Adventure doesn’t cost a lot. We cycled across India on bicycles, which cost about 100 euros each. But today we want to share with you story of Marcis Plavins, who is traveling the world on a motorbike. No, it’s not some custom-built motorbike, prepared especially for long distance journeys. Nope! Not at all!
Marcis made things easier (and much cheaper). And more interesting, I would say. He bought an old, 125cc Belorussian bike from 1992 called Minsk. The one everyone of you can afford for yourself. Together with friends he fixed it. And embmarked on thousand kilometers long journey to India.
Continue reading to find out how it is going!
– Please, tell us a little bit about yourself!
My traveling name is Mark although I am from Latvia and my Latvian name is Mārcis (but using Mark makes life waaaaay easier for everybody). In 2009 after working in an advertising agency and a public relations agency I decided to quit the whole thing.
The reason? Well.. I just asked myself – “Why? Why are you doing this? Do you like it? Are you passionate about the thing you do?” The answer was “No” so I quit the job, took all of the 150 euros I had at that point and left Latvia telling everybody I’m off to travel the world and I’ll be back in six to twelwe months.
I ended up hitchiking through Europe, finding a job in Lisbon. Then I flew over to Gran Canaria, hitchiked a yacht across the Atlantic ocean (yup), found a job in Barbados for a while, flew over to Costa Rica, worked there, traveled through Central America up North to Cancun, Mexico.
After Mexico I worked in US for a bit and came back home 361 days after I left.
– Tell us more about your motorbike adventure?
Today it is Day 118 (September 14, 2015) of my motorbike trip. I’ve crossed Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey so far. I’m in Georgia now and having the time of my life.
I have traveled 6500 km. I have broken my ankle in two places. I have been stuck in mud. My wallet has been stolen/ lost. I have fallen in love. I have had days I want to quit this thing and go back home. I have seen sunrises and sunsets like never before. I have had gazillion of curves on my road, each of them surprising me.
Every day is a new day, every day brings something new, unexpected – something I’m kind of scared of but still I want to find out what it is.
The initial goal of this trip was India. But after couple of weeks of traveling I understood it’s not the destination – it’s the road that I love. It’s the process – it’s your guts, your feelings that tell you to stay in a place for a while or to leave the place as soon as possible.
My feeling is my map – and now I travel by it. If my feeling says “Stay here”, I stay there. I’m moving slow but I never had the intention to just see a place. I want to know a place if I like it. And leave a place if I don’t.
– Why you chose to travel with motorbike?
While in Nicaragua, sitting in a local “chicken bus”, looking out of the window I though “It would be pretty awesome to travel here with a motorbike. Stopping wherever you want, going wherever you want.” I must mention – I had never ridden a motorbike before.
Years passed, but the motorbike idea never actually left my head.
So after a while I knew – I have to travel the world on a motorbike someday. “Someday” was the key word because I knew we always have the things we want to do “someday”. Unfortunately “someday” most of the time means “I really want to do this but I’m pretty sure I never will”.
And one day I told to myself – “Mārcis, you’re going on a motorbike trip”.
In 2014 I bought a bike – a 125cc, old, crappy Belorussian bike from 1992 called Minsk. Latvians know this sh*t – lot of people remember this bike as “the first bike I had when I was a kid”.
So yes – there I was with my crappy little thing about to travel the world. Fortunately I found great people who helped me to get the bike in the right condition for the road. But still there always were “I had this bike and it was 4 days of fixing and 1 day of riding” kind of people around who never though I’ll get more that 1000 km away from Latvia before I would hide my head in the sand and get back home leaving my bike on the side of the road.
But I loved it. I loved it because it was kind of saying “You don’t need a lot to fulfill your dreams”.
– What are the things you have with you?
On the road I have all I need – a tiny cup for my food, a tent, two pairs of pants, 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of underwear, 4 different socks (I don’t need pairs because my broken foot doesn’t need socks), a pair of hiking shoes and one flip-flops.
I have around 50 liters of stuff with me– all of it small and practical.
– Are you traveling with broken foot?
Yes. But I’m not alone anymore. After the accident my friend Marcis Zarins joined me for the trip. Without him I would not have been able to go on with my trip. He’s been a great help and support everywhere I go and this just teaches me the importance of friendship.
– Your advice for those thinking about traveling!
I learn a lot on this trip – hospitality, friendship, love, brotherhood of men, caring and helping – traveling has always done nothing but good to anybody who decides to travel.
Just do it, just go for it – it has no disadvantages – it will only make you a better person.
It’s funny how I’ve crossed the bautiful Transfagarasan in Romania and Bayburt of Yolu road (considered to be one of the most dangerous roads in the world) in Turkey with a broken ankle as well as gotten to Shatili in Georgia and back safe and sound with this “You’ll never get anywhere with it” kind of bike.
I love the feeling of chasing your dreams even if people around don’t believe in your idea.
Here’s what I say – “I don’t care if people think that it doesn’t make sense what I am doing – if I believe it’s important, I just go for it!”
Follow adventures of Marcis on his Facebook page – The Dream Route!
Photos used in the article are taken by Marcis Zarins.
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they are traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On WeAreFromLatvia.com they share their experience and things learned along the way.