It seems like ages ago when I was first planning this trip, yet between then and now I've completed only a fraction of the things I had hoped to. I'm currently in Paris awaiting a connecting flight to Venice... I'll be in Venice for two days and then from there I'll head to Ljubljana for Rok and Tamara's wedding!! :)
Two weeks ago I'd never even sat on a motorbike. As of yesterday, I officially have my class 6 license! This means I can now legally ride a motorcycle without any restrictions (besides those pesky road laws).
Leslie and I were in a time crunch as I'm leaving the country next week, and wedding season is starting for her. Most motorcycle schools are closed from the middle of October through the middle of February and since I was only in Vancouver this time around from the middle of October through the middle or March, this made things a bit tricky :). We ended up finding a great school which I'll blog about in a later post. They started courses on the 7th of Feb and had an option for a 7-day course which we took advantage of.
The reason Les and I decided to get our motorcycle license comes back to a (I think) half-joking half-serious comment about riding up the coast of Vietnam (á la Top Gear). Leslie has spent a couple of years in Asia before, but I've only spent a few weeks there, and the idea of traveling around Vietnam by motorcycle was just too awesome to pass up! We initially talked about doing it at the end of this March but it seemed a bit too intense to go so quickly (since at the time neither of us had any motorcycle experience), and we were both a bit broke.
We're going to aim for March 2012 now. In the meantime though, I plan to buy a bike in South Africa (probably something like a 250cc) and just use it to ride around Cape Town while we're there. Sam has a little mini, so we can easily fit it into the same parking stall.
I loved riding the bike WAY more than I'd expected to so I'm super glad I got it together and did the training and the exams before heading out of the country again. I'm really looking forward to some future motorcycle trips around various parts of the world :-).
One thing for anyone else in BC who thinks they may want to get their license... try and do it this year. Apparently the government is adding a graduated licensing type program for new motorcyclists in 2012 and it could be a much bigger pain if you wait. There's also apparently up to a 6 week waiting list to do the road test in the summer and most schools get fully booked up, so start trying to figure out timing of all that and book a school now. It's better to learn in the rain anyway :)
So right now I /should/ be in Las Vegas with Sam at a five star hotel... but instead I'm still in Vancouver and Sam's in Vegas by herself. We're going to Vegas with a few friends this weekend and me and Sam wanted to go down a bit early to have a night to ourselves. We drove down to Bellingham last night to stay in a hotel so we didn't have to stress about the flight the next morning (way cheaper to fly out of Bellingham). While we made it out of bellingham, we didn't both make it out as planned :)...
We left for the farm last Monday and if all goes well we've got only one more day of travel before we arrive on the farm. For those who don't know this already, my brother and a few of his friends decided (mostly on a whim ;-) ) to move out to the east coast and start an organic farm. This is their fourth season on the farm (correct me if I'm wrong, Mike) and they're still going strong. But always happy to have some extra hands out there, so we like to come out every once and a while and pull some weeds and eat their food ;-).
I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of trust. What it means to trust someone or for someone to trust you, trust in new/foreign situations, and most importantly the risks associated with trusting or not trusting. Over the past two years or so of traveling Sam and I have been confronted with a lot of unfamiliar situations and unfamiliar people. Fortunately, both of us have a very good eye for spotting bad situations and if one of us misses something that's potentially off usually the other will catch it.
We've been lucky to have really only been "screwed", taken advantage of, conned, whatever you wanna call it, by only three people in the past two years. The most recent situation was the worst by far in terms of the stress and money involved and I suppose it's the reason I've been thinking more about this now.