Most people manage to take a two-week honeymoon after they get married, stretching to three if they’re lucky. Which is why English couple Tom and Lorna Broadway are the envy of many, as they’re taking a seven-month honeymoon on a motorbike, travelling from Alaska to Ushuaia.
Construction consultant Tom (31) is originally from Shropshire and primary school teacher Lorna (30) is from Worcester. They got married in Barcelona in April 2016 and embarked on their epic honeymoon across 17 countries in the Americas, in July, on Tom’s BMW bike.
When asked about the top three places they’ve been to, that they would recommend to travellers, Tom and Lorna told Lonely Planet that the answer had them debating for hours. “The unspoilt peninsula of Baja California in Mexico still feels like it is off the beaten tourist trail,” they say. “It had deserted beaches and the beautiful, warm Sea of Cortez. Pelicans, whale sharks, dolphins and effervescent algae that shines in the night were all highlights, and throw in sandy roads and forests of cacti. It was a great introduction to Mexico and we were sad to leave for the mainland after ten days of exploring.”
The mountains of Peru were another highlight for the couple. “Away from the masses in Cuzco, we explored parts of Peru that felt very isolated from the rest of the world. We enjoyed wild camping near the Nazca lines and sharing food with a local family in a poor village at 4600 metres in altitude. The vastness and harshness of the climate showed on the locals’ faces, yet they were welcoming towards us as we ate in their home.”
“Peru has contrasting places such as Lima and Cuzco that offer a western feel, yet ride just a few miles from either place, and traditional clothing, houses and herds of alpacas become the norm. With mountains sporting huge glaciers and high altitude lakes, Peru was a wild place that allowed us to feel like real adventurers.”
The third place on their list is California. “The state had it all, from the Giant Redwood trees in the north, to Death Valley in the east and the cool San Francisco in the west,” they explained. “We did the tourist thing in LA for a day and also spent time in San Diego, just 20 miles from the Mexico border. The scale of the state surprised us both, and so did the variety of its geography and climate. Everyone we met was friendly and welcoming and the whole state had a refreshing, liberal feel to it. We would recommend a road trip to anyone wishing to explore it so that they can easily cover the vast distances.”
While many people would love the idea of taking off for months on end, financial considerations can put them off. With that in mind, Lorna and Tom shared their tips on making the finances last with Lonely Planet. “For us, managing the finances was key as we wanted our year off to last the year,” they say.
“We use a spreadsheet that tracks our expenditure, and for that reason, we think that monitoring and recording your spending is key. We were surprised to meet so many fellow travellers who had no idea what they had spent. Our motto is that ‘you can’t master what you don’t measure.’ Eating street food and wild camping saved us a fortune, especially in Canada and the States where a motel room was sometimes more than $100.”
Lorna and Tom have had some incredible moments on their epic trip. For Lorna, diving with a wild pod of dolphins and a whale shark on the Baja in Mexico is near the top. For Tom, it would be riding through the Altiplano of Bolivia, as he found the wilderness and isolation from the rest of the world was almost overwhelming.
Tom and Lorna’s advice to anyone considering a similar road trip is not to let others put you off the idea. “We had people tell us we were crazy to leave our jobs and not consider our ‘lost earnings,’ but that is something that didn’t enter our minds,” they say. “Our friends and family got behind it, especially the older members who seemed to appreciate the benefits that travelling will bring to us when we return.”
“Travelling away from the tourist hotspots gave us our greatest thrills, and travelling overland is different to being on a well-trodden backpacker route,” they add. “It takes you through lesser-travelled areas and you are in contact with the residents of a country far more than if you were just visiting well-known attractions. We always avoid travelling at night and try not to leave it too late to sort out a bed or camping spot for the night. And finally, learning the very basics of the country’s language can help massively, and remember that a smile goes a long way.”
Tom and Lorna are currently in Argentina and plan to fly to Rio in Brazil for few days before returning to the UK. “Our motorbike will fly home and we plan to ride it south and into Europe,” says Tom. “Lorna has to be back at work in September so we will see how far we get. We will be speaking at various events in the coming months, and we are very keen to encourage other people of a similar age to take some time away to travel. If they do it on a motorbike, then even better, but it’s not essential.”
Check out Tom and Lorna’s adventures on Adventure Freeway.
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