10 Benefits of Taking the Next Step in Life

by Liz Jansen

take the next step in lifeTaking the next step in life requires initiative. Initiative means action. Get yourself geared up and sit on your motorcycle. You and your bike look fantastic, you’re both ready to go, and it looks like you mean business. But now you need initiative to move off. Put the key in the ignition, turn it on, and hit the starter. While looking in the direction you want to go, shift into gear, release the clutch, and apply the throttle. Off you go.

It’s the same in life. Think of taking just one step at a time. And that’s all you ever need to do. You have the power to do that. They don’t have to be big steps. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Doing so creates the following benefits.

  1. Control. While you can’t control everything that happens around you or to you, you can control how you respond. It’s better to be in a position where you’re free to make choices that align with your values and goals rather than having decisions imposed on you.
  2. Achievement. As Roxie Malone said in Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment, “You can sit back and let life go by, or you can get on it!” Taking that next step is the first step toward getting things done and reaching your goals.
  3. Confidence. Small successes set the stage for larger ones. Take note of your accomplishments. Success creates momentum and builds on itself.
  4. Proactivity. Recognizing potential danger and then taking action to avert it nips problems in the bud. You may have been down a road before and have knowledge about a hazard no one else is aware of. Speak up so that others will have what they need to make informed decisions.
  5. Inspiration. You serve as a role model to others. Often, it just takes one person having the courage to take that step toward their goal, and others will do the same. Think of the possibilities if everyone was listening to their inner guides and marching toward their goals. Even if the steps are small, the potential for positive change is enormous.
  6. Self-Awareness. Taking initiative is taking a risk. But it’s the only way you’re going to learn about yourself and your personal power. New riders are often incredulous at the confidence and renewed personal strength they feel from learning a motorcycle. Once you start discovering your capabilities, you’ll want to keep going.
  7. Creativity. Initiative creates opportunities and allows you to fuel your passion. Being out on the road invariably leads to new experiences and insights. Although you share the Road with others, no one else walks your steps. It’s up to you to recognize your gifts and share them with others.
  8. Mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not stretching and growing. One of the reasons it’s wise for new riders to purchase a used motorcycle as their first is that they’re going to damage it, or they’re going to choose something they’re not happy with. Gather the best information available, make your decision, and learn from it, even when things don’t turn out as planned. Mistakes are one of life’s greatest teaching tools.
  9. Fear busting. The greatest role of fear is to alert you to potential danger. The greatest trap is that you allow fear to prevent you from moving forward. Most fears are irrational and crop up when you’re trying something new and your ego is threatened by change. Take note of any real danger, acknowledge the irrational fear that is trying to protect you, thank it, park it, and move on.
  10. Accomplishment. Things get done. Dream all you want about something, but until you put a plan into action to achieve it, it remains a dream.

Always keep your eyes focused on where you want to go. Then use your power to engage your initiative and take the next step. You’ll be amazed at the success you experience and the positive energy you generate.

Read more life tips in 75 Tips for Maintaining Body, Mind and Soul   Free Download for a limited time.

photo credit: Thomas Tolkien via photopin cc

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Posted in Life Lessons from Motorcycles, Maintenance (Body/Mind/Soul)

Grant Johnson | Preparing Your Motorcycle for Travel

 

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Grant Johnson and his wife Susan are veteran travelers. In early 1987, they sold everything, quit their jobs and headed for Panama on a motorcycle. They eventually rode RTW (around the world) north to south, two up on a 1986 BMW R80 G/S. They’ve seen over 50 countries in the years they’ve been travelling, but all that’s just whet their appetite for more.

At various times, Grant has earned his living as a motorcycle mechanic and dealer, manager of several sports equipment stores, and as a freelance photographer and writer. While living in Australia, he wrote and successfully marketed a software program for photographers. He worked as an independent computer consultant to small and medium sized businesses from Australia to Tanzania, as well as teaching high-end computer software (groupware) to large companies in South-East Asia. Since 1998, his full-time labour of love has been HorizonsUnlimited where they have been Inspiring, Informing & Connecting Overland Adventure Travellers since 1997.

