Show Notes for Podcast #67

An interview with Marisa and Tim Notiers of NOTIER'S FRONTIERS 

Summary: Ashley Giordano interviews Marisa and Tim Notier about their travels through Africa and the Americas on a KTM1190, what it was like to be stuck abroad during Covid-19 lockdowns, and how journaling turned into publishing books about their adventures.

Guest Bios

Marisa Notier

Marisa Notier is an English Teacher, aspiring author, amateur

linguist, and is the second-half of the Notier’s Frontiers 2Up riding

duo. She’s originally from Chicago, where she and her future-husband,

Tim Notier, first met in high school. Since then, they’ve gotten

married and have been traveling the world on their KTM 1190 for over

four years, from Chicago to the bottom of South America, halfway up

Africa, and throughout the United States. Plans for upcoming travels

include Alaska, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and beyond...

 

Tim Notier

Tim Notier was born and raised just west of Chicago, Illinois. For the first 32 years of his life, he rarely explored more than an hour away from the hospital he was born in. But now things have changed. He has sold all of his possessions, and has traded his behind-the-desk job for a full time behind-the-handlebars adventure.

Tim's first book, 'Maiden Voyage' introduces who Tim and Marisa are, and what inspired them to travel the world via a motorcycle, '2Up and Overloaded' sets them free into the world.

 

Host Bio:

Ashley Giordano

Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. You can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or researching wild medicinal plants. Ashley is a co-founder of Women Overlanding the World and crew member of Expedition Overland. You’ll find this Canadian-born couple exploring a different continent in 2021, and sharing their trip every step of the way at Desk to Glory. @desktoglory_ash

 

This episode sponsored in party by:

CGI Outdoor 

iKamper 

 

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Notier's Frontiers

We are Tim and Marisa Notier, and we've been riding around the world on our KTM motorcycle since 2017. We quit our jobs, sold all our stuff, and have been chasing the horizon ever since.

Ride along with us through these video diaries as we travel through Central America, down to 'The End of the World' in Argentina, up from South Africa to Kenya, through the USA... and wherever else our paths may lead.

We are riding the world together, and hope you will join the journey.

Take a look at the motorcycle adventure travel books Tim has written that are available worldwide on Amazon, iBook, and Barnes and Noble!

OUR BOOKS --Maiden Voyage-- / --2Up and Overloaded-- / --Blood, Sweat, and Notiers-- can be found worldwide on Amazon here 

 ***Help us get 40 miles further down the road by contributing a gallon of gas at:*** 

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/NotierFr... or https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/notie... 

 

Check out our PHOTOS, GEAR, and UPDATES from the road here 

Patreon here

Other ways to connect: 

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

 

Full Transcript:

Marisa and Tim Notier

Ashley Giordano: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I'm Ashley Giordano, and we're hiding out from the rain at Overland Expo West, and I'm really excited. I have an adventure motorcycle couple here. 

Marisa Notier: I'm Marissa Notier. 

Tim Notier: And I am Tim Notier

Marisa Notier: And we make Notiers Frontiers because it rhymes, and we ride two up on a KTM 1190 motorcycle. So that means I'm on the back. I do not ride motorcycles. I don't even ride bicycles, but we have been all over the world. We've gone to three different continents on the motorcycle. Through the Americas, we started four years ago down to the bottom of south America, and from there we shipped the motorcycle up to Canada and shipped it down to South Africa and worked our way up through Africa, where during the pandemic we got stuck in Uganda [00:01:00] and kind of ping-ponged between Uganda and Kenya for over a year before we came back to the US this may.

Ashley Giordano: Nice. That sounds like quite an adventure. 

Marisa Notier: It has been. 

Ashley Giordano: And one of the fun facts that I learned about you too, was that you were actually high school sweethearts originally, and then there was a decade or so that you were apart, but you reunited.

Tim Notier: This is true. And Ressa went off to explore the world. I didn't really travel too much further than the hospital I was born in, but I had bought a house. I had a good job. I bought a motorcycle and so Marisa was exploring the world and would come back every year or so, and we'd reunite, and she would have a lot of amazing stories to tell us about faraway lands, and me and my circle of friends all kind of had the same, same stories of, you know, just nothing very exciting going on. 

Ashley Giordano: And you were originally both from Chicago. Is that right? And [00:02:00] so you went to high school together? 

Marisa Notier: That's correct. 

Ashley Giordano: And there's an amazing photo of you guys at prom on your website?

