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10 Questions to Off She Goes

1 September 2023

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Runa, I’m a 29 year old Norwegian girl with a fairly newfound passion for motorcycle traveling. I got my motorcycle license 3 years ago; I’ve always wanted to ride a bike after seeing photos of my parents' motorcycle trips in Europe when they were my age, but never really had the time and money. 

At that time, I was still working as a nurse in an urgent care facility and spent most of my spare time doing archery. I competed on an international level with some success, there’s a world championship gold medal, silver medal and bronze medal stowed away in a box somewhere. 

When the Covid pandemic spread across the globe all sport competitions were cancelled, and I found myself working hours and hours overtime at my job as a nurse. Suddenly, I had both time AND money to pursue my dream of riding on two wheels! 

So far, I’ve moto-camped my way through 9 countries in Europe, and have plans to travel beyond these borders soon as well.

2. You are traveling on a Husqvarna Norden 901 at the moment. Why did you choose this motorcycle?

 I didn’t choose the bike, the bike chose me ;-) 

The Husqvarna Norden 901 was launched in 2022 and it looked epic! With a price of 20 000 Euros in Norway it was out of my budget, and I landed on a very capable yet cheaper Tenere 700 instead after getting a good deal at a Norwegian dealership. 

This spring, I was contacted by Husqvarna Motorcycles Scandinavia who were looking for an ambassador for the Norden 901! It was too good to be true - not only do I get to ride what is, in my opinion, the best looking ADV bike out there. I also get to have a fantastic group of supportive people from Husqvarna Scandinavia and it allowed much needed financial means for more traveling. 

The bike fits my riding style very well, having great comfort for on road touring while at the same time being more than capable enough for my gentle style of off-road riding.

3. Did you do any modifications to the bike, and if yes, which ones and why?

Before starting my trip this year, Husqvarna Scandinavia and the local dealership MB Racing let me choose whatever upgrades I wanted for the bike; much like letting a kid lose in a candy store. The upgrades we decided to do were: 

  • Larger touring windscreen - for better riding comfort but also because less wind noise in the helmet makes it easier to record better audio for my videos! 
  • Thicker bash plate - to protect the engine better and they also replaced the need for engine guards as it stretches up around the tank. 
  • Twin Pegs - a major upgrade that brings so much comfort and confidence riding off-road! 
  • Wider footpegs - even better grip and comfort riding while standing but not really necessary combined with Twin Pegs. 
  • Heated grips - riding in Nordic countries this is a must! 
  • Stronger hand guards – the original ones are pure plastic and will most likely take only one hit before they crack.
  • Double take mirrors - to prevent damage on the clutch lever or braking fluid reservoir/braking lever if/when I fall, since the base of the mirror is connected to these. 
  • Headlight and auxiliary light protection – a cheap investment to prevent possible expensive repairs. 
  • Side bag carriers - to attach my luggage system.
  • Sheepskin for seat - home made from Norwegian sheep! Smells funny for a while but brings comfort, warmth and honestly I’ve just always liked the look! 
  • Extra USB port - to make sure I can always charge all my camera gear while riding.

4. Which country in the world is the highest on your list to explore by motorcycle and why? 

My favorite destinations so far have been Iceland and Norway. I am head over heels in love with the Nordic landscape. The vastness of it, the feeling of wilderness and the epic views. Snow-capped mountains, fjords, beaches, and everything else it offers. I also really appreciate the low population in these countries - I’ve never been a fan of surrounding myself with a lot of people and the busyness of city life. 

SO what could possibly top this? How about a country that has all of the great things of BOTH Norway and Iceland combined? The answer to this is New Zealand, and I am in the process of planning my trip there for next year! :-D 

5. You run a successful YouTube channel, how did you get into filmmaking? 

I’ve always been quite creative, and like creating things. Both the process and the feeling of achievement once you’re left with a finished product. I’ve always wanted to learn more about photography but never got around to it. 

While working on my motorcycle license (a tedious and expensive process in Norway) I discovered the motovlog side of YouTube! Your videos Noraly, together with several others inspired me to try doing this myself. I quickly realized, like so many before me, that this took A LOT more work than I first thought. 

I’ve had fun learning and failing along the way, and with the encouragement and support from fantastic viewers on YouTube the quality of the videos and my work process continues to improve bit by bit.

6. What was the most memorable experience during your travels? 

In September 2022 I spent 16 days traveling in Iceland. On the second day, I rode a road called: Möðrudalsleið. Entering this landscape was like arriving on a different planet. It is just rocks and gravel as far as you can see, no grass, no trees; just a whole lot of nothingness. The wind was blowing like I’ve only ever experienced in Iceland. My parked, fully loaded 200kg++ motorcycle was swaying, and my helmet on the ground tumbling over. It was cold, and the weather in general cloudy and moody. 

Here I was in a location many people would perhaps hurry out of, and I absolutely loved it. Like, laughing-out-loud-all-by-myself loved it! It was just a very strong feeling of being exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing that has stuck with me. It’s been a source of motivation ever since, and the benchmark on an internal scale of epic motorcycle experiences. 