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Subscribe and leave a review in iTunes for a chance to win a Horizon’s Unlimited Achievable Dream Collector’s DVD Box Set  

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 8.27.27 AMIn this episode you’ll learn how to:

  • Get your motorcycle ready for long distance travel
  • Assess your comfort level
  • Know which is the best kind of motorcycle to take
  • Prepare your motorcycle based on your needs
  • Decide which accessories to take
  • Respond when you run into problems
  • Find a mechanic

Don’t get overstressed about travel or what may come up. You’ll figure it out. You won’t have any problems that are insurmountable. People are people everywhere and want to live a good life. Be open to meeting people. To possibilities. That’s what it’s all about.

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“A 2-3 day trip requires the same preparation as a trip around the world.” Grant Johnson

“Don’t get overstressed about travel or what may happen. You’ll figure it out.” Grant Johnson

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16 Tips from a New Rider on Group Touring

by Liz Jansen

Sharon Hunt started riding in April 2013. This year, she booked a trip to Alaska with MotoQuest Tours —her first group tour. After listening to Kevin Hagerty’s interview on the Wheels to Wisdom podcast, Sharon offered to share her perspective as a new rider, to the same questions I asked Kevin because, “At 61, we don’t have a lifetime to learn all these things the hard way.”

Here in Sharon’s words, are her words of wisdom.

This was an adventure! I did things beyond my comfort level. It was an unknown risk. It included the unknown of the territory, the people I’d be traveling with, the bike I’d be using, and the culture. I knew I’d have to adapt to a 4-hour difference in time zones and 24-hour daylight.

tips from a new rider

  1. Use a checklist. You don’t know what you don’t know but you find out quickly when you’re on a group tour. In preparation for the tour, I took my the (Liz’s) online Get Started with Solo Motorcycle Travel course and found the checklist in it “golden.” I also appreciated the advice to get experience riding in the rain, riding on gravel, increasing the distances you’re comfortable riding in a day, and practice riding under different conditions.
  2. Sharpen your skills. One of the smartest things I did was take a Ride Like a Pro class before leaving. I learned a lot that can apply to my every day riding. I would have benefitted from a off-road training as well, although it’s not where I ride at home. I had no idea how a bike felt in gravel.
  3. Expect a bike that’s different than your own. (unless you’re a BMW rider). I ride a Harley-Davidson Switchback which is low and heavy. The BMW 700GS  felt more like a bicycle in terms of the handlebars and the ability to turn it. It was lighter and more agile, but also had a higher seat which took some getting used to.
  4. Arrive a day early and get orientated. I did this to help adjust to the time zone difference and the perpetual daylight. In retrospect, I wish I would have connected with MotoQuest the day before to see the bike, get oriented and maybe go for a little spin around the block.Sharon Hunt 2 sm
  5. Research your gear and test it before you leave. I had a new riding suit and new helmet, but didn’t know how to evaluate gear for the conditions I’d be in. One of our longest day was 270 miles in the driving rain and my “waterproof” boots leaked, so I had wet feet all day. We all got Schuberth helmets and I loved mine.
  6. Organize your packing. I was pleased with the clothing I brought, but wish I’d packed in smaller packs within my luggage. It would have been a lot simpler than rearranging a suitcase every night. Also take extra plastic bags in case something leaks.
  7. Prepare for changing road conditions. This was an all paved tour but when you hit a sign that says, “Construction and loose gravel for 18 miles” you’ve got to do it. In the rain this loose gravel was mud and potholes. But I did it and called it my biggest accomplishment.Sharon Hunt 5 sm
  8. Bring extra wipes—of all sorts. This is remote country. There are a lot of bugs, so I learned to clean my face shield whenever we stopped. I didn’t think about being out in the wilderness and at some of our stops the bathroom was a port-a-potty. Luckily I carried extra hand wipes with me, which everybody used, but at some of the places I wished I had a bit of extra toilet tissue.
  9. Choose electronics wisely. I took a go Pro camera which I was not familiar with—a mistake. I took my iPhone to receive e-mail but I wish I had taken my iPad or my laptop. Even so, because of the remoteness, reception isn’t a guarantee.
  10. Get a visor with a pin lock. I learned the value of having a pin lock when riding in the rain and humidity. As soon as I got home I put them on all my helmets.
  11. Make your own flight reservations, even though the tour comopany offers the service. You can save yourself some money and may connections that are more suitable for you.
  12. Travel with your gear. MotoQuest recommends you ship your gear out ahead of time to make sure it arrives, but that was costly. I would do whatever I could to get a direct flight and keep my gear with me.Sharon Hunt 3 sm
  13. Get experience in group riding. As a newbie I ride mostly solo or with two or three other people. I wasn’t used to group riding. Make sure you understand the rules the group is riding with before you start. You’ll find that the riding experience and life experience within the group can be diverse.
  14. Get to know others. I appreciated that MotoQuest set up a Facebook page for our group so you could get to know the women before you got there. For some of us who aren’t FB savvy, we had to get up to speed very quickly.
  15. Utilize the support vehicle. I loved the support vehicle. That’s the only thing that made me think twice about traveling solo. You didn’t have to worry about your accommodations, where you were going to eat, and everything was prearranged. And if you had a problem with your bike, they were able to help.
  16. Expect to adapt to group riding. I like to ride by myself and my comfort pace is different than the group. At home, I go on twisty back roads at 45-55 mph. Because Alaska is so wide open, the speed limit is 65-70 mph everywhere outside of urban areas. Traveling at that speed in the rain was beyond my comfort zone, but I did it.

