by Liz Jansen
Exactly one more month to go, until I pull out of my driveway, intending not to return for an indefinite period of time. I’ll be traveling to places unknown, both literally and metaphorically. While there are always last minute preparations, most of the essentials are looked after. July is focused on embracing and surrendering to the chaos, knowing it’s all in order. Foremost on this list is spending time with friends and family I won’t see for a while.
- Bike. Keeping in mind it has 70,000 km on it, most of this was routine maintenance. I’ve just made sure all the service is up to date, even if it wasn’t quitedue. Here’s what’s been done to prepare it:
- Installed new tires.
- Replaced spark plugs.
- Cleaned and oiled air filter.
- Checked valve clearances; replaced four exhaust shims and valve cover gasket.
- Replaced wheel bearings – front and rear.
- Replaced brake fluid.
- Bike. There are still a few itemsto be done before I leave.
- Oil change – which will be a last minute thing.
- Install AltRider engine guards and skid plate.
- Fix pannier mount with too much play in it.
- Decide which tools get the honor of traveling in my custom tool tube!
- Will and Power of Attorney documents are finalized. They should have been done ten years ago but there’s nothing like an adventure into the unknown to motivate action.
- Out of Country health care insurance. Finalized and in place. As simple as this sounds, there’s great deal of research required to get the right coverage for adventure motorcycle travel in third world countries for an indefinite period of time.
- Emergency Evacuation coverage. Still to be done. There’s partial coverage in above insurance but I want to bolster it. My plan is to have no use for any of these coverages.
- Checkups done with Family Doc and dentist. Next week I have an appointment with the travel clinic to make sure my inoculations are up to date.
- Hair cut. I’ve been going to the same stylist for over 25 years and I’ll miss him. Not so much because I like what he does with my hair, but because he’s such an amazing person in so many ways.
- Motorcycle gear. I’m pretty well set with an excellent all season suit that I can layer, or not, depending on conditions. I’ve sought out quality garments that are functional, lightweight and versatile so I can get the most value from the fewest pieces..
- Clothing. This list has to be short and I have more than I need already. You’d think that would make it easy but on the contrary, you have to pick the right things.
- Camping. Another short list of versatile pieces. I’ve got a great tent, cot, sleeping bag, small stove, 2 pots, dishes, chair and a few protein bars to get me started.
- Pack. I have more than enough luggage, but still need to do a trial fit to figure out how best to balance the load—and make sure everything fits.
The last thing to get ready is me. I recently interviewed Alisa Clickenger for my soon-to-launch Wheels to Wisdom website and she passed along wisdom that she’d been given before setting out on her adventure. We can make all kinds of lists to be done before we leave, but at some point, you’ve just go to go. Her list kept getting longer and longer. That’s why setting a date is important and why I committed to leaving on August 4th. That’s the date I’m pulling out of my driveway to places unknown. What a gift! Thank you.