Deconstruct, Tear down and pare back.
Till all has been laid bare. Revealed.
Till Life has been exposed.
Dig deep, dig beneath all the frivolous inconsequential tat that makes up your life.
Dig deep and breath deep.
- Seán Patrick Dillon June 2011
My name is Seán Patrick Dillon. In August 2011 I will fly myself and my Little Honda Cub to Alaska. From there I will travel North inside the Arctic Circle, where I will then turn around and make my attempt at traveling to Tierra del Fuego in the Southern most tip of Argentina, and if I can manage it; get it to Antarctica itself!! A trip of over 20,ooo miles.
My trip is not so much a test of human endurance but a voyage of adventure and discovery. Along the way I hope to meet Honda enthusiasts and meet the people who love these little bikes and also to explore my own personal interest of housing and shelter. More specifically I hope to look at how the climate and environment has dictated the kind of accommodation and shelter that people have built using the materials available to them, and as I will be traveling through many different climates and environments it should make for some very interesting contrasts.
I trained as an Engineer, but with a strong interest in the environment and sustainable energy and living. I have worked a variety of Jobs. The most recent been an engineer on large construction project in Ireland.
Over the last few years I become very aware of how people can get completely tied up in their jobs and lose focus on their own personal development and not living life to the fullest. I have experienced this myself. But over the last few years I have made a concerted effort to seek out life and enjoy it and not to get caught up in the frivolous detail of modern life. This trip for me is about paring back all those chains that bind us into our slavish lifestyles of fashions, cars, television, technology, its about grabbing life by the horns and experiencing it and not watching it pass me by. I look forward to what the next year ..or so, has to offer and see where life takes me.
This is an entirely self funded trip I have saved up for this myself and have not sought sponsorship from anyone.
Along the way…..
Along the way I will keep a blog and update my webpage and I hope to make a video diary of the trials and tribulation of undertaking such a trip on this much loved motorcycle. The trip will be very organic and i’m sure it will change and develop its own sense of purpose along the way as I’m sure I will also. There will be no measure of success or failure just the journey. I have no timetable and no itinerary, just a direction…..
The motorcycle I have chosen to undertake this will define my Journey, both in the actual limitations of travel and transportation but also in the experiences. We’ve all heard the expression using a sledge hammer to crack a nut, well this is the complete opposite end of the scale; this is like using your fingers to massage the nut until it slowly opens up and reveal its contents, with the inevitable addition of the sore fingers of course.
I have toyed with the idea of such a trip for a few years now and have spent much time torturing over which motorcycle to bring. Of course I have thought of bringing a bike more up to the job but where is the fun in that, right? Traveling doesn’t necessarily have to be easy, does it?, but it sure as hell has to be fun and that’s what I’m aiming for. Sure it’s nice to have a nice relaxing holiday, (though I can’t remember when I’ve actually had one of those) but I am seeking adventure, new experiences; a life changing experience perhaps?
The typical bike that is chosen for such an undertaking is the BMW GS1200, this is the bike Ewan Mc Gregor and Charlie Boorman used for their round the world trip. A bike such as this geared up for overland traveling will set you back in the region of €15,000 to €20,000. I bought my bike on Ebay for 700 quid! I’m hoping to do my entire trip within the budget for their bikes alone, and of course unlike Ewan and Charlie who had an army of support vehicles and staff; including mechanics, doctors, logistic coordinators and local “fixers”, I am doing this trip solo, alone, unaided and unsupported. Everything I will need for this journey I will carry with me; camping gear, clothes, food, spares, tools, electronics etc. My life and this bike will be intertwined for the duration of my trip. I will rely on it and its contents for both my transport and my survival.
I see the bike as being an extremely important part of the trip as it will set the tone for the entire trip and what I hope to achieve from the trip. I have chosen this bike not to travel the world but to experience it. I have chosen this bike to allow me to see and experience things, things that you will never see or smell while traveling in your car or at speed on your GS1200. I have chosen this bike to bring me closer to environment in which I’m traveling and to the people, and their cultures. I chose this bike as I expect along the way to have some problems and these problems will inevitably lead me to interactions with people and will involve me relying on the generosity of strangers in order to over come these problems Naive, stupid? Perhaps, I undertake this under no illusion that there are a lot of bad people out there, people who are more than willing to take advantage (or my Iphone), and/or liberate a gringo like me from all his worldly possessions; but I undertake this trip with the knowledge and faith that there are a lot more good people out there than bad. I just hope I run into the good ones more often. For me, I am hoping that this bike will open doors, so to speak, and hopefully not literally open doors for me… hopefully I’m not going to crash through doors of course but I hope the bike will possibly lead other people to embrace the idea and mayne even to invite me to stay with them, and with any luck for free too
Of course one of the major reasons for taking this bike is also as a tribute to the greatest motorcycle in the world, a motorcycle that still mobilises entire families and even entire continents. The Discovery Channel ran a series titled “The Greatest of..” where they documented the greatest machines made by man and guess what the greatest motorcycle in the world was? Well the Honda Cub of course!
A Brief History of the Honda.
The Honda C series of motorcycles commonly known as the Honda 50 or the Honda Cub is the most widely sold motorcycle in the world with over 60 million Cubs sold. Its success is in its simplicity and its durability. The bike was launched in 1958, and quickly became a hit.
The bike has been described the bike as “the go anywhere bike” and it made transport and travel affordable to everyone and anyone. In the 1960’s Honda ran the avert campaign “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”, at the time bikers did not have such a great reputation in America but Honda knew that if they could improve the image of motorcyclist then the sky was the limit in how much bikes they could sell. Honda threw a massive amount of money into this campaign which was a huge success. The bike not only appealed to younger people but also to housewives and professionals alike, everyone wanted a piece of this little bike!
So here I am now about to set off on my trip. I am in the final stages of preparation. The bike needs a thorough going over and then it will be crated up and sent to Alaska. It’s all becoming inevitable, what was a dream is starting to become a reality. This is it, not long to go now. .
The Hidden Track..
The Birth of HondaVsTheWorld
The below animation shows the complexity and the in depth planning process that has gone into making HondaVsTheWorld a reality from its initial conception to its present state of confoundment and confusion of bureaucracy and red tape ..