Welcome to Thoughts from the Road. Here’s John Salim on the power of positive thinking while motorcycle travelling…
John has been riding round the world since 2019 on his V-Strom 650. From Jakarta, Indonesia, John has ridden to Madrid and is still on the road making his way through Europe
Follow his adventures here on instagram: @john5alim
Like with most motorcycle travellers, I Googled the countries I wanted to visit before leaving on my round the world trip.
And the internet is full of horror stories, so is the news and government announcements. Even once you close your laptop and get on the road, you’re still going to be met with scary stories. And it always gets worse the closer you get to a border.
Locals will have a bag of horrors and bad things to say about their neighbouring country. Often, the person relaying these will not have visited that country, or they just quickly passed through, or are just adding a little spice.
The point is, every country has people with negative thoughts about their neighbour. Unfortunately, I kept some of the stories I was told with me through the first five countries I crossed on my trip. I worried about those stories and thought about them all the time. But the more I ride and the more borders I cross, I’ve come to realise that our brains just overthink everything.
I’m not saying every bad story you hear is made up, but I am saying that our worries can often make them worse. There are bad and good people everywhere and every country has these two types of people – no matter how rich and developed or poor and underdeveloped the country is. Interestingly, the more I experience remote areas, the more I find people are kinder than in the big cities.
So, from now on, every time I start a new journey I refuse to consider the negatives and never think about the bad stories. I’ll concentrate on the scenery I’m about to ride through, the good people I’ll meet and the new cultures I’ll experience. This positive thinking – or avoiding negative thinking – changes your outlook on travel. So once you’re in the country, even if you have a problem or a mechanical breakdown for example, you’ll just think positively. Someone will come to your aid – no matter what.
Anything can happen on the road and so many complete strangers have helped me along the way. So for me, I believe humanity can be found in every country. Don’t get caught up on the negatives. Think positive. Life is short, so ride all you can.
What are your thoughts on positive thinking? What puts you off travelling? Let us know in the comments below.
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4 thoughts on “Positive Thinking on the Road by John Salim”
Beautifully said. Your words give me a lot more confidence for my own travels because all the horror stories out there can really put me off to be honest. Think positive. it’s so simple but so right! Thank you, Bill
I really enjoyed reading this. I love it when people write to encourage others, thank you Jon
The power of positive thought will help us overlanders overcome anything 😉
Well done Jon. You are encouraging other riders to get out there and not give in to their fears. Great piece.