Marisa Notier: That is true. Yeah, that was quite a while ago. Yes, we did go to prom together. But like he said, we did separate for 10 years and during that time I was traveling, and he wasn't, but one year I came back, and I never forgot Tim. I never forgot his witty sense of humor and I was just so happy to see him again, and we kind of rekindled things and the rest is history. 

Ashley Giordano: So were you in contact when you were gone on your travels with each other? 

Tim Notier: No, not really. She would come back. Again, we had the same like circle of friends and so we'd see each other at bars and kind of, you know, get that weird tingling feeling that like 15 year old kids get, but now we were adults, but you know, it was always fantastic and rerunning into her.

Marisa Notier: That's right, and when we started dating again, he had this [00:03:00] big, huge motorcycle. It was a Yamaha Raider 1900, and I did not like motorcycles. Like I said before, I cannot ride motorcycles. I cannot ride bicycles. I didn't like the feeling of being on the back of one. And even though I had ridden on the back of a motorcycle before I told him I'm never getting on the back of your bike, and of course he eventually convinced me just to take a ride around town and that turned into little camping trips over the weekend. We would pack up that motorcycle and I had this big, heavy backpack that...

Tim Notier: She wore like a Swiss army canvas backpack with like a metal frame and Marissa is five foot nothing, and a hundred and nothing pounds, and strapping this thing to the back of her back was a little extreme. She was my sissy bar.

Marisa Notier: So eventually we realized we needed something that [00:04:00] would be more suitable to the type of camping trips that we wanted to go on, and we chose a motorcycle that could carry the gear that we wanted to bring with us and also be a bit more comfortable and go on the roads that we wanted to go down. If they had gravel, you know, we wanted something that would be able to handle that. So we purchased the KTM 1190 and...

Tim Notier: I knew that the bikes capabilities were higher than my skillset at the time, because I mean I just had a cruiser motorcycle, so there's not a lot of insane intense off-road that I did on that, but I knew that as my skillset grew that the bike would be already ahead of the curve of what I was learning. So I was excited to get an adventure bike with high ground clearance, and all that goodness. I think any bike that anybody picks is the right bike for them, but I feel like the KTM 1190 was a good fit for us. 

Ashley Giordano: [00:05:00] Yeah. What I was going to ask, what specifically about that bike were you drawn to because you looked at other bikes as well. Right? 

Tim Notier: I did, and to each individual there is a checklist that they must go down. And so my checklist will be different than other people. But for me, I didn't want it to be too heavy, which once you get to a bike that big is already, you know, we couldn't go too up with the amount of luggage we have on like a 650 and we've seen people going... I wanted a larger displacement that could take us down highways at good speed, but also with the capability of going down some nastier roads and, you know, there's the fave five. Since I bought my bike, other bikes have come out and so there's a lot of variables that you as an individual have to go down, but it was weight, it was ground clearance, and the biggest factor for me was financial. You know? So I didn't necessarily even have [00:06:00] $15,000 to spend, but I would say like the Beamer was more than that, so I convinced Marisa that we were saving money by buying the KTM. 

Ashley Giordano: So you bought the KTM, and then did you do some weekend trips before you went on your first big trip, which was the maiden voyage. Is that right? 

Marisa Notier: That is correct. Actually, it was pretty much right after we bought the motorcycle that we went on this maiden voyage. We really wanted to test her out. We want it to test our gear and so we went around the Rocky Mountains. We took off some work, about 18 days, and we were able to hit up a bunch of national parks and it was absolutely incredible, but we also really wanted to test ourselves to see if we liked being on the motorcycle that long or being just around each other all the time.

Tim Notier: Cause sometimes, you know... you watch long way up, long way down, long way around. You've watched a lot of people's Instagram and YouTube and [00:07:00] this, that, and other thing, and it's this cool fantasy that you're looking at. It's not a reality of where you work every day and you know... so the shiny stuff that you see on YouTube, they don't always show the dirt and grimy stuff that they don't put on their channel, and we wanted to be sure that we lived through some of those as a couple, as a team before we quit our job. Like the worst-case scenario is we quit our jobs. We decide to go around the world on this exciting adventure and then six months into it we look at each other and say, are you enjoying this? I am not enjoying this... that would have been awful, but thankfully on our little maiden voyage we found that we had a lot of commonalities as far as what we'd like to see as far as nature. We're both huge into nature and we were growing our off-road skills together which is nice because if I came from like a dirt bike background and I was used to doing crazy stuff and she [00:08:00] was not, that would have been a lot more stressful for her, so...

