Motorcycle Travel Blog: Halfway There

We left home six years ago to motorcycle around the world and it’s taken a few years longer than expected to get to this halfway point! Here’s a brief recap of what happened since we left…

Mad or Nomad Round the World Motorcycle Route

Motorcycle Round the World: Halfway There

Nearly six years ago we left our home in the UK to motorcycle round the world. We thought we’d be finished by now, but are probably only somewhere around the halfway mark. A bad crash and covid put huge dents in the trip, and riding very slowly and spending months in beautiful places probably hasn’t helped either.

So, to both celebrate and make heads or tails of what we’ve done and where we’ve been since leaving our old lives behind for a life on the road, we’ve put this little recap blog together.

Here’s to halfway!

Year one (2018)

We left home on 1st January 2018 – right in the middle of Storm Eleanor sieging Europe. It was a horrible start to our adventure. Cold, wet, tired, questioning our life decisions and contemplating turning around by day two, but we pushed through to Slovakia where our bike broke down and we spent weeks getting snowed in.

But year one turned out to be one of the best years of our lives. We rode through Turkey to Central Asia, explored the Silk Road through the Stans, fell in love with the Pamir Mountains, lived like nomads for weeks in Kyrgyz yurts, riding horses every day, criss-crossed Mongolia, had a hell ride through Siberia and then spent the next six months exploring Japan. 

Year two (2019)

We shipped our motorcycle from Japan to South Korea and then onto Cambodia. While we were waiting, we flew to India, rented two Royal Enfield motorcycles and crossed the border to Nepal so we could make our way to Pakistan.

Unfortunately, Alissa had a serious crash and badly broke her leg. Thirteen hours in a truck with no pain medication and a spiral fracture before we reached Kathmandu, two weeks in hospital there, a flight home and nearly a year in a wheelchair before she could walk again. Year two did not go well.

Year three (2020)

With her leg healing, Alissa ditched the crutches and we flew to Cambodia to collect our bike and continue the trip. We rode for months through Cambodia and Laos before entering Thailand in the north and mooching our way down south. We headed to Ko Chang where I proposed to Alissa (she said yes by the way) and then a week later covid hit and the country started going into lockdown.

A friend had a place we could wait it out in and so we headed to Hua Hin where we thought we’d only be for a few weeks. Six months later and with no signs of covid going away, we had to make the decision to leave our bike in our friend’s garage and fly back home to the UK. Alissa’s leg was playing up and we decided it was best to have an operation when we get back and remove the metal anyway. So year three got off to a good start, but was cut short.

Year four (2021)

The whole world was thrown into lockdown due to the pandemic. We had no choice but to wait it out in the UK. Our bike was in Thailand with an expired temporary import, but we had to wait until Malaysia opened its land border because otherwise we’d go back to Thailand and still have nowhere to go. 

Mad or Nomad Thailand Motorcycle Trip Covid

Year five (2022)

Alissa used this time to get back in the saddle by going trail riding in the UK. We had our wedding, went on a little minimoon motorcycle tour of Portugal, packed up again and set off to finish the ride. That meant flying back to Thailand and getting the old XT660R up and running again.

Once we got the bike going, we headed across Thailand and slowly worked our way south before entering Malaysia. From there we shipped the bike to Borneo Malaysia, spent our days scuba diving, going in search of orangutans, sun bears and proboscis monkeys before riding south into Indonesia Borneo and catching the ferry to Java, Indonesia.

Year six (2023)

We’re back in the game! 2023 has been incredible. We saw the new year in while riding through northern Vietnam along the Ha Giang Loop, from there it’s just got better and better. We flew to the Philippines and rode around the islands, rode through Java Indonesia to Bali where we shipped our bike to Australia, spent months hanging out and scuba diving on Indonesian islands, rode around Tasmania, the east coast of Australia and had the time of our lives riding and exploring New Zealand!

Once we finished our ride through New Zealand, we headed back to the UK, bought two Honda CRF300Ls and shipped them to Canada to start the next section of our ride. I’ve owned the XT brand new since 2009 and it had been through a lot before taking us halfway around the world for five years. It was time for the Yam to retire. And plus, Alissa was now ready to ride again so it makes sense to have two bikes the same when travelling.

From Canada we rode down into the States and made our way to Phoenix, Arizona. We left the bikes there and have flown home now to see our families and will, for the first time in a long time, spend Christmas with them.

Year seven (2024)

We’ll head back out in January 2024, pick up our bikes and make our way south to Mexico and onto South America. The plan is to get right down to the bottom of Argentina, ship the bikes to South Africa, ride up through Africa to the Middle East, then into Europe, to the top of Norway and maybe back home. When we’ll finally get home and finish the trip though? Who knows.

But what we do know, after all this time, is… humans plan and the universe laughs.

Adventure Motorcycle Travel in Canada Ice Fields Parkway
Thanks for sticking with us.

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Thanks for checking out this Motorcycle Travel Blog: Halfway There. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on our motorcycle travels, stories and adventures that we recommend you read next. 

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Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? We’d love to hear from you, let us know in the comments below. 

4 thoughts on “Motorcycle Travel Blog: Halfway There”

  1. Guys I read some of your blog posts as I was looking for product reviews in my preparation to a trip to Osh. The trip didn’t happened yet. And to be honest (funny me) I thought you were a bunch of young guys experimenting having fun and trying new products.
    Then yesterday I was reading another post of yours about packing and I thought “how do they know so good”? I started reading more and more posts. It was really good you posted this halfway summary – now I understood you’re a couple and you’re riding around the world. I’m so deeply touched by your story your determination and commitment. You’re amazing!
    I kept reading your guidance to enter Japan and how to deal with tickets import etc. It is so useful for those traveling now. But while you share your story and decisions your contacts and experience you radiate this timeless feeling of explorers of brave humans not settling for less. Oh, you’re such an inspiration! Thank you thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Constantin, thank you so much for this!
      Your comment really made our day – so thank you 🙂
      Are you planning a trip? Heading to Japan? We do keep our Facebook up to date by the way with our whereabouts and what we’re up to! We just returned to Phoenix today to collect our bikes and will be heading to Mexico soon.
      Thanks again, keep in touch and all the best,
      Andy

      Reply
  2. Mad or Nomad’s motorcycle journey around the world is nothing short of inspiring. Despite setbacks like a serious crash and the COVID-19 pandemic, their determination to explore new horizons and embrace the unknown is truly admirable. Their story is a testament to the spirit of adventure and the resilience of the human spirit. Here’s to continued adventures and many more incredible experiences on the road ahead!

    Reply
    • Wow!!! We’re absolutely blown away by your comment! Thank you so much, Hank, for your incredibly kind words.
      We’re sat here in a little hotel room late at night and not able to sleep in Central America. We’re dripping with sweat (because we foolishly decided to ride through in the height of summer) and listening to deafeningly terrible karaoke coming from the bar next door – despite that, your words have literally put the biggest smiles on our faces. So, thank you for making our day 🙂
      Andy and Alissa

      Reply

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