You’re sitting at your desk job, guzzling lukewarm cup after cup of coffee, and wondering why you put up with this day in and day out. Then, you look out the window at your beautiful motorcycle, and it all comes rushing back. You bought it from a friend in the hopes you could fulfill your dreams of traveling the world, and in a way that paid homage to its beauty. Why haven’t you done it yet? There is nothing comparable to traveling across wide stretches of open sky, wind whipping at your face and no threat of an impending deadline clouding your mind. Romance, culture and nature are waiting right outside your doorstep. So ready your motorcycle parts: these free-spirited, eco-conscious travelers are just the inspiration you need to start your own adventure.
An Epic Motorcycle Journey, circa 1971
Three guys, a few two-stroke motorcycles and a small crew made their way from Denver to Panama filming their journey, titled “Cycles South.” Traveling on highways and paved roads is easy enough, but these adventure-loving men took the scenic route instead, choosing to blaze through uncharted territory, up rivers, down mountains and across railroad tracks, without concern for the unknown, proving that traveling is possible with even the simplest of equipment.
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Climbing to Success: Yvon Chouinard
Still have your doubts about the details of ecologically friendly traveling and adventure? Meet Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins and Jeff Johnson. They have made a name for themselves in the climbing world, and are all stars when it comes to preserving and protecting the environment. They recently mirrored their life-altering trip across the Pan American Highway in the film “180° South.”
Chouinard is a world-renowned climber and businessman, refusing to give in to capitalist business practices, despite the consumer culture he operates within. Chouinard got his start climbing at a very young age, and as he grew stronger as a climber, recognized the growing needs of the climbing community. With this understanding, he began to create equipment that would propel him to the forefront of the climbing scene. Soon, his business of selling iron pitons flourished, but at the cost of the mountains themselves. In an unheard of move, Chouinard took his pitons off the market, opting instead for more ecologically-friendly aluminum chocks. Chouinard, Tompkins and Johnson’s thirst for adventure is what allowed them to know what modern climbers need, and their innovative ideas allow for earth to be preserved in the process.
Foster Huntington: Traveling Lightly
Is it truly possible to exchange your dependable nine-to-five lifestyle for the perils and uncertainty of travel? Foster Huntington proves it can be done, and done well. On his blog, A Restless Transplant, Foster Huntington describes his passion for traveling: “I’ve met a community of people on the road that take more pride in what they do than what they own.” Huntington left his job in August, 2011, to surf and travel the West Coast. Lured by his desire to escape the clutter of his New York City apartment, he offers suggestions for minimizing provisions.
What items does he believe are necessary for a fellow traveler? An iPhone 5, keeping him connected wherever he goes; a goose down sleeping bag, offering comfort through varying temperatures; a solid pocketknife, handy in all types of situations; Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap (he swears by this, stating you could brush your teeth with it if you were so inclined); rubber boots to protect from wetness; a down jacket; and a backpacking stove.
Clean, green living paired with a lust for the open road can make for an unbeatable combination. Your passion for the earth can be used to begin the journey of a lifetime, so dust off your motorcycle, pack your bags and experience the world we live in.