Sharon Hunt 4 smI used to be a fair weather rider. If it wasn’t 50+ degrees or if there was a probability of rain, I just didn’t go out.

At the end of the tour I said if I had known what this tour was really like before signing up, I probably would not have gone. But having done it, I’m so proud of myself. It really stretched me, I learned a lot, and I just felt that I could fly after that. It really built my confidence level, not dangerously so, but in a good way and now I’m ready to go!

MotoQuest is putting together a southwest tour for us. We’re going again! And I’m anxious to take my bike down the east coast.

Liz’s Note: Sharon, you deserve a gold medal. You pushed your comfort zone and you kept on riding right through it. We are proud of you too! 

 

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10 Ways to Increase Your Horsepower

by Liz Jansen

increase your horsepowerExpert mechanics and technicians do it all the time—take a stock engine, analyze its workings, and make modifications to increase the power it produces. While it can get complicated, it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the concepts is the first step in learning to making small changes that can result in a big difference.

As always, there are parallels we can apply to our daily life. These surprisingly simple notions can greatly increase our power capacity.

  1. Change the computer chip. You can change a motorcycle’s programming by swapping in an aftermarket chip. It’s easy to recognize when the programming has been changed. The programming we receive in life is more difficult to recognize. The environment into which you’re born begins shaping you at conception and continues to imprint thoughts and behaviors on you during your malleable formative years. Your parents, culture, environment, and teachers all shape your perception of who you are. This doesn’t mean it’s real or true, yet we grow up believing it to be so. Take a hard look at the beliefs that have shaped you and question their validity. Undoubtedly there will be false ideas to replace with deeper truths.
  2. Lighten up. Lightweight parts help the engine perform better as it takes less energy to drive moving parts. Carrying excessive emotional and spiritual weight diverts energy and reduces your available power.
  3. Allow more air in. Increasing airflow can overcome air resistance, which robs power from the engine. While defense mechanisms protect you from perceived harm or hurt in life, they also keep you from being receptive to other ways of thinking—ways that might just open up a whole new world of possibility for you. Allow yourself to explore new concepts and ways of operating.
  4. Allow exhaust to exit more easily. If exhaust can’t get out of a cylinder because the exhaust pipe is too small or the muffler has too much resistance, it robs the engine of power. Keeping things bottled up inside has the same effect on your spirit and, potentially, your health. Allow who you are to shine. Express yourself freely, openly, and proudly.
  5. Use high-quality nutrients. Quality lubricants can extend engine life, increase horsepower, and reduce heat buildup. The same applies to your body. Processed, refined foods, which are high in sugars and fats, are barely recognizable to your body and are hard for it to process. Over time, they contribute to disease, but they also reduce power even in the short-term. Wise, healthy choices fuel your body efficiently and effectively.
  6. Buy quality parts. Installing quality replacements on your motorcycle, such as a high-end air filter, pays off in reduced maintenance costs and increased power. Hopefully you’re not replacing parts on your body. Rather, treat it with respect by making wise choices on how you care for yourself and it will last you a lifetime. Replace low-quality ways of living with routines and environments that will reduce the wear on your body and spirit.
  7. Do one thing at a time. When you’re making changes, it’s important to know what’s working, how it’s interacting with what’s already there, and what still needs tweaking. Making one change at a time helps clarify what to continue doing and what to do differently.
  8. Share knowledge. Leverage resources. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Although there are times you feel alone on your journey, rest assured that there are others whose experiences you can benefit from, and vice-versa.
  9. Be vigilant. An engine that’s decompensating will give you signs that something’s wrong via changes in sound or performance. Likewise, your body sends physical and intuitive messages when something’s not right. Become attuned to what it’s telling you and take corrective action to restore full power.
  10. Make it YOU. It’s possible to make so many alterations on a bike that the original is barely recognizable. Whatever changes you make to your life, never lose sight of who you are. Modifications can enhance, bring out your strengths, and increase your expression of power, but keep them authentic. You have a unique gift to share with the world.

