3 Ways A Road Trip Can Inspire You To Outgrow Yourself

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Think of those defining moments that you attribute to having change your life for the better. They may include moving away from home, getting married or having children. For many of us, these moments aren’t always well-defined and often occur when we least expect them, usually as a result of us stepping out of our normal routine and seeing the world in a different light or from an unusual aspect.

Have you ever thought about how you can actually plan these types of life-changing situations? Undertaking a road trip can open up a whole new world in a literal and figurative eye-opening way.

There’s arguably no better way to take to the road than by motorbike, and if you think that’s just a guy thing, I must mention the huge inspiration I have received from meeting women bikers hitting the road in recent years. There’s a new wave of women adventurers who aren’t afraid to take to the bumpy roads and are sometimes the most confident, courageous and curious vagabonds I’ve ever met! (Ed: Zafigo’s inspirations are biker and travel show host, Jamie Dempsey and India’s all-women biker group, The Bikerni).

Jumping on a motorbike is an incredible way to get in touch with your surroundings in a way that’s otherwise impossible by car. These are some of the things I’ve learned from being on the road.

Inhale, exhale

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It may seem simple, but taking a few deep breaths can really put your world in perspective. Of course, there are biological reasons for this, but physiologically speaking, it slows down your thinking so you can take stock of what’s going on in your mind.

Taking a road trip helps with that in a number of ways. Firstly, it takes you out of your everyday routine. Although they are useful in helping you be productive from day-to-day, they also tend to put you on autopilot, which means you’re not really considering the various situations you find yourself in.

As a mechanic, I find myself tackling the same issues every day and they become increasingly less challenging, so breaking the norm can be really liberating. Secondly, taking a road trip gives you the physical space you need to take those all-important breaths. Driving out into the beautiful countryside gets you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the people you interact with, the traffic and stresses of work. Even your driving style changes – more relaxed and considerate towards the others. For me, taking to the road is the ideal combination of leveraging the profession I love and my passion for adventure.

Get uncomfortable

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Most of us interact with the same people every day. And it’s likely that most of these people are very similar to us in terms of their situations and background. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and starting conversations with new people can give you a completely new perspective on life. Hearing others’ stories, opinions and insights is one of the most interesting aspects of taking a road trip; it can really open your eyes to the diversity of the world.

I will never forget how impressed I was in Nepal, where I met Susan, a solo traveller who was taking time away from her family. It was one of my first road trips on a motorbike, and I admired Susan for how comfortable she was on her motorcycle on Asian mountain roads.

One of the most interesting people I ever met was Charlie, a World War II pilot I got chatting to in a pub. His stories were like something straight out of a Hollywood movie and the hardships he had encountered really put the stresses of my life into perspective. Whenever a difficult client is getting me down or things aren’t going my way, I often remember Charlie’s words and it renews my determination.

Learn new skills

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I’ll be the first to admit that as a car mechanic, my knowledge on motorbikes used to be embarrassingly limited. However, since falling in love with road tripping, I have a new-found passion both for motorbike maintenance and mechanics. It has also helped me to become a better driver and stay alert when driving for a long time.

Out of necessity, I have learned a lot about keeping my bike in top condition when taking it to the tarmac. I wouldn’t like to guess how much money I’ve saved on garage fees in the process, but I bet it’s a lot. Not only have there been financial benefits, but these skills have also benefitted me in other ways including making new friends and even progressing my career.

Taking a step way from your day-to-day and hitting the road can indeed open up opportunities for life-changing experiences. Whether it’s finding some peaceful alone time to reflect, or chatting with new and interesting people, it can make a huge difference to your outlook in life.

Hop on a women’s motorcycle tour

Want to experience the thrill of motorbike travel but not ready to get behind the wheels yourself just yet? Consider joining a motorbike tour where you ride pillion behind experienced women bikers-cum-guides who will show you the best of their city at the same time.

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I Love Vietnam Tour

Their guides, known as Lady Riders, are skilled bikers who weave in and out of traffic at ease while showing you the sights and taking you to some of the most scrumptious local eateries. Their tours cover four cities – Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City – and include specific interests such as photography, art, cooking classes, craft workshops, yoga and Buddhism.

Viktorianz

Based in India and staffed by military veterans with touring and adventure experience in more than 25 countries, they offer motorcycle expeditions across 19 countries. And there’s a special one just for women: an eight-day ride through the Mae Hong Son Loop in Thailand.

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Giles_Kirkland
Giles is a car mechanic at Oponeo with a great passion for travelling. When he’s not busy tinkering with cars, he likes to hit the road and explore the countryside or plan a new road adventure abroad. He is also keen on blogging and sharing ideas with auto and motorcycle enthusiasts across the globe.

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