About Roel

 

On the 17th of May, 2009 I left The Netherlands on my Honda Africa Twin for an overland

motorbike journey to Australia, which would take me over a year to complete. During my

first motorbike adventure in 2003 with my friend Jasper, who got me into riding bikes and

outdoor stuff, we met an American guy on a Ducati Street 2. He had figured out a way to

work for a year and then travel for two years on his bike. He had seen most of the world

and had the most amazing stories. The idea got stuck in my head and after finishing our

6 week adventure through Scandinavia and the Baltic States I figured that I could do this

for an extended period of time. The dream was born.After finishing my Bachelor degree

in Management, Economics and Law and some office experience with

PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Philips Consumer Electronics I concluded

that I was not made to sit behind a desk. I joined the Dutch Army where I learned a lot

about discipline, survival skills and perseverance. However great the experience, this was

also not what I wanted. During my study I had worked in hospitality and loved it so I decided to try my luck there. After a few years as a floor manager I got the chance to set up a new venue for a big hospitality company. I truly enjoyed the challenge and with an amazing team, managed to set up a very successful restaurant. The dream however, was still there.I realized that if I was ever to go on a big motorcycle adventure, now was the time. I started reading into it and after a lot of contemplating decided to leave for Australia on my birthday, the 16th of May. Australia had always been one of my dream countries so why not go there by bike. I saved up as much as possible and started preparing the bike for the journey. The biggest obstacle was, as I call it, to unplug from “The Matrix”. My insurance company would not let me unsubscribe, the bike needed paperwork to go over the border, etc. But in the end it all worked out. I started packing the day before the planned departure but fitting everything on the bike took longer than expected. On the 17th I finally rode off, Jasper accompanying me for the first two days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 200 dollars left in my pocket, I made it to Australia. Work and money was

a priority and after almost 14 months of traveling I was looking forward to

working again. I started working for a Pearl Farm in Darwin and after 5 months

moved on to a winery in New South Wales. I combined working and traveling

and after a few weeks on the road, discovering the natural beauty of Australia,

ended up working for a dive school in Queensland. It was one of the most

amazing dive sites I had ever seen and I loved the job. One morning I was

writing down the names of the divers for that day. The third name was;

Azure O’Neil. Before even meeting her I was in love with her name. When she

walked around the corner in her wetsuit I was sold and when she finally came

in to say thanks and goodbye I knew my motorbike travels around the world

would never be the same again. 

 

My journey took me through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece,

Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal where I had to fly the bike to Thailand

because it was not possible to ride through Tibet or Burma. From Thailand

the ride continued through Malaysia, Indonesia and finally East Timor where

I shipped my bike to Darwin, Australia.

 

The 37000 Km (23000 Mi) adventure took me over a year to complete and

was the experience of a lifetime. It was great to see all the different

countries with their stunning natural beauty but most impressive were

all the people and cultures. People all over the world were just amazing.

The hospitality and kindness of people everywhere was just

mind-boggling, especially in the places where the media and our

governments tell us not to go. The journey was an eye opener to a

beautiful world. A world everyone should see through his or her own

eyes and not on a television. It would make this world an even better

place.