The stock engine you come with has more horsepower than you’ll likely use. However, it’s fun to experiment and discover new ways of expressing and enhancing that power. After all, life’s Road is full of twists and turns. When you don’t know what’s around the next corner, it’s nice to know you’ve got the power to deal with it, whatever it is.

 

Read more life tips in 75 Tips for Maintaining Body, Mind and Soul   Free Download for a limited time.

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The Gift of Grace

by Liz Jansen

gift of graceEarlier this week, I spent much of an afternoon hiking around Peace Valley Ranch with co-owner Natalie Kotyck. Located in an idyllic setting flanked by the Niagara Escarpment, its 1,200 acres of pastures and woodlands undulate down and eastward. The same landscape which offers protection from the ever present westerly wind, provides spectacular vistas for anyone fortunate enough to be there.

It was a picture perfect sunny day, framed by brown fertile earth, lush greenery, blue skies and white clouds. I’d planned to spend only a short time at the ranch to research an motorcycle tourism article, but when Natalie asked if I’d like to accompany her and Molly (the dog) to one of the distant fields to walk back with a horse needed for work the next day, I gladly agreed. “But I’ll have to be fast,” I was quick to add. My afternoon was all planned out.

Before the words were even out of my mouth, I realized my folly. Natalie caught it too and spoke it out loud. Here I was being offered a gift and I was rushing through it. I took a few deep cleansing breaths of that fresh country air to reset my frame of mind, and continued down the path with her.

Trying to cram too much into too little time is a pattern that’s all too familiar to me and one I’m working hard to correct. It’s a lifetime of behavior though, so it’s easy to fall back into that pattern without even noticing it, until someone like Natalie acts as a mirror and reflects back what I already know.

Changing the environment , even if it’s a radical change, doesn’t correct the underlying behavior. You’ve got to go deeper than that to identify why it’s happening in the first place. That came home to me during last year’s 6-week road trip. Granted, it was an exercise in living and working while traveling, so I’ve cut myself some slack to allow for the learning curve. Still, I didn’t have the down time I’d envisioned.

After a 15-minute hike and a wonderful conversation, we arrived at the pasture where more than 20 horses grazed, frolicked, rolled on their back, and generally lived in the moment. A few sauntered over to say hello and check me out while I waited for Natalie to get the one we’d come for, but generally they were indifferent to my presence.

Still musing over the lesson I’d been reminded of earlier, I basked in the beauty of the moment and the energy of the extraordinary place I found myself in. It only took Natalie a minute to place the purple rope loosely around the horse’s neck and lead her reluctantly away from the others. And that horse who was the reason for us being out there, her name was Grace. Of course. The gift of Grace.

Natalie, Molly, Grace and I casually retraced our steps back to the corral adjacent to the homestead. Without knowing it, Grace had done her work for the day and I was the wiser for it. Thank you Grace.

