Escape the winter

Perspectives & Photography by Alex Doseff

The idea of circumnavigating the United States with a surfboard had been rattling around in my head for a couple of years but it wasn’t until I found myself sitting in a hot, dusty room in Baghdad, Iraq with an excess of time and a heart full of wanderlust that I decided I should do it on a motorcycle. There’s nothing like being in a place where life is cheap to drive home the idea that you should live yours as fully as you can. I decided not to sign the dotted line again and allowed my contract to expire. Two weeks later, I found myself in Costa Rica with good friends for the better part of a month. While sitting in the warm water, looking back at the tangled, green, beautiful mess that is the jungle and thinking about all the mangos and Imperials waiting for me on shore, I knew that I’d made the right choice. Then, on the ferry back from the Nicoya Peninsula, I saw a motorcycle with a surfboard strapped on. “That could be me”, I thought.



I was frothing on the idea but, in reality, it wasn’t going to happen. You see, not the healthy ones, but some relationships have a way of putting a stop to thoughts about endless surf trips. Luckily, I found that having your heart broken will also free up your plans. So, with no commitments or responsibilities I decided to take advantage of my newfound freedom and I left on what has turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime. Five months and 12,000 miles later, I’m still frothing.

A few weeks ago, I found myself riding up the California coast toward the last place that felt like home—Monterey, California. I had old friends to see and familiar places to paddle out before winter’s icy fingers reached down and made life on two wheels unbearable. The original plan had been scrapped. I’d eventually see the entire US coastline, but after changing direction to chase hurricanes in the Atlantic and then again to avoid the snowy conditions that had already dusted the northern route west, I’d decided that I should head to Central America until things warmed up again. Going through Baja was my first choice and had always been a dream, but a less-than-pleasant experience in the Texas desert made me think it might not be wise to do it alone; the Baja run would sadly have to wait.

Then, somewhere in Big Sur, I met Matty. Parked on the side of the road was the only motorcycle with a rig I’d seen that was more mental than my own. Obviously I had to pull over. After chatting about our respective trips, it turned out that we were heading the same direction in the end: south. The only difference was that he already had crew who was gearing up to join him and they were planning on rocking through Baja, on motorcycles, with surfboards. As we kept talking he paused for a moment then said something like, “Oh, mate, you should just come with us! There’s four Aussies and a Canadian going. If you come the crew will be fully international!”

I didn’t take much convincing—they sounded like my kind of people anyhow.

Stay tuned for more stories leading up to the journey…