Planning Adventure Travel – 12 Weeks Pre Departure

by Liz Jansen

As incredulous as it seems, I’ll soon be underway on an amazing road trip. It’s been maybe 16 weeks since the seed was planted, and now only 12 weeks until departure. I know people plan these trips for years, but it’s all come together fairly easily.

Photo Credits: Presidio Studio
Photo Credits: Presidio Studio

Here’s an up to date progress report.

  1. Health. I’m up to date on my immunization, with a few requirements yet to confirm. I’ve arranged travel insurance, no mean feat to sort out, but I have received excellent experience with MediQuote Brokers (for Canadians). There are so many variables to consider when selecting the right plan so this takes a great deal of research.
  2. Visiting friends. There are local and eastern seaboard friends that I won’t see for quite a while and I’ll miss them. It’s important to see them before I leave.
  3. Riding skills. My plan is to stick to main roads, but the reality is, I need to be prepared for anything. After my little slide last summer, I need to enhance my gravel cornering skills and have booked a course later this month with the best – Clinton Smout.
  4. Organizing work. This expedition is not a vacation or time off. I expect to be able to continue my work, almost as I’ve been doing. The only thing is I’ll be traveling down the road while doing it. As much as I want to avoid overplanning, some discipline will be required to get work done, but a lot can be accomplished with a little planning.
  5. Route. The overarching purpose of this trip is to visit Native North, Central and South Americanwisdomkeepers and sacred sites, exploring the theme of who we are before we’re told who we are. As the subject of my next book, I’m honored to explore this earth-based indigenous wisdom that is tens of thousands of years old. While my exact itinerary will flex, I have some data points to work with:soon
    1. Calgary AB area – Mennonites and Blackfoot Indians
    2. HUBB Nakusp – Aug. 21-24 – Speaking
    3. Tribal elders in WA
    4. HUBB Yosemite – Sept 18 – 21 – Speaking
    5. Joshua Tree Retreat Center, CA. – October 25-31
    6. Peru – Sacred Valley
    7. Chile
  6. Language. Spanish lessons started in early February, and although I started with great gusto, I let up quite a bit in March while preparing for Power of the Road. I’m back at it though, and thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve recently learned of DuoLingo, a free app which is fantastic, possibly even better than the program I paid a lot of money for. If you’re thinking of learning a new language, check it out.
  7. Bike accessories. Traveling in faraway lands where availability of service and parts is unknown, it’s prudent to be more cautious. I’ve ordered engine guards and a skid plate for added protection and will install as soon as they arrive..
  8. Will. Its occasions like these that prompt you to address these kind of things. I’ve always had one, but it became invalid with my divorce and I’ve never revisited it.
  9. House. I’ve given notice to my landlords that I’ll be gone as of August 1st. This was one of the hardest concepts initially, but I’m OK with it now. I have no idea how long I’ll be gone or where I’ll return to, and it feels fantastic! They’ll use this as a guesthouse and I’ll supply the furniture while I’m away, pick it up when I return and it’s a win for everyone.
  10. Car. I’ve begun the process to sell it. I want to have that well out of the way before I leave.

There are still details to address, like camping gear, riding gear, and what to take, but it’s a good start. I’m extremely grateful that I’m able to take this trip. While it’s all part of my life’s journey, it’s a pretty darn exciting road ahead. Gifts are given to us to be shared. I look forward to sharing this with you.

PS: Let me know what you’d add.


Author, writer, and student Liz Jansen combines her artistic mediums to create stories that inspire readers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery.

14 Comments on “Planning Adventure Travel – 12 Weeks Pre Departure

  1. Hi Liz,

    That’s an impressive preliminary report, and even more impressive undertaking on your part. I wish you well. I will be thinking of you.

    • Thanks Bill. I thought so too when I looked at it 🙂 but when you make a list and get at it, it’s never as daunting as it initially seems. It’s easy to spin our gears, but put things in motion and it clears up. Much appreciate the well-wishes. You’ll get regular updates.


  2. Looking forward to your updates. What an adventure. I have a good friend who traveled through Panama and into South America a while ago. But he did it with four others, all riding dual sports. His was a KLR650 which he said was bullet proof. He was in his early 70’s BTW. I guess age is a variable depending on the person. Have a great time and I bet you will make many friends along the way.

    • I love hearing stories like that David. The KLR is a popular choice for that travel. You are absolutely right re the variable age – I’m looking forward to many more years of adventures! Thank you for your well wishes. I know I will make friends, but dealing with loneliness is one of my fears. More on those in another post.


  3. Wow Liz, what an adventure! I look forward to seeing you while you are in California. I see you will be speaking at the HUBB event in Mariposa, the entrance of one of California’s jeweled crown parks which will also be celebrating 150 years of California State Parks. A must see on a motorcycle.

    • Hi Debi – I’m looking forward to meeting you in person! I’ve been to Yosemite before and can’t wait to go back – for all the reasons you mention. I didn’t realize it was the 150th anniversary. The HUBB event is going to be super!

      See you soon.


  4. Don’t forget to bring a good tire patch kit and brush up on patching skills. Some people have no flats their entire trip; we have had six (works out to one per month). We also brought a pump that plugs into the bike to save from manual pumping. Priceless.

    • Thanks for the reminder Jennifer. I now have a small portable compressor I carry with me. Last year I got back from my 6-weeks on the road and remembered I’d forgotten to pack the patch kit. 🙂 Fortunately I didn’t need it.

      Safe travels.


  5. Not sure how far off the beaten track your journey will take you Liz, but if there is a possibility of being extremely remote (even on main roads linking Central & South America), maybe consider renting a Satellite phone prior to leaving the Continental U. S. At a minimum, file a “bike plan” :). During my a aviating days in the hinterland of the BC Rockies, I always filed a flight plan when I flew into remote areas. Someone always new where I was especially when I was out of contact with air traffic control for extended periods.

    One other thing to consider; let the Canadian Consulate/Embassy of the respective South American countries know when you will be passing through. That way if there are any unforeseen natural disasters or socio-economic uprisings, they will already have you covered for rapid evacuation.

    But given your usual thoroughness, you probably know all this 😉 Have a blast and take tons of photos. Will miss you.

    • Thanks so much Stafford for your caring. All great points. I think “remote” becomes a relative term depending on where you are. Appreciate the advice. I’ll miss you too – but I’m never really far away. 🙂


    • Now wouldn’t that be fantastic!! At least for me. 🙂 Thanks Walt. Will do.


  6. You are such a ‘together’ Woman Liz, you have it all under control. I send XOX

    • Not sure about having it all under control but I accept your XOX and return the same Mary!