My name is Levi Weintraub, and I like to travel.
In particular, I’ve enjoyed so-called-adventure motorcycling. There’s something unique about the medium. You hitch your life and experiences to a simple machine, taking only what you need to keep you and it running. You experience every mile of your journey in a carnal way; when it’s hot, you’re hot. When it’s cold, you’re cold. When it rains you get wet. You feel the humidity shift when you cross a bridge. You lean through turns. You try not to travel at night. You don’t listen to music or have conversations. You’re in the moment, often for hours at a time. You go and stop places you otherwise may not.
I’ve had the extraordinary privilege to motorcycle through 17 countries and 46 States in the last 10 years (you can read about the longest of these trips in my last travel blog). They were wild and wonderful times. I learned a lot about the human condition, and with sufficient reflection, I’ve learned about the constant “other”-ing that we’re subject to from our limited knowledge about the peoples of the world. I also had some very tough times, and looking back, I’ve come to recognize the tough times as some of the most formative and rewarding.
Given my experiences, Africa has been at the forefront of my mind to explore for a long time. It seems very difficult to travel through, and it feels very foreign. I’d love to dispel some of that feeling, and learn meaningfully from what’s left. With that in mind, I’m setting off to ride across a large part of it.
My trip begins in South Africa, and ostensibly ends in southern Spain/Gibraltar. I originally intended to do so with a partner, but my partner bailed far into the process. Stubbornness, hubris, and an unquenchable sense of adventure has caused me to stick, more or less, to my original plan: I’ll be in Africa on April 16th, 2017.
I mentioned previously my privilege, but it bears repeating: I’ve been extremely fortunate in my life. In brainstorming with my departed partner, he brilliantly suggested trying to give back in some way while we traveled. My goal is to honor his idea by following through insofar as I’m able, and to spend a reasonable amount of my time traveling trying to be a force for good, not just a tourist.