A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be in the area for the Horizons Unlimited meeting that was being held in California. HU California. I had never been to one of these events before but I have used the online site for researching the hell out of my bike trip. What an unbelievable amount of wealth on there. Strongly recommend using it for information.
So what is it? It's a family, network, brotherhood, social group. All these could explain what it is. It is a group of like minded people who enjoy the wonder of overland travel. We share stories and give advice. Come together to help out our fellow travelers. This network was created a while back by a couple called Grant and Susan. Back in the day they went on a huge overland journey and still to this day travel a lot. They then created this network and a place for people to share all sorts of information from across the globe. Over the years it has morphed into something very special.
Every year there are HU meetings all over the globe. Check the website for regular updates on dates and locations. I happened to be in California for this years event. I was a virgin to the HU meetings. So it was time to experience it.
Upon arriving I was greeted straight away by familiar faces. People that I had been in contact with over social media to get information. Now I am meeting them in person and that is a great feeling. Face to face conversations with people who completely understand why I decided to sell everything and travel the world on two wheels. Coming here is great for motivation. You won't find friends here that will tell you that's a stupid idea. Full support.
I was staying for the whole weekend. I am on my round the world trip solo but I knew it wouldn't take long before I was chatting to people. I got to meet my German friend again. He too is on a solo trip around the world. We have now met in Mongolia, shipped together to Canada and now met at this event. It's amazing to keep in touch and when you get the chance to meet again on the road it puts a big smile on your face.
After registering I put my tent up. Straight away people approached and we were sharing stories. I had a great little spot and my neighbours were cool. So the weekend actually has a lot of structure to it. It's not just a case of turning up and sitting around talking bikes. Although a lot of this does happen. Throughout the weekend there are presentations laid on. There are all manner of presentations going on ranging from established writers talking about their travels throughout the world, to cooking a camp meal with only one pot. Which is great.
During my time I decided to take a ride out. When you have Yosemite National Park on your door step you simply have to get out, ride the roads and take in the amazing scenery. I only planned for an hours ride out. Five hours later I was back with a huge smile on my face.
In the evening when presentations are finished it's time to head to the fire and join everyone and be social. Beer and fun times.
If you're planning on going to one of these events then I really do encourage your decision to attend. Who cares if you're on you're own, I guarantee you will make new friends and gain valuable information. Perhaps you have a presentation you would like to provide. I'm sure if you mention it you could deliver at the next event.
To all those I met at the HU California, thanks for a good weekend.
Aaron and Penny.