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Tammy Perry | Life in Guatemala

by Liz Jansen

When we last spoke with Tammy in January 2014, she was leaving her job in Newfoundland, her house was sold and she had a contract for work in Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan. We’re checking in with her, six months later.  Scroll to the bottom to watch her interview. There’s also a link for her first one.

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Listen here: 

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Last minute surprises

  • Two days before leaving, the house sale fell through. She’d already booked her flight so she went anyways.
  • Upon arrival, the contract that she’d been there to do, got postponed. They kept putting it off, and it never did come around. So she has been scrambling trying to find other work.

Looking back at the early days

In spite of everything, she’s really glad to be there and can’t imagine living full time back in Canada. It’s like she was meant to live there.

Her biggest challenge upon arrival was dealing with the bugs. She’d never been around bugs and a week into the trip, there was a scorpion in the bathroom, so she had to learn to deal with it. Otherwise, things have been really easy.

The most pleasant surprise was that there wasn’t that much rain in the rainy season, but it’s all relative, because she’s come from Newfoundland, where it rains a lot.

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Life in Guatemala

Four days into her trip she met someone who she’s been dating ever since. She’s been doing a lot of hiking and kayaking, has explored local Mayan ruins and been to Tikal.

She’s living in a town called Jaibalito which is the poorest village in Guatemala, based on people’s income.

She has mountains behind her house and a volcano and lake in front. She’s surrounded by banana trees, macadamia trees and jungle. The house is a frame structure over an adobe 1st floor. You can see through the cracks in the house, there’s no hot running water in the sink, you need to boil water, even though it’s from the springs in the mountains. The shower has an electric heater around the showerhead, (they call it a suicide shower) but they have hot water for their shower.

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What she loves about life in Guatemala

You’re living so close to the earth and nature. Everything is so simple. The food she eats is grown locally. Everyone is very happy in a very simple life. And the weather is perfect because they’re up in the highlands.

What’s next for Tammy

She has a few irons in the fire as far as work goes. Once she has a more steady income, she plans to housesit all over the country. Once her house sells, she’ll get a little 200cc motorcycle to explore Guatemala—and then she’ll head into South America.

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Summary

All the things that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Money doesn’t buy you happiness. Happiness comes from in you. Her sense of freedom makes her happy and she feels very free here. Her living costs are less than $300/month and she’s “happy as a clam.” Travel and accommodation are inexpensive so you can go very far with a limited amount of money in that country.

She also has a number of good friends there. No one here will never let you go hungry or without a place to sleep. Everyone volunteers within the community and helps those in need.

Tammy loves her new world and wouldn’t have it any other way.


Note: Ten minutes after Tammy and I finished this interview, she received notice that she’d been accepted for a 2-month work contract!

Here’s her first interview: Raising the Ceiling.

 

 

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Posted in Adventure, Personal Growth

Alisa Clickenger | Emotional Preparation for Solo Travel

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Alisa Clickenger turned 40 in 2006, and wanted to be not who she was. Looking for answers, she walked the 750-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain. She’d tried to negotiate 5 weeks off work but ended up not returning to her former career.

Alisa thought transformation was to do this one thing and then go back to her life, back to her job, but that’s not the way it worked out. Looking back, she sees it as a good thing, even though it cast her into a lot of years of searching, trying to figure out who she was without all those exterior definitions. That search has taken her all over the world, taking her inward through outward journeys.

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Subscribe and leave a review in iTunes for a chance to win a Butler Maps’ Rocky Mountain Collection.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • The first steps of adventure travel
  • Perks of solo travel as a woman
  • How to deal with loneliness on the road
  • How to deal with illness
  • How to get started living your dream – whatever it is

When you’re ready to try something new and daunting, take good stock of your support group. Share your idea, your dream, with “yes” people—people who are going to encourage you and not give you all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it.

The first time you do something, (like a motorcycle trip) it’s always the hardest. And then it becomes like a muscle that you flex. The more you flex your adventure muscle, the more you gain confidence in knowing you can handle what comes up.

People everywhere are kind, compassionate and generous. Get out there and experience them.

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“It’s magic on the road, but it’s also magic in the every day.” Alisa Clickenger

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10 Signs You’re Malnourished

by Liz Jansen

malnourishedA malnourished body is no different than a malnourished motorcycle. In either case, you’ll eventually be marooned.

