In 2006 I left my legal career and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, equipped with a brand new motorcycle driver’s license and a dream of riding alone through South America. In Buenos Aires I took unpaid employment in a small motorcycle repair shop. I didn’t know anything about motorcycles and I only spoke a few words of Spanish before I arrived. I bought my first motorcycle – a six-year old BMW F 650 GS Dakar – and eight months later I began a 15 months and 33,000 miles (53,000 km) solo motorcycle ride through 16 countries in Latin America and 16 states in the United States.

However, not long after I had arrived in Buenos Aires it was clear to me that the real challenge I was facing did not come from my new environment. It came from the thought patterns and ways of reacting to adversity and conflict that I had brought with me from home. This way the journey became an inner journey to find my own strength and to learn how to respond – and not react – to challenges.

From Buenos Aires I rode to Ushuaia – the southernmost town in the world – and then north through Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and USA.

© Copyright - Annette Birkmann