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Route Map
Anti Scriptum
Rocinante's upgrades
Techno Solutions
01 New York
02 New England
03 Maine to Midland
04 Midland to Sturgis
05 Indians'n Cowboys
06 British Columbia
07 San Francisco
08 SF to San Diego
09 Baja to Canyons
10 Baja California
11 Northern Mexico
12 Mex. to Guatemala
13 Gua. to Costa Rica
14 CR to S. America
15 Ecuador
16 Peru and Bolivia
17 Chile
18 Patagonia
19 Argentina/Brasil
20 The road home
Photo Gallery

Norwegian version

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Go to Pan American Home

Anti Scriptum

"Are you going away for a longer trip again? Why, you just came back from Spain, bought a house and all!" Several people said the same thing when we initiated our plans for a one year, Pan American trip last summer. We did not really have a good answer, but maybe it will be clear after reading this chapter.

Missing peace of road no obstacle
Kind of obstacles we can expect, I guess. Rocinante made this one, although it came so sudden on the driver, that is me, because of another earth slide that caught his attention, that all he had time to do was open the throttle and stand up on the foot-pegs The rear suspension hit rock bottom when it tried to dampen the impact. The irony was that the road ended after another 200 meters and he had to turn and go back the same way.

I was 27 years old when I first left Europe on a longer sailing adventure to Caribbean and Venezuela. This was the year after I had finished university, and I stayed away for seven months, one half was spent on the sail ship, one half backpacking my way through the three northern most countries of South America; Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. To get going, I abandoned the plans to take my education to the next level, decided to wait a year before applying for work as an engineer, and worked temporarily in a metal plant to save up the funds I needed. The funds didn't last, and halfway through the trip I engaged my father back home to negotiate a loan from my bank, in order to continue a few more months.

The trip ignited the traveler in me. After I came back, I looked for work as an engineer and found a good job in the offshore seismic company of PGS(Petroleum Geo Services). I worked both offshore and onshore for the next seven years - and still do when I write this for another few months - and since for each day I worked offshore I got one day off, I managed to do quite a bit of traveling.

When Bente and me got together, my urge to travel got a companion, as she had also done her share and wanted more. She worked as a tourist guide in Spain and Greece for a couple of years before we met, and in the times we talked before we got together - we had known each other for years - we always ended up talking about places we wanted to see.

Naturally traveling became an important factor in our life together, and the next few years we traveled with backpacks to Mexico, Australia and Greece - but always on a tight time schedule.

Bente was the one who initiated the idea to stay in Spain over a longer period. I was reluctant at first - I don't know why - but slowly I got convinced that it was a good idea. The Spanish period is well described on it's own separate page, so I shall not linger with it here. But one big change it brought on us, or especially to me, was my commitment to motorbike travel. I started reading stories on the web about world travelers on two wheels, and read books by famous motorcycling world tourers like Helge Pedersen and Ted Simon.

With these books behind me, I was sold. Over the next months I used all my power to convince Bente that a one year trip on the bike was the way to go. This time it was she who hesitated. No wonder, since we just had gotten back from Spain and bought a house that we still were braking in. But she gave in and finally, in Geiranger on our Lofoten trip on the Tiger, we raised our glasses and agreed to go through with the Pan American trip.

Restlessness is definitely a key to why we do this. We have decided against having kids, and when you get to an age where everybody else have children ranging from babies to teenagers, you start looking for an excuse not to go down that road. Or is it the other way round? Do people settle down with a family because they are afraid of the world out there? Is it easier to follow the rules and standards made by society, than it is to follow your heart?

I don't know. All I know is that I am restless to get going on the next trip. It's not all healthy, as I have sometimes been planning not the upcoming trip, but the next one.

This time we have made decisions far more serious than before. I have quit my job. I'm still working, but by the time we are on the road, there will not be the safety of a job to come back to. I have worked seven years in the company, and have considered changing job for the last three-four years. The reasons for staying were always the same, a work schedule that gave me six months off each year, and a pay far beyond what I could expect in a regular job onshore. The reasons for leaving were just as good; After so many years there were nothing new to learn, and I was bored, quite simply.

I was given a push to make the decision this time. Just after getting the approval I needed for a one year leave of absence, my company initiated a redundancy program, offering a substantial pay for people who volunteered to leave the company. I took the offer, which of course speeded up our travel plans, and at the same time initiated a flood of mind crunching thoughts of what I should do when we get back.

Bente has been working both for her father and for Manpower for the last few years, and gathered quite a wide range of experiences from it. She will probably be working again long before I have found something I can apply for.

But let us not forget why we get restless and the itch comes back again and again. We simply love to travel, to seek out new places where they receive you, not like a stranger, but like a traveler. Spain had this effect on us, and I suspect Latin America to be much the same. We also love the Spanish language. Both of us speak it fairly well, and frankly, the language was a very important factor when we chose destination. Where else in the world can you travel through country after country for months where they speak the same language. Instead of learning a little of every tongue, we're going to be close to fluent in one.

I'm a bit more hesitant with the USA, since I grew up with big brother on television, in fashion, food, cinemas, cars, the whole lot, to the extent of almost despising it. But although I've been to most continents in the world, I've actually only spent six hours in the US; On the international airport of Miami hunting for a cheap ticket over to Europe on my return from South America. And then again, this is the country where most of our contacts live, and where most invitations for stopovers comes from. And it is definitely the best place to start a trip like ours, since any upgrades we want to do, or have to do, before heading south into more rural areas, can be done here at a fair price. And finally, they say it's supposed to be beautiful.

I put my trust on Bente, who have been over there, driving a convertible in California. She will guide me, I hope.

I'm convinced we are doing the right thing. You never know when the next opportunity will come up, and postponing dreams often end up with them being just that for the rest of our lives.


Simply too cold, if you ask me..

The above is another way of explaining why we leave....


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