Who is the chick and what is the chook chaser?
Let me introduce myself. My name is Chantal and I’ve been on this planet for 27 years now. I was born in the Netherlands, lived there for 25 years and in that time I’ve been fortunate enough to see quite a bit of Europe. Including a 9-countries-in-10-days motorbike trip. Last two years I spent studying living and travelling in Australia. I am the chick.
So what is the chook chaser? Well, the chook chaser is my motorbike. I ride around on a Yamaha XT250, a road trail bike. It is the type of bike often used around Australia for farm work, to chase the chickens around the farm. Therefore it’s often jokingly named a chook chaser.
For me, this bike is simply the most convenient bike to travel on. You can ride it on the road, on the gravel, sand, anything. And, I forgot to mention, I’m not that tall, the top of my head is about 159 cm of the ground. Most motorbikes are made for guys, or any human being a minimum of 10 cm taller than me. Therefore this little Yamaha XT250 is one of the few bikes that I can ride anywhere while still able to put my feet on the ground comfortably when I stop.
Over the past year, the chook chaser and I have travelled all over Australia. We are an unlikely, yet very likeable couple. A girl travelling on a motorbike, let alone on a bike not designed for travelling, is a rare site. I’ve often been asked, why do you travel on that? The simple answer is, because I love it! The number of times I’ve heard: That’s not a bike to travel on, that’s a chook chaser!” can not be counted on one hand. Yet, me and my bike, we trigger peoples’ curiosity. I’d like to share my adventures, my stories with you. I hope to inspire you, particularly if you are a woman, to go out and do what you want to do. To explore and to chase and live your dreams, as I am doing right now. I can tell you it is awesome. Do it, against the expectations and the odds, but be smart and prepared.
In Australia, I travelled most of the distances with other people, at first with my dad, who had his own bike, and later with a friend. After going around Australia the chook chaser and I made the big jump over to Asia. Now in Asia, I’m usually sailing solo, just me and the bike.
In Asia, I first explored the beautiful, and low-on-tourists, country of East Timor. From here the journey went island hopping through Indonesia to finally get to the mainland of South East Asia in Malaysia. Through the south of Thailand, I made my way to Cambodia. The south coast of Cambodia would be the last sea and beach to be seen for the coming year. Now travelling inland I made my way through northern Thailand and into Myanmar. After Myanmar came North East India and then Nepal. This is where I am right now. It’s been an amazing, soul-enriching 9 months of travelling. Different sceneries, cultures, habits, foods, roads, people, animals, mattress qualities and toilet arrangements! And there is so much more to come. Soon I’ll head to the North West of India, to Pakistan and through China to Kyrgyzstan. From here I’ll explore more Central Asian countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Hereafter Iran and Turkey are on the list before reaching Europe.
I’m extremely excited to be on this journey. A journey which is not only challenging my bike riding skills, but also my communication and problem-solving skills. Too good to keep all those experiences to myself… So I invite you to take a seat on the back of the chook chaser. Follow me on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/chickonthechookchaser/ ) and read the day-by-day report on advrider.com (http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/one-girl-one-xt250-many-kilometers-from-australia-to-the-netherlands-chick-on-the-chook-chaser.1124532/ ). Or have a sneak peek into what goes on in my head and in my helmet by reading the more in-depth blog posts on here.
Enjoy the ride!