Helen Keller once said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”.
Tran Dang Dang Khoa chose a life with daring adventures instead of working day in and day out in an office job. He is the first Vietnamese to travel solo around the world on a motorbike and has become an inspiring traveler for young Vietnamese.
His journey started in June last year and is expected to take two years.
Khoa has finished one and a half year of his trip of the lifetime traveling through different continents on his motorbike.
He hit the road on June 1, 2017. His first destinations were Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Iran, Azerbaijan). He then rode to Europe (Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany, France) and then American countries, back to Northern Europe.
Currently he is in Germany. The daring 31-year-old will travel to Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, and finally his homecountry, Vietnam.
Prior to the trip, Khoa had spent years to nurture his dream and prepare for it.
Khoa was a very playful boy when he was small. Being too playful, he was often made stand facing the wall at the school as a punishment. To kill the time, he studied the map. Gradually he memorized the world map and could tell the exact location of the countries. The little boy started imagining what it would be like if he had chance to travel those places someday, the Vietnamese newspaper Vietq reported.
His mother worked in the local library after school, he often went to his mother’s workplace to read books. That’s how the daring Khoa accumulated knowledge and nurtured his dream to travel around the world.
Before the trip, like many other young people, he had an office job.
Yet it was the dream to travel when he was small that pushed him. Instead of just dreaming, he worked hard and found out ways to realise his dream.
He spent time to study the legal procedures, paperwork needed as well as funding for the trip.
Apart from his saving, he got support from sponsors and earned from his writing.
In 2009, he started his first backpacking trips with his friends to equip himself with necessary skills – driving under harsh weather, repairing motorbike by himself and preparing paperwork. After crossing the Vietnam trip by motorbike in early 2015, he drove across the seven Southeast Asian countries. Two years later, he started his dream trip around the world on a motorbike.
“Many traveled around the world by motorbike including those from European and Southeast Asian countries. Pursue and fight for your dream and it is time for Vietnamese. Don’t give up because we just live once,” he shared on his Facebook page.
“Those who never start will never get to their destination,” he added.
His only companion is the modest Honda Wave motorbike, his first motorbike that he bought for himself and carried him safe and sound in his previous trips in and outside Vietnam. He spent 11 million dong (about US$470) to upgrade and maintain the motorbike.
With his daring spirit and travel experience, Khoa has become an inspiring figure for Vietnamese youths. His Facebook now has more than 220,000 followers.
He wrote passionately about the places that he has been to – the land of the midnight sun and dog sledding, Greenland; the scorching hot desert in Iran, the death defying North Yungas route in Bolivia. He also shared about his days spent in the ship across Black Sea or drunken nights with Bulgarian friends, his experience of repairing his motorbike with locals in Georgia, hiking in the Alps in Switzerland, driving at night in France and Netherlands with frozen fingers, crossing the Atacama desert in Chile, and seeing the stunning Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia.
“Traveling to different countries which is diverse in politics, culture and religion, crossing over the scorching deserts in Pakistan and Iran, visiting the snow capped mountain ranges in Switzerland, dropping in the remote, isolated villages in Azerbaijan, the glittering mega cities of Italy, eating dishes that I have never tried before, play games that I had never thought of, witness castles, world heritage sites and landscapes that I only saw on TV before or had never even heard of. And million beautiful things that were unheard before. Meeting with interesting people, locals, travelers, riders, mechanics, sellers, soldiers, police, embassies, Vietnamese communities and Vietnamese students overseas, the wealthy, the poor, the rural kids are all priceless experiences for me,” he wrote passionately in his Facebook page.
Khoa once shared that “Being awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world” by Freya Stark was one of his favorite quotes.
It is often said “It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey” and this is just true to Khoa. It’s the tonnes of things he experiences every day along the way that matters.