(2/2) “The challenges I’ve faced, especially during the planning stages of my solo motorcycle trip around the world, were endless.

(2/2) The biggest one was obtaining sponsorships. I’ve tried seeking for sponsorships from politicians, corporates, entrepreneurs, you name it! Promises after promises, yet I didn’t receive a single cent from them.

I saved up about RM100,000 of my own money for a one year trip around the world. It was definitely not enough. There were times where I had to eat porridge with salt for weeks just to save money. 

As for accommodation, I always try to find places where I could stay for free, whether it was with friends, Malaysian diplomats, couchsurfing or camped with my tent. On rare occasions I would pay for accommodation, even then it would be the cheapest hostel I could find. 

The only sponsorship I obtained was from Givi and Yamaha Motors. Givi, an Italian motorbike accessory brand, specially designed a jacket and riding pants suitable for four-season riding just for me. Yamaha sponsored the motorbike and all servicing costs, which were extremely helpful as services can cost a lot. 

I wondered, why were big international brand names like Givi and Yamaha, didn’t even hesitate to sponsor me? My ‘Global Dream Ride’ was not a small adventure, its a big trip surrounded with high risks. The answer that came into my mind was only one – the leaders of both these companies were from Italy and Japan, and they believe in people’s ability. They don’t find it quick to belittle someone nor think negatively of them. 

Besides them, I also received contributions from close friends and supporters. Everything from accessories and equipment to cash. Contributions, no matter how small, have helped me a lot. I am extremely grateful for every single one of them.”

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Anita Yusof is an adventure rider from Batu Pahat, Johor, whom have received the Malaysian Book of Records for ‘First Solo Motorcycle Ride Around the World’ and Asia Book of Records for ‘Longest Solo Motorcycle Ride Across the World.’

Photostory by Amalina Davis

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

(This post was first published on November 20th 2018)

(1/2) “I traveled the world on a motorbike solo, crossing 40 countries and 4 continents with a total distance of 65,639 kilometres…”

(1/2) I did it because I wanted to fulfill my dream of traveling the world, and to create a record to be the first Muslim woman that traveled the world solo on a motorbike.

My ‘Global Dream Ride’ took 370 days, and it began by flying my motorbike to Seattle, USA, the western-most point of my trip. I rode through Canada, the US, Central America and South America before flying my bike to United Kingdom. 

I crossed Europe from France to Turkey, and then traveled through the ‘stans’ – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which till this day is the most beautiful part of the world I’ve been in. 

The eastern-most point of my trip was in Vladivostok, Russia, before flying to Bangkok, Thailand and riding back to Malaysia, arriving exactly on Malaysia Day, 16th September 2016.

I wasn’t always a traveler. Before this, I have only traveled around South East Asia and that was with my family. I would have never guessed that I would travel the world, let alone do it solo! The first time I backpacked solo was to Europe, and I did it because I was in love with a Spanish man. Unfortunately things didn’t work out between us, but instead my love for traveling was born. 

Later on, I met a Malay man who loved traveling and adventuring just like me. Naturally, I thought I have found the love of my life so we got married. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way, and we got divorced after 10 years of marriage. 

I was so tense at the moment, so before I went crazy I wanted to do something crazy. I picked up riding and found that it was my escapism. When I ride, I felt a lot better and don’t think about him that much. Eventually, my bike became my lover. 

Of course, the first two years of divorce was very difficult. So when I did my world ride, besides wanting to create a world record, I also wanted to do the trip to completely get over him. One time, as I was on the edge of a cliff somewhere in South America, looking down at the valley, I threw all our memories into the valley. After that, I felt completely free and I no longer hold any grudges. 

I have never been lucky with my marriages. I was married twice, and have two grown up kids. 
When I had marital problems, I kept on asking God why. Why why why. There’s a lots of whys. ‘Why me? Why not everyone else? Why can’t I be happy?’

But later when I did the ‘Global Dream Ride’, I discovered that God was preparing me to do bigger things in life. That’s why my life was complicated from the very beginning. I was tested with lots of tests, because He wanted to prepare me for such a feat. Alhamdulillah, I managed to overcome His tests and create history. 

I don’t think I can live a normal life anymore. After my first global ride, eventhough it was only 370 days away from Malaysia, the impact to me was so great. All these while, I’ve been living a normal life, had a normal 8-5 job as a lecturer in Institut Pengajian Guru Ipoh, preparing teachers before they go to school. 

My next adventure trip will be ‘the love loop’ in Africa, starting and finishing in Capetown, South Africa. I have decided to retire from my job early next year, at the age of 52, 8 years earlier from the retirement age of 60. This is a big decision that I have made, because I just can’t live a normal routined life anymore – its so boring! *laughs*

If you do decide to do something like this, bear in mind, its a love hate relationship. Either you love it or you hate it. It can be very addictive, that why I keep coming back for more. 

Because sometimes I find myself in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, I find myself…”

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Anita Yusof is an adventure rider from Batu Pahat, Johor, whom have received the Malaysian Book of Records for ‘First Solo Motorcycle Ride Around the World’ and Asia Book of Records for ‘Longest Solo Motorcycle Ride Across the World.’ 

Photostory by Amalina Davis

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

(This post was first published on November 18th 2018)