Most of us like to be gone. It really doesn’t matter where. It’s in the going. A motorcycle will do that to you. Being gone, after all, has always been a cherished byproduct of the wanderlust and freedom associated with motorcycles. The reason so many people ride—and so many long to—can be attributed to the inherent romanticism motorcycles exude. They stir the imagination. By design and by nature, they are exotic.
Webster’s Dictionary defines exotic as “having the charm or fascination of the unfamiliar; strangely beautiful, enticing, etc.” Certainly a provocative array of words, fit to inspire daydreams and spark action in likeminded individuals. However, it’s the “etc.” that arouses thoughts as to what that word implies and leads to yet another—perhaps more appropriate—search for a definition.
Webster’s defines et cetera as “and so forth and so on.” I believe it’s somewhat safe to say that, as motorcyclists, we live and breathe in the realm of et cetera. It’s the promise of the “so forths and so ons” that exists at the far end of roads, lies just around the next bend, or beckons to us from the distant horizon that inspires us to take to the road. To place et cetera at the end of a sentence is somewhat akin to placing a corner at the end of a stretch of road. It’s more of an invitation, a promise, and a hint of more, rather than an end.
The Long Way Home
This mindset tends to spill over into our quest for new destinations. Every day, all over the globe, motorcyclists embark on myriad journeys of et cetera. These trips of varying mileage tend to share several traits. The routes are almost always circular—ending up exactly where they began—and are invented with some vague excuse to justify the sojourn. The journey can be a well-planned, arduous circumnavigation of the globe or an uncomplicated, spontaneous local jaunt to get a cup of coffee. It can be as simple as getting to the top of a mountain to enjoy the view. The reason is purely to go. With this kind of thinking, people who ride motorcycles tend to become accustomed to taking the long way home.
If only one had enough time to cover the amazing plethora of equally amazing destinations that exist in this world of ours. It fires the imagination. It leaves one to wonder about the as-of-yet undiscovered gems that are out there. Consider all the remote, unspoiled locations or little-known stretches of road waiting to be found, not only in some far-off exotic place but also in those beautiful and enchanting places that exist within easy reach of where we are.
It’s just a matter of going, of asking a stranger about where that road leads, of discovering things by chance, of taking the coveted wrong turn. Here’s to the “so forths and so ons” that keep us going, keep us vital, and reward our passion and curiosity, our wanderlust and dreams. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.