Everything Starts With a Dream: One Woman’s Motorbike Journey Across Europe

Apr 13, 2016 View Comments by

RidingAcrossAmerica-Weronika-Kwapisz1Weronika Kwapisz’s love of motorcycles started more than 20 years ago at the age of four, and in many ways was inevitable. One day a friend of her father’s showed up on his sportbike, and her father promptly placed her on the back, fastening a helmet on her head. Weronika, who grew up in her grandmother’s motorcycle workshop, rode for less than a mile down a quiet private road—but the memory stuck.

“It was all because of the wind in my hair and the sound of the roaring engine, which wolfishly reacted to every twist of the throttle” she writes in Everything Starts With a Dream. “From that magical moment on, whenever I heard the sound of an engine, I stretched my neck out like a giraffe and looked around in search of a two-wheeler. Whenever I saw a bike, a smile appeared on my face.”

Inspired by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s three-month motorcycle trip across 12 countries, documented in the TV series “Long Way Round,” Weronika, a Polish psychologist, actress, and columnist, started plotting her own trip around Europe. After years of postponement, she traded in her beloved BMW F 650 GS and set out—on a Suzuki 125 VanVan, with a fellow female travel writer.

Everything starts with a dream“You might ask yourself surprisingly: ‘Travel around Europe on such a small motorcycle?’ … But aren’t two wheels merely enough to fulfill your dreams?”

Equipped with fuel injection and a six-speed gearbox, the Suzuki promised zero suction, low fuel consumption, and weighed a little over 250 pounds dry. And it carried Weronika across Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, and beyond. Her self-published book, filled with notes and pictures from the road, will encourage riders and non-riders alike to get up and get out there.

“As it turns out, the decision is the hardest part of the process,” she writes. “When we make the first step … the road itself becomes crystal clear.”

Everything Starts with a Dream can be purchased for Kindle on Amazon, or in paperback for $19—with a personalized message and autograph from the author—at www.ridingacross.com.


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Tags: Categories: On The Road