Bobbi-Jo Siverns

Renedian’s list of what to bring along on one of their motorcycle tours is thorough. Although most take more, clients consistently say if they follow the list, they have everything they need. Bobbi-Jo Siverns took even less and still had enough.

A native of Edmonton, 36-year-old Bobbi-Jo had been dating Todd Davis for a mere three weeks when she surprised him by offering to join him on a trip he’d already booked with Renedian. “You’d do that?” he asked. “Absolutely,” she responded. Then she had to prepare.

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“I’m used to carrying everything on my back so I pack quite light,” says Bobbi-Jo, who’s traveled to Peru, Costa Rica, Australia, and Japan, generally planning her own trips. “When I went to Europe, I packed too much, so when I looked at Rene’s list of what to pack, I thought I’m going to try and pare down. It seems like enough but I wondered if I’d get bored with the clothes or be able to wash them.”

She’d read how successful businessmen always have the same attire so they can focus on larger issues than what they’re going to wear that day. She reasoned it made good sense for travelling too. “It’s a lot less complicated and your day is great anyways!”

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Here’s what she packed for a 20-day trip, all athletic fabric, no cotton:

  • 1 tank top
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeved shirts—1 middleweight and one heavier
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of convertible pants (which she only wore once)
  • 1 pair of athletic blue jeans stretchy climbing jeans
  • 1 pair of merino long johns that doubled as leggings
  • 5 pairs of underwear
  • 5 pairs of socks

She and Todd shared a headlamp and many of the toiletries. For most of the medicinal type things she brought only a sleeve instead of the entire box. They were able to pack everything in one travel kit.

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Todd’s list also got pared down. He left out one of the sweaters and didn’t bring long johns. Otherwise they stayed close to Rene’s recommendations.

In the end, both of them managed to get all their things into one large suitcase, plus one case for motorcycle gear. It made travel a lot easier and less expensive—they didn’t have to pay extra for baggage fees.

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“There was the odd moment when I was looking at the other girls and they’d pulled out a nice clean shirt and I’d think, that would be nice to wear today, but it was nice not having to worry about lugging around a lot of stuff.”

There were only a few things she would have done differently. “I would have brought one less t-shirt, one more tank top, and one of my travel dresses. The places Rene chose you could have dressed up but you didn’t have to so I wasn’t out of place. There were a few nights where it would have been nice to be a little bit prettier than a tank top or a t-shirt.

When you travel light, you get to savour the experience more because you’re not focused on yourself anymore. You’re focused on where you are and what you’re doing. Like filming a giraffe as she ran along side of them. Or witnessing a mother white rhino nursing her 2-week-old baby.

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And then there was her chance to ride a motorcycle in Africa at the end of the trip. A first-year rider, she’d chosen to ride pillion rather than risk situations she wasn’t prepared for.

“We pulled up to the entrance at the Cape of Good Hope and Clinton Smout (owner of SMART Adventures), jumped off his motorcycle and offered it to me. He rode pillion with Rene while I got to ride his bike out the beautiful winding paved road to the Cape. It was great!”

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Photo credits: Bobbi-Jo Siverns