Marisa Notier: I also think it was a really good test because we went through a lot of very trying weather. We had a lot of rain for days and days, and it was very, very cold when we went. We did Bear Tooth pass. We went through some very chilly areas, you know, through Yellowstone, and for me personally, I do not like the cold and wet, and so I felt that if I had survived that, and I had really enjoyed it as well, then maybe if we went on longer trips, I would also enjoy that. I felt that it was a good test, but at the same time, we also learned that we needed new gear.

Ashley Giordano: Okay. Yeah. Those trips can be a great proving ground for gaining experience. So what did you guys... obviously gear was one thing that you learned while you were on that trip that you took forward into your subsequent trips after that?

Marisa Notier: Right. Actually [00:09:00] everything that we use during that. We did not bring on our big voyage, so...

Tim Notier: And I was still bright eyed and bushy tailed about the future of what our motorcycle adventure could be. And I did go to the expo here in Flagstaff back in like...

Marisa Notier: 2017. 

Tim Notier: Yeah. I'm from Chicago. And so this is going to sound ridiculous, but I thought Arizona is just a big desert and it was going to be hot and so I came woefully, woefully unprepared, and I was freezing cold during the night, and I woke up and I asked other people if they were also cold and whoever said they weren't, then I dug into what type of gear they had because as Marissa alluded to earlier, she does not like to be cold. So I knew that we would have to up some of our budget friendly gear to actual gear that works, and I don't think you have to spend thousands of dollars to get that gear, but there's definitely a [00:10:00] difference between...

Marisa Notier: Very, very budget and something that is actually going to be good throughout many years of very hard to use. 

Tim Notier: Yeah, and so I came back home and told Marisa, hey we're about to spend a lot of money, you know, but we still have the same gear that we bought forever ago after we tested our original gear, that completely failed us, and so yeah, quality gear has paid for itself three times, four times over at this point. 

Ashley Giordano: What are a few of your favorite pieces of gear? 

Tim Notier: So, Marissa...

Marisa Notier: My favorite is our down quilt because like I said, I don't like to be cold, and so I had never experienced a camping trip where I had not been cold at night before and when Tim came back from that expo, he said I'm going to buy this down quilt and I know it's expensive, but you're going to love it, and he was right. I do love it. It's a quilt, so it doesn't have the under [00:11:00] portion of like a normal sleeping bag. It's for two people, it's just like a blanket that is over us. But because it doesn't have the underpart the down doesn't get compressed, making it pretty much useless. So yeah, I love that quilt. It keeps us very, very warm. Another thing about the maiden voyage around the Rockies that I think was extremely important is that it really inspired us to go on this longer journey. We realized that there are people out there who actually do this, who Overland full time and who get to experience all of these new places and new cultures and meet new people, and that, we realized, is what we wanted to do. So after we came back home from that trip, we started planning and we thought, okay maybe we should start saving money and really hunkering down and saving money for a few years so that we can continue the trip past the Rocky [00:12:00] mountains. Maybe go to Mexico, maybe go beyond that. Maybe go as far south as we can, and yeah that really started us dreaming of this voyage that we've been on ever since. 

Ashley Giordano: Nice, and I know Marissa, you had done extensive travels before you guys got together again. Whereabouts were you traveling through? 

Marisa Notier: I did study abroad programs all over Asia, but primarily when I was backpacking by myself, it was in the middle east, so I had been familiar with being in new places and experiencing new cultures. And I knew that I really, really loved that. But I was concerned for Tim because he hadn't really traveled at all. The only other country he'd ever been to was Canada, and that was at a very young age. He didn't even need a passport, so I was just concerned. I was concerned that we were going to quit our jobs. And after all this saving, we were going to [00:13:00] get on the motorcycle and we were going to hit Mexico and he would want to turn back around. 

Tim Notier: No faith. 

Ashley Giordano: But that obviously didn't happen, which is great. But you obviously spent some time budgeting. And I think one of the biggest questions, especially at events like this, if I've been sitting on panels or Marisa and I have done panels together, one of the most common questions, how people afford to do this, or how to budget, or how much do you spend per day and how did you guys figure out all of the details surrounding that and make it happen.

Marisa Notier: That's a really good question, and yeah we do get asked that a lot. We figured that, you know, we also talked to other travelers and wanted to know what their daily costs were in certain areas of the world. Since we first wanted to go through Latin America, we knew it was going to be a lot cheaper than traveling in the United States. We wanted to do primarily camping and our own cooking in the United States to save on costs. But [00:14:00] from there on out, we were able to stay in some hotels and really works out to be sometimes better than just living in the United States. A year in these countries, traveling can cost less than just a year working in the United States. 

