A few days before I was scheduled to fly out of Buenos Aires I went to Ezeiza International Airport to ship my motorcycle back to California. For those interested in the details I will write a post about the shipping process. This is more the narrative of the event.
The day had finally arrived. About 3 weeks after arriving in Buenos Aires it was time to take my last ride in South America. While my friend Kelli shopped around San Telmo for tango shoes and dresses, I loaded up my bike and headed to the cargo facility at the airport. The friendly employee at the San Telmo parking garage wished me a safe journey and a few turns later I was on the highway.
The ride was less than 45 minutes. Upon arrival the guards at the cargo entrance checked over my paperwork and directed me to a large warehouse. An employee greeted me and showed me inside. In the corner of the warehouse two guys were waiving me in their direction. They had the pallet ready for me and even set up a ramp so I could ride directly onto it.
I had mixed emotions about the day’s events. For one, I was trying to remember this was the end of my motorcycle journey that began almost 8 months earlier. But I still had a few more days in Buenos Aires and it would be a couple weeks until I was home in California. I was also hoping the shipping process would go smoothly without any complications. I got off the bike and took a picture of the end mileage on the odometer. This adventure was just shy of 20,000 miles.
I began taking parts off the motorcycle to make it as small as possible as the shipping cost is determined by volume. Off came the mirrors and windscreen. The crew helped me remove my front wheel which helped lower the height. I stuffed my riding and camping gear around the wheels. I disconnected the battery and left the key in the ignition.
Within two hours the process was complete. I stuffed the paperwork and a few personal items in a backpack and walked away.
As I sat in a cramped shuttle van riding back to San Telmo I thought about how much that motorcycle has meant to me on this adventure. It’s taken me to unforgettable places and led to amazing experiences. And it’s also what’s sparked many of the relationships created on this journey. People react differently to a guy riding a motorcycle by himself than they do someone traveling the same distance by buses.
Thinking about the days and weeks ahead I was determined to create unforgettable experiences on my own. Afterall, it all comes down to making the choice. The choice to start, to ask for help, to say hello, to try something totally new, to be ok putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations to achieve a goal, to connect, to love, to laugh, to dream, and to follow those dreams.
So here’s to the next amazing chapter to Places Beyond… without a motorcycle.