Solo motorbiking around the world - Stories from the road
The notoriously famous "backpacker" Tran Dang Dang Khoa with an old 100cc motorbike as his partner in crime has been wandering on his journey around the world for more than two years, and his insatiable wanderlust never once seems to die down. Khoa's marvelous excursion is, not at all an exaggeration, the epitome of the wild dream of a great many Vietnamese young people.
For Khoa, this is not an unrealistic and spontaneous trip, it has been rather a dream that he harbored with him growing up for more than twenty years. Before the fateful trip of his life, he has spent 7 years cruising the roads around Vietnam and its neighboring countries by motorbike to gain experience. Khoa said: "When I was brave enough to fight with myself to dare to leave, it was like that dream was 90% fulfilled", and the rest will take care of themselves. Just “let it be…”.
The breath-taking experience of driving a motorbike down the winding road always sparks great joy among youngsters who love “backpacking”, a type of self-sufficient travel, but are you well-prepared enough to hit the road? Follow the journey of a Vietnamese backpacker who has traveled around the world on his motorbike to grab a glimpse of what the world looks like through his truest lens.
Khoa learned that things would not easily come true without great determination, intense passion, and the effort poured into nurturing that dream every day: "Whoever never begins will never get to the destination!".
1. Escorted by the Iranian soldiers out of the dangerous Balochistan zone, nearby the junction of the mutual borders of three nations: Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan. The Taliban region is still in intense conflict, with occasional kidnappings and holding hostage in demand for a ransom. The road there was very long and deserted. Because I was slow behind the car convoy, the friendly soldiers decided to scoop me up with my bike onto the convoy to go together.
2. Set foot on Bosnia and Herzegovina, which belong to the former Yugoslavia on a journey around the countries of the Balkan Peninsula
3. Unwinding in the afternoon at the top of the mountain in Ticino, Switzerland during the early days of autumn. The lake was still and extremely quiet, with its way up known only by the indigenous people. Perching precariously on top of the mountain was a teeny dam that acted as a water reserve. The snowfall of the previous winter still persistently marked its subsistence on the lake surface.
4. An abandoned bus near the beach of close proximity to Antofagasta city in the north of Chile, reminiscent of the bus numbered 142 in the movie Into the Wild, my favorite movie, which was based on a true story. It's indeed true, but I would expect not to be destined with a doomed fate like the protagonist.
5. Rowing on the small, rickety craft that traverses through different creeks and tributaries of the Amazon river in the Amazon forest of the Peruvian territory to catch a glimpse of freshwater dolphins living in this area. Along the way, I witnessed countless of varying types of snakes, the sound of monkeys chattering, and birds chirping on both sides of the clusters of bushes. At night, if you use your flashlight and cast it randomly, you will notice the burning red eyeballs of the caiman crocodiles staring back at you. Peru is also one out of six South American countries that I have set foot on during this journey.
6. Speculating with awe the dazzling auroras as they exude their wonderful illumination, in contrast with the cold and darkness of the "polar night" in the city of Ilulissat above the Arctic belt, latitude 70 degrees North. This is the place that leaves the most interesting memories and experiences on this trip, among them is the hunt with the Inuit people, descendants of the Eskimos who have migrated here for thousands of years ago. They survived, settled down, and then grew to become mainstay residents of this biting-cold polar land.
7. Crossing the border between North Carolina and Virginia during the scorching summer peak on a journey encompassing nearly 30 states of the United States. As I passed the border for a short distance, my beloved bike broke down very badly. Fortunately, while I was standing on the roadside frantically trying to fix it, an old man named Pinto, an American veteran soldier who fought in the Korean war, pulled his car over to come to my rescue. He took his trailer to fetch my bike home, helped me fix it, put me up for the night, and drove me all the way to Washington D.C to wait for the replacement parts to arrive from Vietnam.
8. Alone in the desolate Lut desert, which occasionally sent shivers down my spine when thinking about what it would be like if my bike broke down here. Iran is also an interesting country, where I almost “accidentally” became someone’s husband because of the customs there.