2011-07-25 20:43:04+0000

I'm Jordan, I'm a business solutions architect. Translated, I'm a consultant and training professional and have spent several years specializing in the international outsourcing industry. I'm married to Sandra and we have a son, Jory - he's in a band. In June, 2011 Sandra and I are will start a journey from Calgary to somewhere in Argentina, overland on two BMW motorcycles.

Today, I live in Calgary, Alberta and have been riding motorbikes since 2003. A long time BMW motorrad fan, I've had a number of BMWs. I recently sold my cherished R1200GS to help finance our upcoming trip, leaving me with my trusty 2000 BMW F650GS Dakar for the journey.

I'm Sandra, I live in Calgary, AB Canada with my husband, Jordan. We have a son, Jory who lives in Winnipeg. I've just celebrated my 10th anniversary with Canon Canada where I've worked in various Sales Management roles across Western Canada.

I received my motorcycle license in 2007 and learned to ride on a 1982 Suzuki GS400 - which is still in our garage. For the trip, I bought a 2001 BMW F650.

Why are we riding 2 motorcycles to Argentina?!

We've been thinking about ways to combine our primary interests of traveling, hiking, and motorcycling and an overland motorbike trip to South America seems to tick all the boxes. We'll be following some of the classic overland routes over the next year from our home in Canada to the tip of Argentina and back (or until our money runs out…).

Our Journey will start in Calgary and end in the most southern city of the world

Our plan is to leave Calgary in the summer of 2011 and make our way through the American Southwest into Mexico, taking in the sites, camping and hiking along the way. From there we'll ride through Central America, stopping for a couple of weeks to complete a Spanish language course in Guatemala. Once we've made it to Panama we're hoping to take a sailboat to Colombia, and then ride on to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Although we don't have the definitive route set, we're planning on visiting a number of spots along the way, including Machu Picchu, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the Nazca Line and as many of the amazing national parks of Chile and Argentina as we can, to name but a few.

We have applied to volunteer for 3 weeks with Conservacion Patagonica - a wonderful organization dedicated to protecting and restoring local ecosystems, biodiversity and healthy communities in Patagonia through the formation of National Parks. As cardholders for Canada's National Park system - we truly value the system and we would find the work very rewarding.

Our goal is to make it to Ushuaia, Argentina - the most southern inhabited city in the World - for Christmas 2011 and spend the holidays with other overland travelers, as is the tradition. If we've been good at budgeting our time and money, we hope to reward ourselves with a trip to Antarctica, however if that is not possible we'll go in search of penguins along the shores of Tierra del Fuego instead.

In January, 2012, we'll start phase 2 of our adventure, we may opt to spend more time in Patagonia, or we may begin our return trip north, starting in Brazil. Ultimately we will work our way north to the United States, making our way up the east cost, ensuring to include the Blue Ridge Parkway and Deal's Gap into our agenda. We'll cross back into Canada and make our way to Newfoundland before turning around and crossing Canada, visiting friends and family on our way back to Calgary, Alberta.

"Why am I doing this?" - Jordan

I've spent the last 10 years thinking about long term, overland motorcycle travel. The route was never really that important, however the dream of riding a motorbike to a new and exciting destination everyday and experiencing new countries and cultures is very powerful. I'm looking forward to the adventure, however I'm also looking forward to having the time to slow down a little and live in the moment as much as possible. Although there are certain risks associated with taking a year off to travel, I'm hoping to experience things that you could never experience by just taking a few weeks vacation each year.

"I am thrilled by the adventure of it all!" - Sandra

Quitting our jobs, leaving our country and living a self-imposed day-to-day existence is something that very few of us will ever experience. To take on this challenge while absorbing other cultures, learning a new language and visiting so many interesting sites & countries will amplify the experience. Why on a motorbike? As Jordan likes to say: you can watch a movie or you can be in the movie. The motorbike allows us to be in the movie! (Okay, I'm a bit scared.)

Who or what has inspired you to take this trip?

We have always loved spending time together, traveling in Canada or internationally; traveling by motorbike just seemed like the way to go. We can't say that one person or thing has inspired us to take this trip, we we've been talking about it for years, long before we even had motorcycles. Since deciding to make the trip, we've met dozens of overland motorbike travelers, including Ekke and Audrey Kok ( http://www.ekke-audrey.ca ), Rene Cormier ( http://www.renedian.com ), Jeremy Kroeker ( http://www.jeremykroeker.com ), Tiffany Coates ( http://www.tiffanystravels.co.uk ) - all and more have proven to be an inspiration.

What will we take with us?

Traveling by bike means you have to travel very, very light. We will fill our panniers with camping gear, some tools and spare parts. We'll also have a couple of duffle bags to strap on the back of our bike for our clothes. A full year of clothing will consist of 7 pairs of underwear, 3 or 4 shirts, a couple pairs of pants, shorts, swim suites, and some compact puffy jackets. That's it.

We have a GoPro camera and an old Garmin GPS that we'll attach to one of the bike to help track and record our trip, a MacBook to help us stay connected and some books that we've been meaning to read. The plan is to hopefully trade them with other travelers down the road. Of course we'll have a First Aid kit, and some photos of our family (good for morale as well as ice-breaking with border guards and police).

What do we expect to encounter?

We want to encounter new cultures and new places, however we're also really looking forward to taking the opportunity to slow down and make time for each other and ourselves. Having a year to enjoy each other's company without the distractions of work and of today's fast paced society is a real luxury that we want to embrace. Hopefully we won't drive each other crazy in the process.

**What are we afraid of? **

To be honest, we don't have any fears about the actual trip, at least not any that we know yet... Of course there is the danger and concern of having an accident or getting sick, however those could just as easily happened at home. Our biggest fears are about the unknown, in particular what do we do when we get back? Having quit our jobs, we may be starting from scratch, we may have to sell our home, we many have to find new careers, and so on. Committing to the trip has been one of the hardest and scariest things we've ever done. Giving up the security of well-paying jobs is definitely nerve wracking. There is no real way to overcome fear but to get on with it - and we are confident that once we throw a leg over and head down the road all of that stress will melt away.

One thing is certain, our lives will never be the same, and that is both exciting and frightening.

At the most basic level we expect to gain a lot of memories, get in to a bit of trouble make some interesting friends. Most of all, we want to gain perspective on our lives and test ourselves as individuals and as a couple. Plus we get to ride motorbikes every day for a year, how cool is that?

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