Riders get to know their bikes’ nuances and can detect subtle signs that something is wrong. It may be that the engine sounds different, it handles differently, or it starts consuming oil or excessive fuel. All are indications that it’s time to take a closer look at what’s happening. Most problems can be avoided by keeping your motorcycle nurtured.

Nurturing body, mind, and spirit does the same for your being. Nonetheless, it’s easy to get caught up in life and give yourself short shrift. Watch for the warning signs. They’ll be there.

  1. Engine sputter. It’s time to diagnose what’s wrong. On your bike, it could be caused by problems relating to fuel, ignition, or vacuum hoses. Personally, if you’re having trouble maintaining energy levels, take the time to find out why. In either case, leaving it uncorrected will make the problems worse and could start to damage other systems.
  2. Empty gas tank. Use up the gas and any reserve in the tank and you’ll be stranded somewhere, calling for roadside assistance. You, too, have limits on how far you can push yourself before refueling. Push it too far and you’ll be stranded with burnout.
  3. Low oil. Engine oil lubricates, cleans, protects, seals, and cools the engine. It is so critical to the function of the engine that even low levels can cause damage. Let it get low enough and your engine will seize. A nutritious diet feeds your body, helps keep you healthy, and shows respect for who you are.
  4. Low air. An engine that runs rich fouls spark plugs and causes bad fuel economy. Not only is it critical to have a healthy diet, you need to have the right balance of nutrients.
  5. Rust. Let your motorcycle sit idle for long enough and you’ll see rust. The same thing happens when you let your skills and talents sit idle. They need to be used. You’ll feel much better—and more alive—for doing so.
  6. Hard rubber. Rubber on tires and hoses hardens and degrades over time. How it’s used and cared for will affect its longevity. While you can’t do anything about aging, a healthy intake of positive thoughts, good foods, and good friends works miracles.
  7. Overheating. Your engine overheats when there’s not enough cool air circulating around it, or if it’s low on coolant. Allowing this to happen can cause potentially irreversible damage. Ignoring your need for nourishment and rest will do the same to you.
  8. Dead battery. When electrolyte levels are too low, the battery plates dry out and the battery loses its capacity. A hydrated, nourished body can create electrolytes needed for myriad functions. Electrolyte imbalances in the body or a battery can both cause and indicate disorders.
  9. No spark. Spark plugs conduct electricity and provide electrodes for the current to jump across, creating a spark, which ignites the fuel/air mixture. If the spark plugs don’t get enough voltage, the spark will be weak or non-existent. This leads to poor fuel economy and reduced performance, and can lead to engine damage. Be receptive and listen to your intuition. You can’t continue to serve and give energy if you’re not receiving it.
  10. No power. If you’re not replenishing nutrients and addressing care requirements, your motorcycle and your body are going to lose power. How can they generate power if they’re not being nourished? Both are intricate machines that require regular attention. Treat them well, and they’ll reward you with many years of enjoyment.

Love yourself! Show it by eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water. Nourish your mind with positive thoughts and actions. Feed your spirit by following your inner guide and creating quiet time so you can hear the message—and receive the gifts.

Read more life tips in 75 Tips for Thriving Through Holistic Nutrition   Free Download for a limited time.

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

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Setting Free the Past to Open the Future

by Liz Jansen

setting freeI met Abigail twenty-two years ago at an SPCA foster home in rural Ontario. My husband and I were looking for our little Mickey who had disappeared and there she was, a little tortoiseshell kitten sharing a bathroom home with a big orange tabby named Roger. Needless to say, she came home with us and became “my” cat. As was to be his style, Mickey turned up at the door a few weeks later.

When we separated, Abigail choose to stay with her three feline brothers in the home she was accustomed to, but she was never out of my heart. It was only after she left this planet four years ago that she came back to my place, albeit in a little cedar box. Last week I set her free, amongst the trilliums in the nearby forest where I often hike.

The spot is near the end of a 5 km loop so I was able to carry her for a while and introduce her to the woods. Maybe it was my imagination, but there was extra energy, chatter and birdsong that day. It was like new furred and feathered friends were greeting her as she walked by, welcoming her to this special place. Even a toad waited by the side of the path for us to pass.

