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ADV RidesCouple Quits Jobs and Sets Out on Epic 2-Up RTW Adventure

Couple Quits Jobs and Sets Out on Epic 2-Up RTW Adventure

 Dropping everything to follow the dream of riding the world together.

Published on 10.13.2017
Marta quit her job as a sales manager and Lukasz as a logistics expert to set out on a life of adventure riding 2-up round the world.

Realizing the time was now or never, Lukasz and Marta quit their jobs, packed their BMW F800GS motorcycle and set out on a 2-up round-the-world adventure. After completing a 38,000 mile ride from Ushuaia, Argentina to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the couple is now in the final stages of preparing for their next adventure: a ride around Africa. To commemorate their journey of the Americas, they have made a video which is on its way to half a million views!

Hailing from Wroclaw, Poland, Lukasz and Marta met a few years ago, introduced by a mutual friend. United by their love of motorcycling and passion for travel, they began exploring Europe on two wheels together. “But the more we traveled by bike, the more we wanted to go further. In the summer of 2016, we set out on a 2-Up adventure in Central Asia, riding 9,500 miles in just 23 days. It was tough and we came back exhausted, but it made us realize we could see the whole world on a motorcycle,” says Lukasz.

An Unusual Push

Adventure Motorcycle pillion travel 2-Up
Lucasz and Marta are financing their round the world adventure with their savings and going back to basics as much as possible to stretch their budget.

Although their adventures in Central Asia inspired Marta and Lukasz to start thinking of a 2-Up round the world trip, the final push came from an unlikely source: a game of scratch cards. After a touristy trip to Vietnam, the couple bought a pair of cards with the map of the world underneath the scratch surface. Just for fun, one evening they decided to find out how much of the world they’d seen so far, and scraped the countries they’ve visited off their maps. “We thought we were well-traveled by that point, but the scratch map test revealed we each had only seen 5% of the planet! We both fell silent for a moment… Soon after, we began planning our round the world trip by motorcycle,” explains Marta.

Choosing a lowered BMW F800GS as their RTW motorcycle, Lukasz and Marta set out on their first big adventure from Ushuaia to Alaska in December last year. Covering South, Central and North America in eight months, the couple admits they’ve made a lot of beginner mistakes at first. Thrilled about the adventure ahead in a continent they hadn’t visited before, Marta says that for a time, they completely forgot all the rules they’d agreed upon back home. For example, the need to share their “jobs” instead of trying to best each other at everything. “We realized we needed to start cooperating, not competing! We’re both strong and independent individuals, so if we wanted to avoid disaster, we needed to learn to work together.”

Adventure Motorcycle riding 2-Up
For Marta and Lukasz, the BMW F800GS with a lowered suspension proved to be a trusty RTW steed.

As they settled into the rhythm of the journey, the couple found that traveling made them stronger together. Towards the end of the trip, Marta says, they were functioning like a Swiss clock: there simply was no time for arguments – living on the road demanded maximum concentration and teamwork. “Frankly, I was amazed how well we complemented each other”.

So Who’s The Pillion?

Marta and Lukasz worked as a team not just off the motorcycle, but on it, too: unlike most couples, the Polish adventurers swapped their riding positions. Sometimes, Lukasz would be riding with Marta as a pillion, and at other times, she would take the reins. Seeing a man as a pillion passenger is still an unusual sight, even in this day and age, but the couple is adamant that it helped them ride further and understand each other’s needs better.

Adventure Motorcycle 2-Up travel
Sharing tasks on the road is key – including riding the motorcycle!

Lukasz has been riding motorcycles since he was a kid, but never as a pillion. It was a very new feeling for him, he admits, but he actually discovered he quite liked being on the back seat and experiencing the world in a different way, relaxing or filming the planet flying by. “It also made me a better boyfriend, I think! For example, I finally understood Marta’s complaints about being cold while I felt fine – the pillion passenger sits higher, so they’re the first to get cold!”

Marta adds that their decision to go on one motorcycle as opposed to each riding their own was largely due to finances: one bike simply meant less expenses. The couple is financing their round the world adventure with their savings and downsizing: they sold Marta’s Kawasaki ER6F and Lukasz’s sportbike, postponed buying a new car, and tried to stretch their budget as much as they could by camping and preparing their own meals. “We set out on this journey completely unsupported – nobody believed that we could do it. Now that we proved we’re serious, a few companies have offered their support which is great, but we’re still funding our travels ourselves,” says Marta.

2-Up Trials and Challenges on the Road

2-Up Adventure Motorcycle travel

The couple said their biggest surprise on the road was the people: at first, they felt a little shy and uncertain about communicating or asking for help, but quickly, the inhibitions simply melted away. Everywhere they went, people were friendly and eager to help even when there was a language barrier – neither Lukasz nor Marta spoke any Spanish. They both admit that in the beginning of their trip, they were afraid to appear vulnerable and wanted to portray themselves as perfectly capable and in control – but with time, they realized it simply wasn’t the right approach.

According to Marta, every day on the road was a surprise. In South America, they were amazed by the diversity of countries and landscapes – from the modern and expensive Chile and Argentina into more indigenous, more authentic Bolivia and Peru; the Andes mountains, the Amazon jungle and the Atacama desert were the three biggest contrasts that left them in awe. The couple admits that lots of people warned them about Central America being unsafe, and the atmosphere really was different than that of South America, but they didn’t experience any trouble. Mexico won them over immediately – the people, the colors and the food were just incredible, and the United States impressed the couple with its fantastic national parks.

2-Up Adventure Motorcycle travelers

2-Up Adventure Motorcycle travelers

Into Africa

Now back in Poland, the couple is preparing for their next adventure: a trip around Africa. They both admit that they’re a little uneasy about venturing South: the political situation in many African countries is extremely unstable, and the couple has some concerns about safety. On the other hand, they now feel a lot more experienced and prepared – the Americas journey has changed their perspective on motorcycling, adventure, and the world. They now think much more positively, always try to look at the bigger picture and their needs are now a lot simpler. “We don’t need much, and life is too short to concentrate on small issues! We’re hungry for more adventure, and we’re ready to go,” says Marta.

Adventure Motorcycle pillion travel

Finishing up their preparations in Poland – sorting out the bike’s carnet de passage and other documents and planning their route – the couple says that their mission is to inspire other people to hit the road.

“We aren’t extraordinary or unique – we’re just normal, regular people. So if we can do it, surely, anyone can! All you need is true passion for adventure – the rest will fall into place as you go along.”

For more of Lucasz and Marta’s adventures, check out their Facebook page Look Around the Globe.

Egle Gerulaityte Author ProfileAbout the Author: Riding around the world extra slowly and not taking it too seriously, Egle Gerulaityte is always on the lookout for interesting stories. Editor of the Women ADV Riders magazine, Egle focuses on ordinary people doing extraordinary things and hopes to bring travel inspiration to all two-wheeled maniacs out there.

Author: Egle Gerulaityte

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3 thoughts on “Couple Quits Jobs and Sets Out on Epic 2-Up RTW Adventure

  1. I’m Japanese 78 yrs old and went around the world in 1968.When I did it ,I did not meet any rider but there are many many riiders now.I think your genelation are lucky due to you can use Iphone.Enjoy the trip.

  2. Wow! That is awesome! Doing something like you did so many years ago – that was a challenge. Admiring you so much! Now travelling is 50 times easier than before. Great job. Do you have any old photos from your journey?
    Cheers Marta and Lukas

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