Project Africa

I mentioned my plans or at least wishes for the future and that i like to move to South Africa but i wanted to do the ScanBaltic trip fist before staring anything with this idea.
This weekend i don;t have time to do a new video for the ScanBatic series so i thought it is a good moment to tell a bit about this.

That picture was taken in 2017 when i was on a trip from Johannesburg to Cape town in three weeks at a place called “Gods window”.
This was just one of many beautiful places and i missed the bike sometime but even without i enjoyed every second of it.
Let’s go back almost 2 decades when i met my last girlfriend.
My parent where poor and had no ambitions and because of that i did not grew up with holidays abroad and even very little within the Dutch boundaries. I can vaguely remember a campsite less than 30km from our house and many weekend to “beppe”, the Frisian word for grandmother. I never knew paake, Frisian for grandfather from my mothers side.
From that i learned that vacations are a waste of money and at some point i became a long distance truck driver and did see a bit from Europe after all and got paid for it too.

In 2004 i met my now ex and in 2005 we went on my first real holiday, my first flight on an air plane to Gran Canaria with friends of ours and the year after to Tenerife.
I discovered i liked travelling and seeing new places and she seemed to enjoy it different than before, more i think because we came to the point that we went multiple times per year and planning the next one even before we went on the one before.
In 2013 we discovered fly and drive vacations that was the way to go, more freedom and more unique places to go to.
My ex was not real adventurous but wanted very much to go to Africa and i guess that my attitude on the vacations and in different situations gave her the trust to take on an adventure. I seem to blend in very easy and come across like i just belong there and i don’t have any form of panic when things don’t go as planned. Just asses the situation and look for a solution… Improvise, adapt and overcome is in my DNA i think but i don;t know where it came from because it’s complete opposite to my parents.
Normally we went for 5, 8 or 10 days but that was of course way to short for Africa and that made it our longest trip of 22 days .
I do want to see more of the world but i keep thinking back to South Africa.

I had 2 bucket list trip i wanted to do some time and in 2018 over diner with friends, the same we went on vacation in 2005 it came to the conversation. Then with their just born first kid and now with their 2 teenage boys and they said that i should do one of the trips before i am too old for trips like that and my girlfriend could go wit them on vacation.
I was away on day trips and weekends a lot and go on complete vacations separate is not what you do quit easily but we agreed and because we already had plans for 2019 it should go o in 2020.

In 2020 however came an end to our relationship from just over 16 years, that was in March and in September i had the trip planned.
That story you also can read in my blog series about the Bucketlist trip Corona edition so i don’t go in to that again.
We went apart as good friends and we speak each other often and also still do things together with our friends.
Better look at things in a positive way and when a door closes there are many doors to choose from to enter and i entered the motorcycle travel door.
I went on with the first trip but due to corona it was not one of the bucketlist trips, that list grew by the way when planning alternatives in 2020.

`When looking for places to go i also was thinking about Africa.
After separating with my ex i had some money in my savings account to rebuild my life and after getting everything i need i still had some left making me think it might be enough to take a year off at work and ride to South Africa and back.
I had it all in my head already and then i figured i might make it a one way trip.
In 2021 and this year i did both original bucketlist trips and now it’s time to start looking into the biggest adventure of my life and this week i took the first step.
I made contact with the South African embassy in The Hague.

My dream is to do motorcycle tours that are focussed on adventure, based ad a lodge with day trips from there but also multiple days in collaboration with other lodges.
It should be not only riding but also teach the participants about adventurous travelling and share what i learned and will learn along the way because i am the kind of person that never stops learning as i never avoid difficult situations.
The reality probably will be different but i will work towards that goal.
I made contact with the embassy to try get an appointment to sit down and let me be informed about the steps to get there but they didn’t have a person who do such things.
I fact it will be not easy to get a green card.
I have to check the website, there is a list with “critical skills” and if i have a skill on that list i can apply for a work permit.
Not quite what i was planning but i will check that list somewhere in the next couple of weeks, i have various skills and i’m certain one of them will be on that list.

Contact with the embassy to find out if there is an explicit “no” was the fist step i had to make before i could do anything else and “its not easy” is most definite not a no so i will go on with the next step.
What that is i will tell you in another blog when it’s time or when i didn’t have time for editing h\which can be already next week or the week after that.
Tomorrow i have a truckrun, next weekend is also filled and the weekend after that i go to Adventure Overland but the week before i took off from work to redo my garage floor and maybe the electricity too.
I’ll end with a few more pictures to show why i want to go back…

4 Replies to “Project Africa”

  1. This is such a moving blog Ray 🤗 You had shared much of this with me in person before and I commend you for sharing this with ‘the world’ this way. Of course my best wishes are always with you and I will be among the first to wish you Godspeed when the time arrives. Chasing the big dream is something I would recommend everybody to do! Enjoy the truck run and Overland – and keep us posted!

    Cheers! Ron

    1. Thanks again.
      Wanted to keep up de ScanBaltic series but also happy i could finally tell a bit more about these plans and that i actually made the first step.

  2. Geweldig mooi verhaal Ray, mooi dat jou droom naar een “next level” is gegaan. Bij het zien van die prachtige foto’s ga ik begrijpen waarom je weer die kant op wilt.
    Ook ik wens je succes met het najagen van je droom, toi toi toi Ray.

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