Land Rovers, dirt buggies, pickup trucks, Pinzgauer military vehicles, and horses. One person did it in a Volkswagen Jetta for fun; another couple rode it coast to coast for their honeymoon, with the bride in a motorcycle sidecar. One cross-country rider was just eight years old. The oldest may be Correro, who is eighty. He likes to say that he has ridden every single inch of it, and that is true, but also an understatement, because he has ridden parts of it countless times. Though he has given up his motorcycle for a Chevy Tahoe, he still checks the trail to make sure that its roads are passable, that its bridges haven’t been condemned. He modifies his maps, charting new routes.

Read the whole article at The New Yorker »

More » TransAmerica Trail, Wikipedia, GPS Kevin

 

7 travel podcasts

  1. Amateur Traveller
  2. Betty in The Sky With A Suitcase
  3. Extra Pack of Peanuts
  4. Indie Travel Podcast
  5. The Musafir Stories
  6. The Budget Minded Traveller
  7. Zero to Travel

Read the article ‘Travel Podcasts For When You’re On The Go’ by Roshni Subramanian at Outlook India »

 

Video: How to camp in the winter without dying

From Outside magazine via YouTube »

You’ve learned how to find good firewood in challenging conditions and then use it to reliably get a fire going no matter what. You’ve learned how to layer for the outdoors. You’ve learned how to read a map. What’s the logical conclusion of learning all this and the other skills we’ve covered in this video series? The ability to experience new, riskier environments with confidence and comfort. With the right approach and gear, winter camping can be just as comfortable as camping any other time of year. Here’s how.

Nirmal Purja climbs world’s 14 highest peaks in just 189 days – smashing the previous record by some seven years

Nirmal “Nims” Purja

Nirmal “Nims” Purja, a 36-year-old Nepali, became the fastest climber to summit the world’s 14 highest mountains on Tuesday, scaling all the mountains in just over six months. It’s a feat other climbers have taken several years to complete.

Peter Beaumont, writing in The Guardian »

His extraordinary series of ascents makes him one of the most successful climbers at the highest altitudes, joining only a handful of other mountaineers who have climbed all of the 8,000-metre peaks in the Himalayas. Notably he climbed Everest, Lhotse and Makalu (the fourth and fifth highest peaks in the world) consecutively in just 48 hours.

The previous record was held by Kim Chang-ho, of South Korea, who took seven years, 11 months and 14 days.

“I am overwhelmed and incredibly proud to have completed this final summit and achieved my goal of climbing the world’s 14 tallest mountains in record time,” said Purja after his final ascent.

Read more »

More » Reuters, BBC, CNN, CBC, NPR

United Airlines adding bigger overhead bins

Most airlines have forced flyers to maximize their allowed carry-on luggage by introducing baggage fees for checked luggage. So it’s surprising they haven’t already had enough carry-on luggage space for every passenger.

This is another example that airlines prioritize profits over customer experience, despite what Toby Enqvist and other airline executives may claim publicly.

Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY »

The airline on Friday said the larger bins will accommodate one bag per passenger on domestic flights. On a 179-seat Boeing 737-900, that translates to room for an extra 65 bags.

Toby Enqvist, United’s senior vice president and chief customer officer, showed a photo of one of the larger bins with six larger roller bags comfortably tucked inside during the airline’s media day in Chicago Friday.

“This is like my Mona Lisa,” he said.

Lia Ditton is getting set to row across the Pacific Ocean unassisted—and she’s afraid

Adventure Journal »

Lia Ditton is a 39-year-old licensed sea captain, yachtswoman and solo ocean rower from London. She has racked up over 150,000 miles on the sea and has taken part in some of the most grueling races on earth, such as the OSTAR transatlantic race, the Le Route du Rhum, and the Woodvale challenge. And she’s about to embark on her greatest challenge yet, rowing solo and unsupported across the Pacific Ocean. This is her story.

Three months before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I will depart from Choshi, Japan, on a mission to row 5,500 miles alone and unsupported, across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the USA. Nineteen attempts have been made to row this distance. Two were successful. Both men, both towed to land the last 20 and 50 miles respectively. One person was lost at sea.

If I succeed, I will be the first woman ever to row the North Pacific unsupported and the first person to row land-to-land [ed note: Sarah Outen rowed the North Pacific solo from Japan to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, but with a support team, back in 2013].

Read the rest of Lia’s essay at Adventure Journal »

Chernobyl’s infamous Reactor 4 Control Room is now open to tourists » but you’ll have to wear a hazmat suit

Jack Guy, writing for CNN »

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has seen a huge increase in visitor numbers in recent years as part of a growing global interest in dark tourism.

And now, intrepid travelers be able to get inside the control room where the world’s worst nuclear accident unfolded, Chernobyl tour companies confirmed to CNN.

Those who venture inside the highly radioactive area at the infamous Reactor 4 will be provided with white protective suits, helmets and masks for the brief visits. After leaving, they will be subject to two radiology tests to measure exposure.

Read more »

Iridium GO! Turns your smartphone into a satellite phone with internet access

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, writing for ZDNet »

There are a number of kits that allow you access to the Iridium system, and one of the best is the Iridium GO! Package. The basic package comes with the Iridium GO! base station, carry case, and AC travel charger with international adapter, and is suitable for those who have access to electricity.

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