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From the Royal Enfield: How Traveling by Motorcycle will Take your Travel Experience to the Next Level

royal enfield travel

Top reasons one *should* hate travel by motorcycle:

  • It is uncomfortable
  • You get dirty
  • You get wet
  • You get cold
  • You sit in the same position for hours on end
  • If something breaks you’re screwed
  • You can’t pack any luxury items
  • You have a learning curve on how to be most prepared
  • It can be dangerous
  • You’re inferior to cars and trucks on the road
  • The engine is loud

When you do the math, motorcycle travel should be the worst. When you look at all the reasons not to like it, it should be pretty obvious. Why would one ever want to travel by motorcycle?? Despite all the odds, travel by motorcycle is one of the most liberating and exhilarating feelings in the world. Some people prefer to meditate to find peace; others prefer to ride.

When it comes to travel and tourism, there is seriously nothing else like it. Do you enjoy being outside? Enjoy nature? Being one with the earth? I’d honestly say travel by motorcycle is the closest way to do it and to get from point A to point B.

royal enfield volcano

motorcycle travel in ecuador

Living in Ecuador has given me the extreme advantage and high privilege to see this country from another perspective. I’ll be honest that before I moved to Ecuador I really did not like motorcycles. But since being here I have an obsession. Everywhere you turn there is another gorgeous sight to see, and being on the Royal Enfield 500 has brought me one step closer. Being situated in the foothills of the Andes makes our travels fascinating. Granted the travel time is longer (and much curvier), but we are actually immersed in the earth’s beauty of mountains, hills, and all things green.

As many know, Ecuador is the country of 4 worlds – the Andes, the Amazon jungle, the coast, and the Galapagos. I wish I could fully explain the feeling of riding a motorcycle through the jungle. The heat, the smell, the freedom. There’s nothing else like it in the world. Between the liberation of the jungle, the beautiful chill of the mountains, the heat that sinks into your skin on the coast – all of these sensations are ones that I will forever treasure, and ones that I think every human should have the opportunity to experience (so long as they are up for the challenge and join us crazies ;))

royal enfield in mindo ecuador

When it comes to travel on the motorcycle, it is definitely not the destination but the journey. Of course you plan your trips to go somewhere awesome, but actually getting there and enjoying it through its ups and downs is the main focus of making the trip. Instead of travel by plane, the whole point of being on the ground is taking in everything around you. You may be uncomfortable and tired, but the views are breathtaking, the company is irreplaceable, and sensation is one you will never forget.

When you travel via motorcycle you are relentlessly exposed to all of the earth’s elements. You hear the earth – the sounds of the wind, animals, trees and grass blowing in the wind. You see it – all the earth’s beauty in its colors and patterns, it’s gifts to the land and the communities that inhabit it. You smell it – the sap of the trees, the nectar of the fruits, the smoke of the local barbecue, the sand of the dirt road, the chill in the air, the fresh rain on the pavement. You feel it – the chill of the air as it hits your face, the drops of rain that nourish the soil, the bumps and shakes of the land as the motorcycle rides over bumps in the road.

If riding in a car is to playing a video game, then riding a motorcycle is to actually being in the game. You have no other option than to fully engage in your environment. Sure you have all the gear, but there is nothing protecting you from the outside. No doors. No windows. No shield to tell you that you are safe inside. Because you’re not. But it’s much, much better that way.

royal riders

Along our motorcycle travels throughout Ecuador we have met a community of fellow riders. Aside from official groups and social clubs, we have met and passed so many other moto travelers that are as crazy as we are. It is incredible to know that there are others that share your passion, and others that will stop in an instant if they see you struggling on the road. Being part of this community has brought another level of the human element to travel, to risk, to enjoying life to its fullest while balanced on two wheels.

I’m really not sure what life in Ecuador would be like without motorcycle travel. I am eternally grateful to my absolutely incredible travel companion that has accompanied me, learned with me, and welcomed me into this crazy world filled with adventures of a lifetime. You make this journey one for the books, every day. Te agradezco hasta el fin del mundo mi amor.

jungle travel on royal enfield

Not ready for a trip on the motorcycle yet? Let’s chat in the comments, I’m sure I can change your mind 😉


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  • Mike
    Mike | April 9, 2017

    Hey Kelly, I saw your comment on LinkedIn and thought I knew you from college but I guess it’s rather from SIS. I was curious about your work in Ecuador. Anyways, I read this and HAD to tell you, I just came in from cycling and one of the most interesting books I’ve read is a travelogue by Neal Peart called “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road.” He’s the amazing drummer and lyricist for the band Rush. He went about 50,000 miles on his motorcycle, through Canada, North and Central America after some personal losses. Anyways, what you write reminds me of it or him and wanted to pass it along! Best to you! MB

    • Kelly
      Kelly | April 9, 2017

      Hey Mike! Thanks for the comment! Yes I am and IPCR alum 🙂 Thank you so much for the book recommendation I will definitely check it out, it sounds great! Hope all is well at AU!

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