7. At the moment you are a part time traveler, are you planning on traveling full-time in the future? 

Actually, I took the leap of becoming a full time content creator in February this year! It’s scary, but so rewarding! So far the income from YouTube and my hard earned savings is just enough to keep my head above water for a while. 

This summer I went on my first trip with no time restrictions. I returned home after 41 days and my conclusion is; full time traveling month after month might not be the thing for me. I’ll enjoy discovering the world piece by piece instead, slowly but surely. In one way I’ve been a bit disappointed by this discovery, but then again it’s all about finding a way that works for me, so that I can continue to do what I do while still having a good time. Otherwise, what’s the point?

 Who knows, once I get more experience, perhaps long-long time traveling like you do Noraly, is in the books for me as well!

8. You enjoy camping during travels, are there any specific modifications or adaptations you've made to your motorcycle or gear to suit your camping style?

The adaptations I’ve made have mostly been toward my gear. I usually tell people you really don’t need the most expensive gear to go camping, but finding the right gear to fit your needs can improve the comfort of your trip SO much!

I’ve invested a lot of time and money in finding the most lightweight camping gear as possible that still has good enough quality to withstand the Nordic climate and at the same time is easy to use. There is nothing that kills the joy of camping more than waking up wet and cold at night because your tent is letting in water and your sleeping bag is not warm enough. 

Light weight gear also takes up little room and is a lot easier to pack on the bike. Staying organized and making sure all your stuff has a fixed place makes life a whole lot easier. I organize pretty much all my stuff in different coloured dry bags, so it’s easy to see what's where, inside my different bags. 

9. What is your most valued piece of equipment that you wouldn't travel without and why?

This probably has to be my phone. I recently upgraded to an iPhone 14 pro. I use this to take all my videos and photos when I’m off the bike (except drone shots), it’s my main line of communication with both family and followers, it’s where I plan my routes inside different navigation apps like Google maps. In general, I depend on my phone A LOT.

10.Where can we follow you and watch more about your adventures? 

YouTube: Off She Goes 

Instagram: Runa Grydeland

Facebook: Off She Goes

Comments
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It is so very nice to see Runa here and to see one unique travel vlogger support another. You both have such different styles and generate such unique content. Keep up the great work both of you. Great interview. I have travelled to NZ and agree it is well worth the visit, looking forward to seeing it through Runa's eyes. Safe riding ladies. From Mark in Canada

IBFan  | 

Thanks, Mark!

Noraly  | 

I ran across Run a wile paging through YouTube and have been following since late last year. It's great that you two have a similar goal. She does a great job just like you when it comes to vidiography. I e joy watching both of you but I prefer your music. You have the knack of putting truly epic music with your epic drone shots.

James Schneider  | 

Nice to see my compatriot, Runa, here ;)
If she keeps going north and east she might make it to an island called Vardø, the "Perl of the Arctic", where I live!
In any case, her videos keep getting better and better, so ...
GRATULERE!

Dagfinn  | 

I'm glad you enjoyed Runa's interview!

Noraly  | 

I did meet Runa earlier this summer during my first week of vacation (random parking spot after meeting her on the road near Röstånga in Skåne, Sweden), and I have followed her since the Iceland tour (probably earlier) and she is so much fun and smart/clever. I also see so many similarities between her and you, Noraly, even though it manifests itself in different ways. If you two ever get the chance to meet up "in the flesh" you should grab that opportunity, and I believe you both will enjoy the outcome.

Jonas E  | 

That is great that you met Runa!

Noraly  | 

So for a nurse, Covid turned out to be a blessing in disguise? Fingers are crossed she can bridge the gap and make it to a lucrative full-time travel blogger! Some exposure on the best Youtube channel of all in a little introduction video or even just a short might boost the attention she receives even more, wink-wink, nudge-nudge… 😇
…yes, I'm off already… 🥴🥳

Zweispurmopped  | 

Whoot! I wondered if you would head to Norway for some mountain riding...and here you are interviewing a Norwegian rider. Hmmmm...maybe...lol! I super look forward to wherever you go, and look forward to your opportunity to ride some powerful bikes without the worry of having to pick them up by yourself.

Lorraine Allen  | 

Hey Nora. Thank you for the awesome newsletter you don't know how much that made my day better. I am doing well riding a little bit here and there. I don't dare drop my bike I need help picking it up too. Just because I'm getting older ha ha. I have been watching off she goes also. I always give her a thumbs up and subscribe. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday in the next video. That's all I'm going for a ride later gator. 🐊😎👍

David55  | 

Hi Runa and Noraly, my two favorite lady adventure riders.

Dennis P  | 

Thank you!

Noraly  | 

I'm looking forward to your coming adventures.
Runa is awesome and seems like she is a true kindred spirit of you..............

FangShui  | 

I enjoyed you new news letter and know that you will surprises us.
Good group of ten questions for Runa too.
Hope you both will enjoy your travels and day by day adventures.
As always take good care and have safe travels.

Mike - P.  | 

Thanks, Mike!

Noraly  | 
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