A man, his motorcycle and an unlimited timeframe – the perfect trip.

Just a warning before we get in to this post – reading this may make you want to quite your job, sell your house and take off on a crazy adventure to exotic locations at the expense of any future plans you may have. You’re okay with that risk? I thought so.

The other night a friend and I met up with a Swiss man of Sri Lankan descent named Dylan Samarawickrama. Dylan is taking a little trip, and whilst it’s not strictly sports car or racing related I thought you would all find his trip fascinating and possibly a little intoxicating. Dylan is riding Bruce, his BMW R1150 motorcylce, around the world.

Leaving from Zurich, he’s been on the road already for 19 months and reckons he’s only about halfway through his trip.

Now whilst we obviously can’t even begin to touch on the sorts of adventures that 19 months on the road brings, I thought I’d show a little snapshot of Dylan’s trip so far.

If this is your thing, read on…

St Petersburg, Russia.

A car mechanic by trade, Dylan has always had a burning desire to travel and see the world. He’s done a few long motorcycle trips before through Europe and India, but was always itching for ‘the big one’. On a whim, he decided that “the world is too nice a place not to explore” and promptly sold his workshop. Less than two months after selling his workshop, Dylan was on the road. It’s the stuff of dreams.

End of the road despite what the map said, Laos.

Dylan’s route is long and very challening, travelling through a lot of countries that most people simply wouldn’t consider visiting. From Zurich he crossed Europe and travelled through Russia and across north eastern Africa though countries like Sudan (!) and Ethiopia. Quickly across the middle east and into Pakistan (!), Dylan travelled through India down to Sri Lanka. He rode around Sri Lanka, both north and south, before continuing on through Asia, finally entering Australia through the port of Darwin.

Dylan has been completely self sufficient and has been camping along the way, usually just on the side of the road, like here in Malaysia.

The obvious benefits are cost and flexibility, but one shouldn’t discount being able to open your tent to an incredible sunrise like this one.

Crossing Sudan is an incredible achievement and something very few people can say they have done. Sudan is such a dangerous place that even entering the country poses massive risks, and to have crossed it safely is quite staggering.

The roads in Sudan are in such a poor state of repair which makes the going extremely tough. When this photo was taken, the roads were so muddy that Dylan crashed 12 times in one hour. At this point he still had another 700km of these roads ahead of him, at an average speed of just 30km/h.

Dylan had many close calls and has some ridiculously scary stories to tell of how he almost got caught up in deadly tribal warfare, but the up side was that he got to meet people and experience things that very few travellers have the privilege of doing. “I find them interesting and they find the same in me”.

Like seriously, who just pulls into the jungle in the back blocks of Southern Sudan and sets up camp for the night? Dylan got away with it safely for weeks, so I guess that says something. I probably still wouldn’t do it myself, though…

There were a few countries that were simply too dangerous to traverse on your own, so for these Dylan had a police escort. This was his escort for 500km in Yemen, the trusty LandCruiser battletruck was riddled with bullets.

But the positive was being able to camp in places like this completely deserted beach in Oman.

Almost made it to the top of the dune!

As you would expect, there have been some mechanical dramas to solve. But Dylan’s training as a mechanic makes him perfect for these challenges. His rear wheel bearing collapsed in this rural village in India. The closest big town was 10 hours away, but it didn’t matter anyway because the parts had to be shipped in from Germany. But these things don’t matter when you’re not rushing to schedule, Dylan just settled in to village life for a few days.

Gonder, Ethiopia.

He’s met some amazing travellers as well. This guy, Marco, was also riding around the world. The only difference being that Marco is deaf and mute. What an incredible achievement.

Dylan has perfected the art of sleeping on his bike while on ferry rides, this time from Flores to West Timor…

… and has also perfected the art of stripping it right back. This time was for Australian customs, who demanded the bike be perfectly cleaned before they let it into the country…

… and this time when the frame cracked and had to be welded back together in outback New South Wales.

I never met Dylan on Kangaroo Island, but snapped this picture of his bike when I saw it parked in a camping ground at Vivonne Bay. I got in touch with him through his website, and in an extremely serendipitous sequence of events he ended up meeting one of my friends when he was in Adelaide, who got in touch with me.

My friend Drew and I did the only Adelaide/Australian thing, and bought Dylan a beer at the Garden of Unearthly delights. Here’s Dylan and me with his bike and Drew’s Vespa on East Terrace.

From Adelaide Dylan is riding over to Perth, in fact he’ll probably be there by now. After another month or so in Australia, the bike will be shipped to the top of Canada and Dylan will begin the next phase of his journey – riding all the way down the American continent to the very tip of Argentina, before shipping his bike to South Africa and riding the whole way back up the African continent to Europe.

We wish Dylan the best of luck, and will be following his progress with bated breath.

Now dear readers, it’s time to go back to your 9-5 day jobs. For now….

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