I won’t pretend that there’s any correlation between my forefathers determined courage, and anything I’ve encountered in my life, let alone how it might remotely relate to a 5000 mile motorcycle ride through parts of South America.
Its significance is only this… I most definitely descend from a long line of stubborn, unwavering, sometimes obstinate authority-questioning Teutonic ancestors, at our best when swimming upstream.
Unlike my forefathers, I can claim no righteous stand against oppression and tyranny. But as any solo adventurer can attest, a certain personal obstinance is required if you wish to succeed.
Because, firstly, you need to confidently make your stand against the naysayers who have, amazingly always at the ready, a mountain of reasons why you shouldn’t go, as they beg of you to reconsider.
Secondly, in those dark moments during the adventure when those people are possibly, remotely, in some small way… correct… you will need some stubborness and willfulness to see you through.
Nevertheless, let’s examine the Top 15 reasons as to why this solo ride is ill-advised:
1) Motorcycles are dangerous.
2) The only Spanish you speak is from the menu at Señor Fish.
3) You might get hit by a banana truck on some desolate Patagonian dirt road.
4) You might get hit by a banana truck in the middle of Santiago.
5) You don’t know the region very well.
6) You don’t know the region at all.
7) Local banditos/revolutionaries will steal your stuff and hack you to pieces with a machete(s).
8) You won’t be prepared for the wind/cold/rain/snow.
9) You don’t have a daily itinerary.
10) You’re completely unprepared.
11) You can’t rebuild a motorcycle engine.
12) South America has jungles. Jungles are dangerous.
13) Your loved ones will worry about you (note: they worry anyway).
14) Verizon doesn’t have cell towers in Tierra del Fuego.
15) There are less lethal ways to enjoy solitude.
There are two things in common with every single person who contributed to The List.
– None of them ride a motorcycle.
– None of them have ever been to South America.
Long, uncomfortable silence. Somewhere in the distance, a dog barks.
Okay… I know their concerns come from the right place, that they care and want to keep me out of harm’s way. Their love does not go unnoticed, nor unappreciated.
Nevertheless, I will arm myself with little more than my lifelong dedication to unprepared preparedness, and the absolutism that riders and explorers know instinctively, intuitively…
Certainty is the natural enemy of adventure.