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Chasing Motorcycle Dreams

Season 6 : Project Alaska

15 November 2022

I did it. I did it. Those were the words echoing in my head, as I finally completed my Patagonia to Alaska motorcycle dream. Overlanding all of the Americas, from the southern tip, all the way to the northern tip of Alaska is a dream of many. And so, it was for me. 

The final 30 kilometers before reaching the Arctic Ocean, I couldn't do anything other than cry. Unexpectedly, I'd just become overwhelmed with emotion. I saw the arctic tundra through a haze of tears, behind my closed helmet visor. All those years, all those kilometers on the road and I have never cried. But the last 30 kilometers of straight, tarred road to the Arctic Ocean and tears were streaming down my face. I felt a little out of character but at the same time, I allowed myself to feel everything that I was feeling. I'd figure out what was going on later. 

Memories of my journey

That 'later' came when I started editing the video that I shot on this final ride of the journey. Hearing the emotion in my own voice and seeing myself ride that final stretch of road, brought back my train of thoughts I had in that moment. I remember riding that final day and having memories of the journey pop into my head. Random moments on the road. People that I met. The scariest moments. The adventures that stuck with me the most. It all came flashing back to me while I was riding those final miles towards my goal. 

Overcoming problems

Mark Manson, a famous writer, wrote something in one of his books that very much resonated with me. He wrote - you will always have problems in your life, no matter what you do. The key to true happiness, is finding the problems that you enjoy having and enjoy solving. I think about this principle a lot during my motorcycle travels. Especially when I am stuck in some swamp with my motorcycle, and when I am sweating like a pig to try and get it free again. Or when there are so many bureaucratic hoops and hurdles to get through in order to cross a land border. Or when the terrain is so hard that I doubt myself whether or not I can get through it. Or when I'm picking up my motorcycle after falling down for the 100th time.

I've come to realize that I like having these problems. And I like solving them. The feeling it gives me when I've overcome them is always worth the struggle. Simply because the reward is more valuable when the struggle was real. I think that's why I burst into tears during the last 30 kilometers towards Prudhoe Bay. I thought back to all the struggles, the sweat and hard work it had taken me to get here. Because of those struggles, it truly meant something to finally arrive here.

Pushing my boundaries

Without the struggles, I wouldn't have been crying. If I would have just followed the Pan American highway from Patagonia all the way north, I wouldn't have felt accomplished. It was all the ventures off the beaten path, into the unknown, that resulted in the biggest fights and struggles. They resulted in meeting the best people. In finding strength in myself and my abilities. In experiencing the best places and feeling the most accomplished. 

And yes, there were definitely days in this journey when I wasn't feeling up to the task. Days where I didn't want to make my life more complicated than necessary and when chose an easier route. Looking back, I am glad there weren't too many of those days. Because those days I barely remember. They weren't memorable even though that's what I needed at the time. It's the days where everything turned pear shaped, when I pushed my boundaries and went far beyond my comfort zone, that popped into my head on that final ride. 

My purpose in life

More than ever, the end of this journey also made me feel strongly about something else. That I have found my purpose in life. That my purpose may be, to travel around the world and share this with people through my videos. Because throughout these years, I've come to realize, that this journey didn't just mean something to me, but it meant a lot to the people experiencing it online with me too. To you, this community, all who virtually travel with me. 

And so, I thought about what other dreams I have. And already started setting things in motion to make those happen. I can't wait to begin and share them with you!

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Paul H....Mate used to have a Honda Goldwing, always ribbing him about installing a coffee machine to go with the ashtrays etc. Great info about Emilio thankyou, what a legend! I do think Noraly must be close to him by now though (not in total distance traveled) as far as 'epic' motorcycling goes. Using tramping as an example, 10km traveled walking along a A grade track, compared to up and down mountains with almost no track, means actual result should multiply distance.... by 5+ at least. Regards Clay :-)

Kiwi-Flyer  | 

I just came across this, in case you haven't yet."The world record for the longest journey on a motorcycle belongs to Argentine Emilio Scotto, who left home on January 17, 1985... and returned on April 2, 1995, having covered a total of 735,000 km and visited 214 independent countries and territories Emilio drove the entire journey on a Honda motorcycle - the legendary
GL1100 Gold Wing 1980, nicknamed "Black Princess". For ten years "Princess" consumed 47,000 liters of fuel, 1,300 liters of oil, 86 tires, 12 batteries and 9 seats! .. For all 735,000 km, only one engine change was required. Upon returning home, Emilio wrote The Longest
Ride, in which he described his incredible journey over 224 pages.”

I assume you already know about Elspeth Beard ? She's the first woman to ride the world 'round, an architect in the U.K. , and still riding.

Paul H.  | 

Norale as I said before you inspire me to buy another bike do adventure ride which i did but the guy went with go hurt and we only finished 3 sections of the New Mexico BDR it was fabulious the moutain were outstanding some of the road were challenging but i make it want to go back and finish the rest of the section then I got my son interested in riding the Northern California bdr in 2026 as soon as he gets some ride time on a dual sport you are welcome to ride with us it would be a honor but if you have more rides planned we understand well love you videos keep them coming on utube take care and ride safe

jpena  | 

I"ll skip the (deserved) accolades here and keep it brief. I have one burning question: Not being a motor rally person myself, I can't help but wonder about your results in the Baja Rally - you came in 18th, which is impressive enough on its own, but what about all the time penalties you were given on that first day when your electronics didn't work so you didn't appear to have passed the checkpoints. Did that have an effect on your total score, and if so, where do you think you would have placed if your electronics had been working properly on that day?

Janet S.  | 

Hi Norally, you certainly inspire a lot of people and give joy to people that are not able to make these trips. Me and my wife really enjoy your adventures. Glad you have found your purpose in life. After 50 years I'm still searching. But your adventures gives us strength and ideas for our own purposes in life. Thank you!

JeaErw  | 

Nicaragua - I skipped one episode when we (!) were in Nicaragua, you were visiting a gold mining Co-operative. Always preferred the sense of movement through incredible landscapes over coverage of local life. HOWEVER, I watched the episode yesterday and have to admit it is one of my favorites. You are so sensitive to human endeavors, daily struggle, and the micro-societies you motor through. I think the Latin American series in general is my favorite, and now Nicaragua will always stand out.

EJB  | 

Living your best life Noraly! If you come to Australia please contact me - I can provide accommodation and steer you towards some good roads!! Cheers Jack

Jack777  | 

In a way I know how you feel, I recently completed a long dreamed about ride to the northern tip of the Australian Continent (Cape York Peninsular). It took four days to ride there across some of the roughest roads I have been on. It was hot and humid and a tough ride. But getting to the tip of Australia, standing on the small rock ledge at a sign marking the spot, I couldn't remove the smile from my face. Not an epic like your rides but one I will never forget. I've even got the t-shirt to prove I was there:). It wasn't until my riding buddies and I sat at the Corrugation Bar at the Punsand Bay Camping ground that it really sank in.

Swaggie  | 

Norally,,
I'm alberto from the phillipines but currently working here in japan I've been watching your videos,,Youre so inspiring to watch.You're a beautiful women with a brave heart.I'm excited on youre next adventure.Good luck and GOD bless.

CALATAN JR  | 

This was certainly a very challenging adventure! You conquered the America’s and challenged many riders to do the same. However, no one will share their experience in the same light as you! I certainly hope you have another excellent adventure soon. Ride safe and enjoy every minute of it.

Willy C

Willy’s Performance Cycle Center  | 
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