Only a few riders can take off months or years to trip around the globe, and with work and household commitments, it looks as if a mission inconceivable for many… however is it?
A Lithuanian American rider Laurynas “Lawrence” Kalasauskas got down to show it’s potential to trip around the globe all whereas sustaining your day job – and holding your spouse and youngsters joyful. Impressed by the long-lasting Lengthy Manner Spherical collection by Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor, Lawrence kitted out his BMW R1200GS for long-distance journey and hit the street.
“I’ve been driving bikes since I used to be a child, and I all the time beloved the thought of bike journey. I acquired hooked on the Lengthy Manner Spherical and Lengthy Manner Down, and shortly, I got here up with the thought to trip my bike around the globe – besides I couldn’t simply take off indefinitely,”, Lawrence explains.
Primarily based in Philadelphia, Lawrence runs his personal actual property enterprise. With a busy work and household life, leaving to trip the world for years on finish simply wasn’t an possibility. However Lawrence determined to get artistic and, as a substitute of giving up, full his circumnavigation of the world by installments as a substitute.
The thought was easy: trip his bike for 2 or three weeks, then retailer the bike, fly residence for work and household commitments, and return to the bike just a few months later to proceed the journey.
The Lengthy Trip Throughout the Americas
Having began in Las Vegas on April thirtieth, 2019, Lawrence rode his bike to Mexico the place, based on the traveler, the journey actually started. “Baja California was a blast: the surroundings there’s simply wonderful, and this was the place I first skilled a little bit of a misadventure. As I used to be touring, I noticed a salt flat within the desert and figured it’d be enjoyable to take a pic on the sting of it…Besides, my heavy bike broke the crust and I acquired hopelessly caught. If it wasn’t for passing riders, I’ve no concept how I’d have gotten my bike out. That was a very good lesson,” Lawrence shares. Eleven days and a pair of,528 miles after departing Vegas, he reached Acapulco the place he saved his bike and flew again residence.
A number of months after taking his first break, Lawrence returned to the place he left off in Mexico and rode throughout Guatemala and all of Central America earlier than boarding the sailboat Stahlratte to get throughout the Darien Hole. In Colombia, Lawrence flew his household right down to Bogota for a New Yr’s celebration.
“Amazingly, discovering a spot to go away my bike in every nation wasn’t troublesome: I’d both attain out to the rider group or method dealerships, and more often than not, discovering a spot to retailer the GS was simple. The one factor to be careful for is the timing: in some international locations, you’re allowed to go away the bike for six months, whereas in others, it’s simply three months, so I’ve needed to time it proper,” Lawrence explains.
By 2020, Lawrence had traveled Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, aiming to trip smaller backcountry roads and grime as a lot as he might. He would sketch out a tough route at residence, however would all the time permit for improvisation: as a substitute of hitting bucket record locations like Machu Picchu, Lawrence would as a substitute purpose to ask locals for instructions and easily discover.
“It doesn’t matter what route I bear in mind for the subsequent nation, it nearly all the time modifications – I’d meet different riders on the street and listen to some cool suggestion, or an area would level out an fascinating street, and I’d simply comply with it. Once I’m touring on my bike, I simply wish to uncover extra distant locations and have the liberty to roam. I’ll hit these vacationer spots later, along with my household,” Lawrence shares.
Caught in Peruvian Customs
Though the adventurer had skilled just a few hiccups on his travels from the US to Peru, in 2020, every little thing modified. Due to the COVID pandemic, all land borders in South America had been shut till spring 2022, and Lawrence’s bike was caught in Lima, Peru, for 2 years. Unable to return to Peru and proceed touring, Lawrence nervous that the Peruvian customs may seize his bike: the usual time to briefly import a automobile in Peru is as much as six months, and Lawrence had exceeded this by a yr and a half.
Having left his bike at a BMW dealership in Lima, Lawrence got here again for it uncertain what to anticipate. Attempting to increase the allow had proved fruitless, however as luck would have it, an area rider had helped him out. “As I got here to the dealership to choose up my bike – and I’ve to say, they actually sorted the bike effectively! – I met an area Peruvian rider who simply occurred to have pals on the customs workplace. A couple of telephone calls later, I had the inexperienced mild to go away Peru,” Lawrence explains.
Leaving Lima, he traveled South to see the Atacama Desert and cross the Andes Mountains eastward heading for Bolivia. Right here, the rider shares hospitality was missing, however the surroundings greater than made up for it. “Bolivians are much more reserved, and it’s a little bit of a trouble to get petrol, so I acquired the sensation that it wasn’t the friendliest nation to journey, however then, each place is completely different, and also you simply must adapt,” Lawrence shares. In keeping with him, Bolivia’s notorious Demise Street and the salt flats of Uyuni had been actually spectacular.
In relation to journey bills, Lawrence says that long-term touring is cheaper than most individuals assume. The largest funding is the bike, the baggage, and the gear. After that, Lawrence says he’d typically get by with spending simply $30-$50 a day as he would camp quite a bit, keep at finances motels, and eat at native, mom-and-pop eateries moderately than splurge on advantageous eating. “That is an journey, not a luxurious cruise, and for that, you don’t want some huge cash,” the rider shares.
At all times looking out for reasonable flights to return residence after which journey again to the bike, Lawrence says he paid $80 to get again to Vegas from Mexico, $99 to fly to Lima, $350 for the Panama flights; the one costly flight was from Salta, Argentina ($1,200), however these prices, based on the traveler, even out over time. For bike storage, Lawrence typically will get affords to retailer it at dealerships totally free: sellers are joyful to retailer a world traveler’s bike, particularly if Lawrence chooses to service his BMW there. In Panama, storage price him $2.50 a day, in Lima, $3.50 a day and in Salta, Argentina, simply $1.50 a day.
As soon as out of Bolivia, Lawrence rode his bike to Salta, Argentina, the place he left the bike at an area rider’s place to return for it in December and proceed touring South. As soon as the traveler reaches Ushuaia, the Southernmost tip of South America, the subsequent leg of the journey stays unclear.
“Initially, I deliberate to ship my bike from Chile to Europe, cross Central Asia, Mongolia, and Russia and return residence by way of Alaska. Clearly, Russia is not an possibility now in mild of the present occasions, so I might need to determine one other route,” Lawrence explains. Nevertheless, he isn’t nervous: since his RTW travels don’t have a deadline, there’s nonetheless loads of room to plan, change course, and have numerous adventures alongside the way in which.
Observe Lawrence’s journey on his YouTube channel.