Mad or nomad, the quick story

Ever wondered how your life could have been if you took that other path in your life? When you felt like just riding your motorcycle towards the sunset without looking back and sure, even better if your love comes along. Well, this is the story of Andy and Alissa. Two accomplished motorcycle journalists who were available for a quick interview, even when at the time of this writing, they were busy flying back home in the UK to remove a metal from Alissa’s leg, due to a “wrong turn” that took place a year ago in Nepal. If you don’t freak out easily, take a look at:


Gambito: How was your life before you decided to start your round-the-world trip two years ago?

Andy: We have both travelled extensively for the last 16 years. We’ve tried backpacking, hitchhiking, driving, boats and planes. But as soon as we found motorcycles, we knew that was how we were going to continue our travels. We started to take on more bike trips and I got a job as a motorcycle journalist while Alissa worked in finance. We were both happy but wanted something more and were tired of going on trips and always having to return home.

G: What was the last push you needed to start this new way of life?

A: There wasn’t really a last push. It was something we had always talked and dreamed about doing. One day we just woke up and decided that we could either continue talking about it or just go and do it. 

G: Tell us about your trip?

A: On January 1st 2018 we sold everything we owned, packed all our bags on a bike and left the UK to travel round-the-world with no end-date. Since then we’ve ridden 45,000 miles through 27 incredible countries, had more breakdowns than we can count, one too many crashes, a broken leg and the best memories of our life! We started in the UK on January 1st 2018 on a Yamaha XT660R. 

ADV motorcycle

G: Did you know much about Adv motorcycle riding? What were those silly mistakes that now you laugh about?

A: We knew a fair bit as we had travelled extensively on bikes before and I had undertaken quite a few long-distance trips before this one. As for silly mistakes, that would have to be packing. It’s always so easy to take too much. What we have today, two years after we left, is half of what we started with. Although to be fair, we were two people on one bike with camping gear and kit suitable for -15C to +40C, so we did have to pack a lot.

G: From all countries you’ve been to, what was the one you could go back and make a home?

A: Great question! We love so many of the countries we’ve visited and could have stayed in each one for much longer. But as far as living full-time, it has to be either the west coast of Canada or Laos. 

G: is an awesome job. How do you balance your writing lifewith traveling?

Thanks! I guess the same way as everybody else. We like to travel slow and not pump out hundreds of miles a day. We might ride 100 miles in a day, find somewhere nice and stay there for a week and that gives me plenty of time to work on the site. And there’s always loads of time in the evening to write too. Both motorcycles and writing are my passions, so I’ll always make time for both. 

G: What are you riding now? Any special brand you use for luggage and camping gear?

Yamaha bike

A: We’re still on our Yamaha XT660R, but are thinking of changing to two new bikes. Any guesses what they might be? We were always supposed to be on two bikes, but Alissa had a nasty bike crash and broke her leg in Nepal. As soon as she’s fully healed, we’ll be on two bikes. As for gear, we list everything we carry on our trip on the site.

G: You’re stuck in Thailand due to the pandemic and I’ve read you got engaged. Congratulations for that. What will be your plan forward for you and your fiancée?

A: Thanks very much! We were stuck in Thailand, but have decided to fly home to the UK for another operation on Alissa’s leg. There’s a bit of metal screwed into her fibular that’s rubbing on her tendons. We figure that while we can’t ride around southeast Asia anyway, we might as well get on the waiting list for an operation, So I’m actually writing this on our flight back to Heathrow! We hope it won’t take more than three or four months before Alissa is all fixed up again. We’ll then fly back to Thailand, collect our bike and continue the round-the-world journey.

Hopefully the rest of the route will be through more of SE Asia, Australasia, the Americas and Africa… or something like that anyway! But as they say, man plans and the universe laughs. We thank you for this interview, and we hope to welcome you when you pass by Ecuador. You’ll be more than welcome  

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