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Turning Points: Letting Motorcycle Travel Change Your Life

There are 8,760 hours in a calendar year. Your average person spends about 3,000 of those hours asleep, and another 2,000 or so trying to make ends meet. Do a little math, and you’ll realize we spend over half our lives doing something other than living it. We need a paradigm shift on a major scale.

 

thoreau cabin replicaThis isn’t a new idea. Henry David Thoreau summed it up over a century ago in one of the most quoted utterances of all time: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

 

The inspiration for that quote (and many of Thoreau’s most celebrated writings) came from his time spent living in a hand-built shack on the shore of a small pond in Massachusetts. Twenty-six months of solitude in a remote forest became the turning point that would define Thoreau’s life - long after his untimely death at just 44 years old.

 

But what are the rest of us, who crave that same spark of illumination, that wellspring of change in our lives, to do? Nowadays “remote cabins” are all just overpriced vacation rentals, and two years of solitude are a luxury even fewer of us can afford.

 

If you ride a motorcycle, you’re in luck: We’re here to tell you you’ve already got the tools you need to find that turning point in your life. Motorcycle travel can be a transformative experience if you let it, and here at Ecuador Freedom, that’s exactly the experience we offer to riders like yourself.

 

DR650 in river

Why Motorcycle Travel Is Transformative

What makes any experience life-changing? What kind of journey transforms the way we see and think about the world around us? We’d argue there are a few crucial components that separate your typical vacation from a truly formative experience, and motorcycle travel has them all in spades.

 

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Challenge Breeds Confidence

 

One of the unique aspects of motorcycle travel is that it represents both a worldly experience to appreciate and a physical challenge to overcome. You’ll learn something here in Ecuador about yourself as a person and about yourself as a rider, and you’ll return home more skilled and confident than you were when you left.

 

By the end of an authentic adventure motorcycle journey, you’ll be able to say you’ve climbed mountains, explored rainforests, and taken in hundreds of miles of scenery found nowhere else. You’ll have proven something to yourself, further developed your leadership skills, and accomplished a feat of both mental and physical fortitude, whether you set out to or not. As an added bonus, you’ll have some travel stories under your belt that people might actually want to hear…

 

silvano in puerto misahualli

Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

If there’s one thing adventure riding does for us, it’s taking us out of our comfort zone. Maybe it's that first foray onto a gravel road after a life spent on pavement or maybe it’s that first big rocky hillclimb you never thought you’d summit without crashing.

 

There’s an element of fear, and then there’s the willful act of overcoming it. The more you flex that muscle, the easier it becomes and the more willing you become to push the envelope.

 

Exploring a foreign country on a motorcycle applies this same ethos to everything. There’s the riding aspect of long days filled with new roads, challenging terrain, and unpredictable weather, but the motorcycle itself is only one part of a much bigger picture.

 

When you travel abroad on two wheels, everything you experience is another step further outside your comfort zone and another opportunity to learn and grow. Strange new places, new cultures, new people, new languages: The entire trip is an act of intention: intentionally exposing yourself to new things and intentionally letting them shape how you see the world around you.

happy after a hill climb

Motorcycles Connect Us With Nature

One of the key takeaways Thoreau reported from his time in the wilderness was nature’s ability to sharpen the senses and bring us back to the simple pleasures of living. Our modern lives are largely characterized by both distraction and complexity, and we’ve found motorcycle travel to be the best medicine for both. There are a few reasons for this.

 

The first is that motorcycling is an outdoor activity. When you drive through a forest, you smell it, and when you ride through the rain you feel it. Most folks have mixed feelings about riding through a lightning storm, but there’s no denying that life-threatening experiences have a certain life-affirming quality to them.

 

We’re (mostly) kidding on that last point, but you get the idea: Motorcycling requires us to get up close and personal with the natural world in a way no plane, train, or automobile can compare to.

 

Second: When you put your head in a helmet, you shut out distractions.

 

You might argue that’s a natural consequence of riding a two-wheeled fire factory (which requires your undivided attention if you want to go on living), but many of us feel there’s something inherently meditative about traveling on two wheels. Any way you look at it, riding a motorcycle is cheaper than a therapist, and most of us who ride would agree: a long day in the saddle does wonders for your mental well-being.

 

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Closing Thoughts: When Will You Reach Your Turning Point?

 

It’s what we’ve all collectively come to refer to as “the grind.”

 

The day-in, day-out routine of safety, security, and monotony. We get up, we go to work, and we look forward to whatever time we manage to scrape out for ourselves on afternoons and weekends.

 

DR650 sunset on the beach

 

Human beings are creatures of habit, and we’ve evolved to be risk-averse. If you’re reading these words, chances are you’ve probably got an ancestor somewhere in your family tree who chose not to poke a sleeping bear with a sharp stick so you could be here today.

 

Well, we’re here to deliver a message a few millennia in the making: It’s time to poke the bear.

 

These life-changing trips have a way of slipping through the cracks. They’re always something you’ll be “able to do” later. Later when work isn’t so busy. Later when the kids go off to college. Later when the economy isn’t so unpredictable, flights aren’t so expensive, and you’re a little more confident on the bike.

How much more time will you let pass before you choose to start living with intention? When will you reach your turning point?

 

Fortune favors the brave. Book your adventure today.

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