It has been a year since we applied for a visa to the USA, in January 2016. When filling up the form, apart from ensuring the US authorities that we were not going to their country with an intention to build bombs or trade with drugs and people, important was the fact that we did not have any relatives there. Actually, we did know anyone from across the Atlantic, so the negative response given in Embassy in Warsaw was one hundred percent true. Today, after over five months of motorcycle drifting across the United States, we feel as if none of the states we drove through remains entirely foreign to us. In each, there is a house that will keep the doors open for us and its inhabitants are close to us like family or longtime friends.
“TranscontiMental Motorcycle Journey through America” – that is the title we gave to our expedition, hoping that, apart from the famous natural wonders from across the Atlantic, our paths would cross with interesting people, willing to share their culture and stories. And what we have experienced so far has surpassed our boldest dreams! We were fortunate to meet very hearty people and made friendships that will be lasting many years for sure. The “Travel Book” we have brought with us is enriched with entries of amazing people almost every day. Many of them invite us, host, want to support and become a part of this big adventure. And such kind gestures move us more that beautiful views!
Our neighbors at campgrounds share coffee, tea, spaghetti or marshmallows. Some people take us home straight from the road, offering a hot meal, shower and comfortable bed or treat us to a dinner in a restaurant or even a hotel room. It also happens sometimes that Americans put dollars into our pockets for goodbye. They want to support us in fulfilling our dreams and meeting the challenge we have undertaken. Or they buy us a cold beverage at the gas station because, as they explain, they like our motorbike. With some people we become so good friends that they join us for a part of the journey or host us longer, treating like a part of family and help with every issue. It is also an opportunity for us to tell more about our country of Poland, history, show the photos and postcards, cook our traditional meals for them. We also use this time to catch up with blogging, fix and cure whatever we need. This is a tremendous support us, because after a number of nights in a tent (we never take rooms), often without an access to hot water and after another portion of canned food, these temporary returns to the, so called, comfort zone let us recharge our batteries again.
The BMW F650 GS Dakar, which we diligently prepared for the journey, has not disappointed us, no major issues so far. Enjoying off-road of Utah we got the flat tire though. And this is when the local motorcycle community all came together to help us. They called one to another to eventually bring a biker, who lived near by. He came with his pick-up and he gave us a lift to the skilled motorcycle mechanic Fred from “Arrowhead” in Moab, 1,5 hour away. To our surprise, after getting paid, Fred pulled out the same dollars, we had just handed and said: “So, I’ve got some cash now to treat you to a dinner!”.
When in turn, with our laid-back pace we reached almost 20 000 km, it was time to change a few parts in our motorbike: tires, chain, sprockets and brake pads. It’s quite an expense with our modest budget. What a pleasant surprise we had when fellow riders that we had met on the road have banded together and we got text messages such as “Your tire is on the way, Merry Christmas!” and so on with every part! And then, another biker saw on the interactive IKOL map that we were close, so he contacted us and offered to help with installation of the new motorcycle parts. His wonderful Wife welcomed us with a delicious dinner and juice from freshly squeezed oranges from their garden. The knowledge and practice with changing a tire that we gained, came in handy very soon, during our a few day excursion to Mexico. It is when Joki set his shoulder to the wheel to help another biker, who got a flat tire, somewhere in the middle of nowhere of course. By joining their forces they managed to change the tire and inner tube. Joki has become a pro in this field, I was proud! ;) At present we are in Santa Cruz, preparing for the next part of the journey. We live at fellow biker’s place. Ives is French, but has been living in California for many years. We met him in Death Valley and he invited us to stay with him as long as we need. He is an extremely open and hearty person.
And these are just some of the nice situations we have experienced! Moreover, what is unusual, our paths keep crossing again and again with people we had met even in totally different area of this huge country! Do you know this feeling, when things seem just meant to be?
I believe that our perception in travel becomes stronger, more sensitive, we are more open to everything that surrounds us. There are no more strangers on the bus or in the park, because we are newcomers to the new place and go through each door with a big smile on our faces. It is the universal way to kindly say “Hello, I am glad to visit your country!”. Perhaps this makes other smiles return and those people, who can read our positive attitude come over and are also pleased to have guests. Besides, the dual-sport motorbike, so overloaded, with some weird registration plate and two people on it, some younkers in addition(!): this departs from the standards. Many people want to have a closer look, comment or shake hands.
And we are so pleased to usually meet their approbation and comments like: “You two know how to live!”, “If I could go back to your age, I would have done the same”, “Enjoy the adventure to the fullest, what you experience no one can take away from you!”, “Congratulations, be safe, I will keep my fingers crossed and here is my number in case you need anything”.
Fellow riders along the road
We have to admit that the common passions unite people significantly. In our case, the great majority of people, who hosted were motorcyclists. We could even say that we have followed a trail of fellow bikers. In big extend, we own it to the map from Advrider.com forum, filled with marks of bikers, who offer a tent space or room for “brothers on the road”, usually along with a safe garage, an access to tools.
It was very helpful for us and created opportunities to make many new friends. This way you can count on support of motorcycle family all around the world!
We encourage you to join the initiative and show support to other bikers also in Europe. After what we have experienced, we know it will be one of the first things we want to do once we park somewhere for longer ;)
We thank all our new Friends and we are happy that they are a part of our life adventure and dreams coming true! We hope to see them again on the road, maybe in the USA, Latin or South America or in Poland, in a few years, just like many of them promise!