Travel maps!

Wandering the web, reading moto-travel blogs on a rainy Friday afternoon, I found some cool stuff. First is which is an easy way to keep track of your travels, including things like fuel prices and other goodies. Plugging in just the states (no maps for Canada that I could find), our travels look pathetically left-coastie and decidedly unfinished. It gives me the urge to do more riding just for the sake of placing more pushpins in our virtual map.

Free, personalized travel maps at

The question is, does this kind of travel really make us happy, or does the joy and discovery of simply wandering make for better memories?

This should be a cut and dried answer, but for me it’s not. I loved Alaska, I loved Newfoundland, I also loved wandering around little ghost towns on our weekend trips last summer, and I think our favorite motorcycle vacations have been  week-long excursions to Colorado last summer and following California’s Route 49 a few years ago. Then again, it’s pretty cool to say we rode North until we ran into the ocean.

There’s good and bad about both types of riding. Point-to-point travel takes us to places that make you do the fist-pump and want to scream YEA!!!! WE MADE IT!!!! Along with the quiet satisfaction of pushing my brain and body past a typical comfort zone and accomplishing a goal despite sometimes difficult and frustrating situations, that pushpin in the map gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Yea, we're here! We broke a bike, are stranded on an island, but we made it!

Exploration travel with no real goal on the map creates more lasting memories for me, I guess because I have more time to drink it all in! Simply stopping because something looks cool has brought us to some truly amazing discoveries and places we would have never known about had we just been “passing through”.

No way I would have seen this if we'd been jamming through Colorado on the way to somewhere else.

With Mike home recuperating from knee surgery for the past few weeks, it’s brought a few things to the front of my brain. First, having someone else in the house is completely disruptive for me! Second, that’s not a bad thing, just different. Third, we are okay hanging around the house when we need to and we don’t drive each other crazy(er). Fourth and most important, although we’re okay around the house we are happier when we’re either planning a trip, or on a trip – even a short jaunt to Seattle makes us smile.

So I think, for us the answer is a mix of both go-to-say-we’ve-been-there trips, and explore-for-the-heck-of-it wanderings will make us happiest.

Here’s to longer trips, fewer problems, and more great memories!


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