NOV. 28, 2021
How exactly does one who has lived in their same hometown their entire life - tidy up their life in the US and start a new life on the road on another continent?
Okay, maybe I moved 30 minutes away for college for 4 years, but I don't really count that as a big move. With the world shut down, I constantly monitored the news when the EU would open its doors to U.S. citizens. That day finally came August 2021 when the EU opened up its borders. I promptly left 2 months later in October. That's not a lot of time to plan to pick up my life and leave, but I had already got the ball rolling a few months before because I knew I was leaving sooner or later. There was no other option in my mind of what I was going to do next in life; this was Plan A. Here are the three main steps that catapulted me to change my life.
1. GET LAID OFF FROM JOB
This was a very important step because it stops you from your normal routine and forces you to ask yourself what you want to do next in life. Do you find another job, take a short break and then jump back into the workforce, open that animal sanctuary you and your group of friends have always talked about, or do you do what I did, and finally make that BIG DREAM you had when you were younger, a reality. You know what I'm talking about. That one thing you really want to do in life.
2. BUY MOTORCYCLE
Prior to August, I kickstarted the conversation with a few companies in Europe that helped foreigners purchase a motorcycle. FIY it is difficult for a US citizen or foreigner to purchase one because you need a permanent address for title, registration, insurance, etc. and I did not know anyone in Europe who would make such a purchase for me and put it under their name. With these conversations, I test rode all the motorcycles recommended to me from kind local riders. These include a Vstrom 650, BMW GS310, DR350, Kawasaki Versys 300, Royal Himalayan 400, XR250R and a CB500X. Once I decided on the bike I wanted, I told myself once I wired the money over to the company I was buying the bike from, all other things would quickly fall into place and things would start moving fast.
3. ELIMINATE RESPONSIBILITIES, TIES, TO-DOS AT HOME
This means selling your house or hiring a property manager to rent it out for you, selling your car, belongings, business, kids, etc. Just kidding, don't sell your house, that's potential passive income. For me, I never moved out from home. I always knew I was going to do this type of trip so this decision allowed me to save for this dream, as well as not have the anchor of a property. I sold my car, a good friend is helping me rent out my motorcycle, and I sold/ donated some of my belongings. This also means canceling my car insurance, lowering my motorcycle insurance, freezing my gym membership, getting bloodwork, canceling my birth control subscription, getting an IUD, getting an International Driver's license, applying and getting a debit card with no atm withdrawal fees, doing a photoshoot to say goodbye to my car, and finishing my PMI webinars for my accreditation. That was a lot.
While those things were the big things, and #3 was actually a to-do list of about 20+ different items, there were other smaller things I did not necessarily need to do, but would be best if I did them in the US.
4. LEARN HOW TO DIRT
Since I purchased a dual sport (can go on street and dirt/ gravel/ non-pavement) and planned on camping on non-paved terrain, I wanted to get some dirt biking experience under my belt. So one of the kind folks who let me test ride his motorcycles also offered to take me dirt biking. Excellent idea because it made me face all the things I've been avoiding over the past decade on a streetbike: dirt, sand, gravel, rocks, uneven surfaces. Doing this made me so much more comfortable with the rear tire sliding left and right, losing control and regaining traction again.
5. I SOLD STUFF, BUT I NEEDED TO BUY DIFFERENT STUFF
Riding in Europe for 2 years is definitely different than riding in perfectly sunny warm weather California. The rest of the world apparently has something called "seasons." I needed to buy weatherproof gear, new boots, a tent, a motorcycle luggage rack, soft panniers, a lock. Luckily I was able to get the majority of this stuff preowned. Perfect! More funds towards gas for miles of smiles!
6. PLAN & THROW A SEE YOU LATER PARTY
This is the most meaningful beautiful step of all. I believe the meaning of life is connection. And because of this, I have spent a lot of time building community where my roots are. I had the privilege to build a beautiful tribe who I can consider close friends. I invited family and friends from all facets of my life: high school, college, work, badminton, motorcycling, partying, hiking, Tahoe cabin, and camping trips. It was a wonderful day, and an emotional gathering of my community to send me off in the most impactful way. I have a clan supporting me. It's beautiful to be reminded how loved you are.