The trilliums, which form a blazing white carpet every spring, are faded and droopy now, already preparing for winter hibernation. The hardwood canopy is thick, but sunlight does get through, enough to form patches where she can sleep. Fallen trees offer a place to sit and contemplate. To get grounded.

As the departure date for my trip rapidly approaches, there are more endings than I imagined. There’s nothing like an epic event, even though it’s voluntary, to force you to sit back, take stock of what’s important, and make sure your affairs are in order. Thus in the last few weeks, I’ve redone my will, purchased long term out of country health care insurance, purchased emergency evacuation insurance, arranged to have my phone and internet service disconnected, sold my car, and single-handedly restocked the local Paws and Claws Thrift shop.

With such a focus on symbolic and literal endings, it’s easy to become preoccupied with them and get overtaken by a sense of loss. On the other hand, it’s tremendously liberating. There’s no attachment to things to weigh me down and hold me back from walking through doors that open when there’s nothing in their way.

My friend Allan Karl, world traveler and author of FORKS: A Quest for Culture, Cuisine and Connection, likes to point out that at every fork in the road is a new beginning. And without endings, there can be no beginnings.

Perhaps most telling in this natural cycle, is my purchase of a GPS. Loving maps, I’ve always resisted purchasing one, not wanting to dull my intuitive tracking skills. I’ve come to the understanding though, that the additional expertise will expand my scope in uncharted territory. Even as I embrace the magic of the present, the stage is set for new possibilities, new opportunities and a new stretch of road. There will undoubtedly be challenges requiring courage, creativity and ingenuity to manage, and help to stay out of my own way. I’ll need a GPS.

The truth is, we’re always free to fly. It’s up to us to decide if we get weighed down by the past, or learn its lessons to embrace our future.

 

 

 

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Posted in Adventure, Expedition, Personal Growth, Preparation

Kevin Hagerty | Adventure Travel Motorcycle Skills

motorcycle skills

Kevin Hagerty is a lifelong motorcyclist and a professional guide for MotoQuest Tours in Peru & Alaska. He promotes MotoQuest from his home base in California, and works in Alaska during the summers.

Kevin has has worked in the motorcycle industry as a manufacturer test rider. He has competed in numerous National and international events over the course of 17 years of competitive off road racing.

He shares his quest for adventure with his wife Keleigh, two-up they have journeyed to Alaska, Japan, Peru, Chile, Laos, Ireland, South Africa and all over the Continental United States. For the past five years, been traveling the globe as a MotoQuest guide.

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Kevin will share his insights and tips on:

  1. What defines adventure travel.
  2. How to prepare for and get started with successful adventure travel.
  3. Tips for adventure travel within and outside of North America
  4. Common errors that new and experienced riders make and how to avoid them
  5. Skills beyond technical skills that will make your trip a success
  6. Benefits of starting with guided group travel.
  7. Pros and cons of solo vs. group travel

The best thing you can do to prepare for adventure travel is take an Off-road training program. It prepares you for the unexpected on the road, no matter where you’re going to be. Nothing happens on a road bike that won’t equate to a road bike. You learn what you’re capable of and what your bike is capable of.

Be much more aware the last 50 miles of the day. This is when the most rider errors happen. Know the triggers that tell you it’s time to get off the road.

The technical skill set is no different at all no matter where you travel. But awareness and survival skills need to be heightened, more so in Central America than in South America. Having said that, people are people all over the world. Even in areas that most people would deem dangerous or compromising, Kevin’s experience is that it isn’t that. Locals are usually very curious and want to talk to you.

Get out there and see the world. It’s not as big, bad and intimidating as politicians and the media would have you believe. You can’t come back from the experience and think about how terrible your circumstances are. You can’t come back unchanged.

Tweetables (Click to Tweet)

“Get out and see the world. It’s not as big and bad as you’ve been led to believe,”  Kevin Hagerty

“If you’re competent riding in your home environment, you’ll be competent in another place.” Kevin Hagerty

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Posted in Motorcycle Tips, Podcasts
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