No More Later Left: The Email Backlog

It’s less than a month until departure. I’m sitting on a pile of flagged emails that relate to this trip in some way. I haven’t really read much of any of them but thought I could get around to them “later”. There is no more later left, so now is the time to start chopping through it all.

There appear to be around seventy emails that have labels associated with various aspects of the trip, from country specific recommendations to phone unlock codes. So I’m going through the backlog, starting with the vaguest label, titled simply ”Trip”:

The first email is just a link:

The site is built on modest homebrew HTML, to the point where I initially wondered if it was some kind of legacy site but I noted the copyright © Grant and Susan Johnson, 1987-2011 so somebody must still be paying attention to it. For which I am grateful, it’s a wonderful window into a life I would have been happy to have lived. Hundreds of astounding pictures and inspirational travelogues stretching back to the pre-internet dark ages of postcards and guesswork. An epic duration around the world motorcycle trek. Hats off to you, Johnsons.

I’ve already spent half an hour poking around and haven’t scratched the surface.  “Baja California, Mexico – April 29 – May 18, 1987”, enough said. They end up in the Yucatan later that summer. A couple of years later, they’re in New Zealand. They’re all over Europe in the mid-nineties. More than a decade down the line, they are in Ecuador (Grant is anyway). Almost a quarter of a century  after they hit the road, I’m travelling to the Yucatan, New Zealand, Europe, and Ecuador, possibly treading the same ground as they are (minus the BMW). You see, it’s all full circle! Not really but I like to contextualize stories of the (relatively) remote past against my own experiences, daydreaming moments of my life in tandem with the notable lives of strangers.

And that’s just the first link. I’ve got 69 more emails to get through, some of them containing vital insights into the world we’re about to step off into. But for tonight, I’m just going to spend a little more time with Grant & Susan in a parallel ’90s.


Around the World by motorcycle, North to South, 1987 - 1998

Around the World by motorcycle, North to South, 1987 - 1998