If I have to choose which day it was in which I was most courageous in my life, I would say it was the day I decided to leave home and ride around the world by motorcycle. I was braver than all those other times that I had put myself in front of a desert with the intentions to cross it. But if that was the bravest day, it was the day I started traveling which also was the most relieved I felt. No oasis of palm trees and fresh water relaxed me so much.
“Touring the world on a motorcycle is not something only exclusive to a few. Everyone has the right, or the opportunity and I would almost say the obligation to depart, discover and explore the planet where we live.”
That day was the day which all other excuses died. Being a woman, a woman motorcycle traveller, belonging to a class with few resources, and being born in a small, forgotten country, where many men still do not even like their women to work outside the home. No longer will any of those realities be an impediment.
Now I have two continuous years and a half on my last trip and I have seen many big men remain safe behind the gates of the most hostile places. I discovered that it was a strong mind, not my thin muscles, which pulled me out of the icy mountains of Pamir in winter. I learned that wild Sumatran tigers do not attack the dreamers who dare to cross the jungle alone. Or when breaking my leg in the Chilean Patagonia and having to undergo surgery – need not be a drawback nor something which could take me down off the bike. But it was to be an opportunity to get on a truck, because they were the Argentine truckers that led me to the end of the world by hitchhiking- bike and me, Ushuaia
Traveling is an option, and by motorcycle a real way of escape.
Touring the world on a motorcycle is not something only exclusive to a few. Everyone has the right, or the opportunity and I would almost say the obligation to depart, discover and explore the planet where we live. So I say, stop fantasizing as you gaze out the window of your room imagining you’re flying to cross the mountains on the horizon. Traveling is an option, and by motorcycle a real way of escape, a direct road to happiness leaving behind the unbearable routine which asphyxiates us.
And I encourage you to travel not because I want to get more followers for my Facebook page, I encourage you because I really believe that a better world is possible if more dreamers dared to disrespect their fears. Look for no further excuses, do not look for a “logical” reason. Happiness is not measured by numbers but by experiences and feelings. Go in search of the silk made in Uzbekistan just for the pleasure of touching it. Cool off with soup under the shadow of a bamboo hut in Laos, or jump without thinking into the cold waters of the highest lakes in the Andes simply to prove that you are able. Let yourself be led by the trail left by sulphur inside Kawah up Ijen or feel alone in the desert of salt in Uyuni to discover that everything in the universe is connected – and that you’re never really alone. But above all learn as you become acquainted with the people who share this planet with you.
However traveling as a woman is not only an act of courage, it is also a responsibility. When you’re a woman many eyes of the same gender will be watching you. Eyes high as those of the long necked giraffe women of Thailand peer on, or of those hidden behind the saree of young Rajhastan wives- or the repressed eyes of the orphan- abandoned on the streets of Calcutta.
As the eyes of women in other countries – women whose freedom of learning of making decisions – watch as you pass next to them – means so much to them that they cannot stop beholding you. You will become a more powerful window to the world than the internet that these women will never have. Knowing that a woman can do as much as I have as I share the same table with men- laugh with them, independently – to be a person who respects herself while making the rest of the people I encounter respect me- is incredibly potent.
It’s best not to demand much of your travel. Just learn and become a better person. Try to help those people you meet along the way. Show respect while accepting, not wanting, to kill their traditions. And if you feel you don’t want to use your time and energy for this aspect of the journey, at least be conscious that you are observed and that by simply passing through one small village can mean so very much. It’s likely that little girl hidden behind the corner that you never saw- was watching you. And just in that observation – new questions appeared in her mind.
More about Ivana Colakovska and Around Gaia
Married couple Ivana Colakovska born on 25 September 1985 Skopje (Macedonia) and Manuel Torres (Spain) have been travelling around the world since, 17 April 2013. Ivana’s ride is a 2012 Yamaha Yamaha XT660Z Tenere . They are living simply and letting the world enrich their thirst for knowledge- about the planet home to over 7 billion people. With little more than the clothes they wear, they’re riding roads that lead over mountains, across villages, forests and the harshest of deserts. Follow Ivana and Manuel via their Facebook page and also at their website called “ Around Gaia”.
They estimate the world tour ending during 2017 and have done about 73, 000 kilometres over 30 countries.