Continuing on the thoughts from before, how do you pick a route? That's not a closed statement... I'm actually looking for advice here! There are so many wonderful sights to see in this world, and so many perceived barriers preventing it.
Thankfully there are many tools to help break down those barriers... and here are a few:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ is an unbelievable resource for overlanders. Forums of advice on Carnets, gear, planning events, stories, anything you could dream of and someone has probably asked it here at least once first.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/OverlandingAsia/ has been a big help with trying to decide which countries will not quite make the cut this time round, and updates on border conditions, and road conditions, and just general travel advice from people touring Asia.
http://overlandingassociation.org/ has been one of the best websites, showing where vehicles can be brought and what the requirements are to bring them through every country in the world. The temporary vehicle import tool has been invaluable.
Finally, as much as social media can be a curse as much as a blessing when researching where to go, finding and following as many overlanders and motorcyclists around the world on Instagram has provided such a massive collection of screenshots of where to go, where to camp, where to eat, where to sleep, where to.... use the bathroom.
So here I am, I've done lots of research, and I have no idea what to do. Time to make a decision, follow the gut. Where do you want to start? And then it hit, the dream since highschool to ride around New Zealand camping, visiting hobbit holes, seeing family, taking advantage of the Black and Silver passport... Perfect! How long should I take? That's still up in the air.
Next stop has to be Australia, and I want to see as much of the coast as possible. I'm going to try to start in Cairns, head south and then 15,000km later find my way into Darwin. Perfect. This even gives me the opportunity to see all my past travel accomplices in Brisbane, and Sydney, and Melbourne, and Adelaide, and Perth... Fantastic! Couches to crash on!
And then BAM. I've hit my first major stumbling block. How does one get from Australia to China, and how do I get to spend at least a week sipping beer on a beach in Bali. This part is still up in the air, because of Thailands temporary import requirements where a guide is necessary. I'd always known a guide would be needed (and honestly wanted) for the China leg, but never thought about it for the southern part.
And then WHAMMY! (I love old comic book action phrases.) I've hit my second major stumbling block: through China to Mongolia, or through Nepal to Kyrgyzstan.... When do tours run and where do they start? I found that many start at the Border with Laos, and while a final decision has not been made I found an amazing tour that goes from the Laos border through the Everest Basecamp, and up through to Kashgar. It's not cheap, but I feel that this could be one of the most rewarding parts of the journey, and a great place to meet people for riding buddies across the 'Stans.
But so here I am now, figuring out my next roadblock, how to make it to Laos in time for the Tour May 16th. Arrival in New Zealand: February 15th. 3 Months, 25,000km. Is it possible? Yes. Is it rushed? Probably. Well no probably needed. It is rushed. So what do I do?
You know as well as I do! Hopefully I figure it out soon though!