Going Home After a Long Motorcycle Trip by Nick and Bec Simmonds

Welcome to Thoughts from the Road. Here’s Nick and Bec Simmonds on what it’s like returning home after a long term motorcycle trip…  

Going Home After a Long Motorcycle Trip
Picture of By Nick and Bec Simmonds

By Nick and Bec Simmonds

Round the world motorcycle travellers from New Zealand

Nick and Bec Simmonds decided that they were no longer prepared to wait for that elusive “one day”. So they left home in New Zealand, shipped two Honda CB500X bikes to the US and started their round the world ride. 

Follow their awesome adventures here:

Insta: @bikespanniersandpassports 

Web: bikespanniersandpassports.com 

YouTube: @bikespanniersandpassports

Going Home After a Long Motorcycle Trip

Home again – life after 70,000kms and 13 months on the road. We are home! You know you have been away too long when your two-year-old grandson refers to you as “that guy” and “uncle grandad”.

One minute you’re searching for the cheapest (but secure) place to rest your head for the night and wishing for access to a washing machine, and the next you’re standing in front of a full length mirror, brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush and asking Alexa to add peppercorns to your shopping list.

Bizarre. How different these lives are. We probably shouldn’t say this because it’s not what you’d expect from long distance motorcycle travellers, but we were relieved to be home. It was like slipping on a pair of comfortable slippers and wrapping yourself in a blanket: cosy and comforting.

“Coming down”

Firstly, we caught up with daughters, son in laws and renewed our very precious relationship with our two grandsons. Yes, eventually we became nonna and grandad again. Next, we caved for a while, locked ourselves in our space and enjoyed not having to talk to strangers in a different language and explain what we were doing and where we had been.

It took a while for us to “come down.” We were used to constantly being active both physically and mentally. Physically we were riding for 35-40 hours a week, our bodies constantly on the go while manoeuvring our bikes down country lanes and gravel tracks. Mentally you are constantly processing what you are seeing (scenery) and looking for possible dangers and hazards, while wondering where you are going to get fuel, where you’ll stay for the night and where to eat.

Each day was constant and the fact that we were asleep by 8:30-9pm each night and getting a full 9 hours solid sleep is testament to how exhausted we were. I saw a quote a while back saying how if someone comes into your home and starts cleaning, it isn’t because they think your house is dirty, it’s because their mind is full and chaotic… and they are trying to calm it.

This has been our lives for the past four weeks. Awake at 6am and then working,  doing something – anything, all day. Our house is spotless, our garden neat and our return to our daily jobs ‘on point.’ Slowly, we are learning to relax again though, yesterday we laid in until 7:30am!

New you

So, has the past 13 months changed us? Absolutely! We think differently, we appreciate more, we are physically fitter, and we are less stressed. We are literally mentally and physically healthier.

A few examples. We spend a lot less money – and we were pretty frugal before we left! We haven’t used the tumble drier once since we left, we walk around the house turning lights off, we search out where to buy the cheapest fuel, we meal plan and buy only whole foods, if we treat ourselves to a coffee out then it’s from a service station, and we are still budgeting and recording how much we spend on a daily basis.

We are now acutely aware of negative people – aka the ‘nay sayers’, and they really turn us off. We long for those adept ‘can do’ people that you meet on the road with stories of overcoming obstacles and adversity. Those people who are 100% self-sufficient because they realise that no one else is going to save them.

We waste less too. The garbage and recycling in our bins are a quarter of what it used to be. We assume this is because we are re-using as much as we can and only buying what we truly need and eating zero processed foods. We lose each other when we are out and about. For 13 months we wore only the same few items of black and khaki clothes, so now we have access to a full and colourful wardrobe again it makes us completely unrecognisable to each other in a crowd.

We have so much “stuff” and our house feels massive! After living with so little, it blows our minds how much we have. We are slowly selling and donating stuff and decluttering.

We are less stressed. Don’t get us wrong, there was stress on the road, but it was the level of stress that we mostly had control over and is 100% different from the chronic stress associated with daily life these days.


We don’t believe in luck. To us, your actions create your own luck, but we do realise how fortunate we are. To have been born in a first world country where our government will always look after us, to be able to work and create wealth as opposed to only scrape by a living. We have seen poor people – really poor people, and it makes us appreciate everything we have and everything we have access to.

We are so much more safety aware on the road. We see every other person as a danger and adjust our bike position on the road accordingly. We were talking on the phone to a biking friend here who commented that we should go out on a ride with him to re-calibrate bad ridding habits we had picked up. Ha! Quite the opposite. Our riding is all about the safety bubble these days.

Lastly, as well as being physically fitter with higher stamina levels, our health is better… much better! For those of you that read our article Around the World Against the Odds, you will remember that Nick was looking down the barrel of a heart bypass. Unbelievably, this has partially reversed!

The medication, the daily physical activity, the reduced stress, and the unprocessed, healthy local foods we have been eating have improved the flow of blood to his heart.

It’s good to be home, it’s good to recharge and it’s good to have learnt so much about ourselves. But somewhere in our brains, the road is quietly calling… So, what’s next?

Nick and Bec Simmonds

Related articles

Thanks for checking out this Thoughts from the Road column. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on adventure motorcycle travel that we recommend you read next. 

More from the authors

2 thoughts on “Going Home After a Long Motorcycle Trip by Nick and Bec Simmonds”

  1. I love it!!! Great article from you two and a lot to think about. And that’s brilliant news about Nick’s health as well. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  2. Why have I only just read this now!!! What a beautiful piece of writing. Truly inspiring, thank you. I am really loving these Thoughts from the Road x


Leave a comment