I’ve read a few articles and comments from people pissing on folks who start “please fund my motorcycle adventure” kind of online donation campaigns. They paint them as the scum of the Earth who prey on nice people to pay for their selfish adventures as they ride their motorcycles around the world. They feel that these free loaders should first work hard, save some money and then go fund their adventure instead of begging for money online or doing stuff like selling postcards of their previous adventures.
That’s one way to look at it. Personally, I think just because someone doesn’t fit the “normal” lifecycle of a modern day urban human being, it doesn’t mean that what they are doing is wrong. Of course, you could think of it as “wrong” because the stuff they are doing is exactly opposite of the stuff you are doing, which you consider to be “right”. After all the “right” thing to do is work hard, build a career and earn money so that you can create assets and have vacations once in a while. The “wrong” thing would be to sell everything you have so that you can ride a motorcycle across the face of the Earth.
Come to think of it, everyone is going to end up in a six feet deep hole in the ground at the end of it all. It really doesn’t matter how much you have in the end because there is place for just you and only you in that hole. What really matters, in my opinion, is what you did on the journey to your hole.
That journey isn’t as long as you think. These days if you manage to live till eighty before people lower you into your hole, I wouldn’t consider that to be a bad thing. Out of these eighty years you probably won’t be able to do much in the last twenty due to health and mobility reasons, although you may have the money. You weren’t able to do much in the first twenty either because you were too busy doing what others told you to do. The fact that you didn’t have any money doesn’t really matter. So that’s half your life gone out of the window.
The second twenty years are usually spent slogging it out so that you are able to build a career that will support a family, for which you will need to provide for the third twenty years. So you are pretty much grounded and the maximum you can do is family vacations once in a while.
If you don’t slog it out in the second twenty years, you won’t be able to provide for a family as well as you would like to. Also the last twenty years most probably won’t be enjoyable because you will essentially be trying to survive or possibly living off some government mercy scheme depending on which country you live in. But if you do slog it out in the second twenty years, then you are pretty much grounded for that period. But you are setting yourself up to make the most of the third twenty years and have a comfortable last twenty years before people lower you into your hole.
In “my” opinion that is the “right” thing to do. Slog it out for the second twenty years and explore the planet as much as you can in the third twenty years. If you are in a position to do some stuff in the last twenty years then consider yourself lucky. Very lucky.
At least that the plan I’m following. I come from lower middle class Indian family. My father was a mid-level government employee and my mother was a high school teacher. Apart from a decent education, I got nothing else from them. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I had no option other than slogging it out for my second twenty years. If I hadn’t done so, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do the kind of stuff I’m doing in my third twenty years, which I have just started.
I’m also hoping that my last twenty years will be relatively comfortable. But I’m not leaving any serious adventure kind of stuff for that period. I will most probably be spending a lot of time in front of a nice big ass TV watching my GoPro footage over and over again. Or maybe use a set of fancy Virtual Reality googles reliving my adventures. I certainly hope I don’t end up fretting about stuff I should have done when I could do it.
So coming back to the “please fund my motorcycle adventure” campaigns, what do I think about them? Well, I say, to each his own. There is no “right” or “wrong” plan. Do what “you” feel is “right”. If you think the “right” thing to do is spend your second twenty years wandering the planet, go for it. However, don’t expect everyone else to think the same way as you.
I bring this up because I often get messages from people saying, “Sir, I’m your follower and big fan. Like you I want to do wanderlust. Please give me money. Nobody is giving me money. But I know you will surely understand and give me money.”
Needless to say, I don’t respond to such requests. But having said this, I have donated money to some travellers. Only those who have something useful to give back. Like a beautifully written blog with useful information or informative (not necessarily cinematic) videos.
To get something be ready to give something.