March has been a bit of a non-starter as far as trip planning goes. Tragedy stuck my family when my sister, Renate, died on the 8th March. It wasn’t a wholly unexpected event and over the past 20 years I had thought about it and believed I had prepared myself mentally for it… however I could not have been more wrong. I’ve been through the death of grandparents, other older relatives and family friends, I had been OK with that. They were old, had lived good lives and their time had come. However, my sister was only 36 and although she had done a lot in her life – far more than I’m sure I’ll have done by the time I’m 36 – there was so much more that she wanted to do.
However, life must go on and, if anything, her passing has made me more determined to get out into the world and experience all the wonders it has to offer. In the past I’ve not been very good at keeping in touch with friends. But what I’ve learnt in the last month is that it OK that I’m not very good with words and that I don’t always know the right things to say or even how to put into words how I’m feeling, the important thing is to reach out to people and at the very least say Hi.
During March I managed arranged my travel insurance from Islands Insurance, a local insurer on Guernsey. I managed to get worldwide insurance for up to 180 days for myself and my partner, who’ll be joining me for a month in the middle of the trip, for a very reasonable price. They covered my previous trip to Morocco and didn’t quibble about paying out when I broke my foot in the middle of the desert. They also confirmed that the insurance will cover any expenses incurred should I need to use the SOS button on my DeLorme InReach.
I’ve also sorted out motorbike insurance with Motorcycle Express for the duration of my trip. I splashed out the extra for breakdown assistance. The R120GSA is a big bike to shift on my own in case of a breakdown. If there’s a group of you and on of the bikes has an engine problem it’s easy enough for another bike in the group to tow it but that’s not an option if you’re on your own.
Next on the list is booking my plane tickets, I’ve already started talking to Trailfinders about this, and confirming shipment of the bike to Halifax with James Cargo. I’m hoping James Cargo will also be able to help with advice on where or who can help with getting my bike shipped back from Canada.