Tim Notier: And during our little daydream budgeting, you know, eyes on the prize and the distance. I found a very basic excel sheet that somebody. Had made that was, you know, enter in the amount of miles you plan to go with gas costs with how many people with... It was pretty much you just plug in some numbers and everybody's budget. You can spend as much money as you want, and there's people who spend less money than we do, but it was just a good tool to get a good average. And that's what we kind of based what we thought we needed their savings to be. Because we had no idea whatsoever, we did host a, a German world traveler, Kristen Vogal, and he traveled the world and he [00:15:00] said he only spent like $24,000 or something in a year. So that was one guy, and so for us we only do have one motorcycle, so it's not double the gas, but it is double the food. But again, so it was just law of averages of what we assumed we could, you know, save up to travel. We saved for like five years under the assumption that we could travel for three, the first year would be all of the Americas. The second year, it would be the width of the African continent into Europe, and then the third year was us getting to Mongolia and financially we're on track, but...

Ashley Giordano: Nice. I was going to ask, when you did the original calculations, how accurate were they to the realities of traveling?

Marisa Notier: Actually very accurate, I think we even spent under what we thought we were going to spend, but...

Tim Notier: Like, I mean we would be in Mongolia by now if we did what we planned, and I do suggest everybody... we had more time than money. Right? But. I [00:16:00] would not... what we thought we'd do in one year, we spent two and I would not trade a day of that for some other alternate Tim who actually did the timeline and what country he was going to be in cause we just absolutely loved spending as much time as we could on each kind... like south America I could have spent... I could still be there and still be happy. Like, you know? 

Marisa Notier: So we did go twice as slow as we thought we would. Yeah, we don't regret it. So yes, financially per year we kept on track, but we also have done half of the distance of what we thought we would have done. 

Ashley Giordano: Right, right. Cool. I wanted to go in a bit of a different, not a different direction, but Marissa, we talk about this on the Women Overlanding the World... or Overlanding Women panel and I love it, so I wanted to bring it up, but you spent some time in the middle east and lived in Syria and you speak fluent Arabic, right? 

Marisa Notier: I do. 

Ashley Giordano: [00:17:00] Yeah, that's incredible. But we talk about the benefits on that panel of being a woman and traveling overland, and I'd like to hear your experience in those countries and what experiences you were able to be a part of because you're a woman. 

Marisa Notier: I think this is a wonderful question because all too often when it comes to female travelers, a lot of the focus is on safety issues and some of the negatives of being a female traveler, but there are also a lot of positives that we have discovered. As I backpacked by myself, I discovered that in the middle east, a place where you would think a lone female traveler, it might not be the best place to travel in. It was actually really remarkable for me. I was able to not only kind of go into the men's world because I was a foreigner, they just accepted me in their shisha shops and everything. But I was also able to enter the women's world and kind of get behind the [00:18:00] curtain because they have little guest rooms that they have in all of their houses where the guests are allowed in, but nobody can enter the rest of the house unless you're a woman, because if it's a Muslim family, that's where they take off their veil or their headscarf, and so only women are allowed to see that or family members. And so I was allowed into their world and it was really incredible, but it wasn't just when we were backpacking, I've noticed that just being a woman traveling with Tim as well has offered us plenty of opportunities, because I think having a woman there softens the vibe a little bit and families are a lot more willing to invite you in to have tea and coffee, or introduce you to their children, and we've been very fortunate with all the people we've met, but we've also had that opportunity to immerse ourselves in those cultures and I would like to think that being a woman had something to do with that. 

Ashley Giordano: Yeah. What were the [00:19:00] experiences or what did you learn from going behind the veil, I guess so to speak, like what was it like? 

Marisa Notier: Well I'll tell you something, some women who would wear burkas or completely covered their bodies and some of their face it's all very mysterious and you wonder, what do they wear under that? And I can't speak for every one of them, but I've seen many women, you know, in the bathrooms or in their homes, they take it off and they are wearing some stylish clothes. I've seen miniskirts, you know, the high heels, the whole thing. So this is kind of what they show to each other, and they have female parties where they're all, you know, dressed out and you would think, oh wow this is a club just without men, so it is quite surprising. 

Ashley Giordano: Yeah, and spending that much time in that part of the world, you learned a lot about the culture there. What are some things that you can share about that?

Marisa Notier: Well, I really love the hospitality of people in the middle east. You find [00:20:00] hospitality everywhere, but they are on an incredible level out there. I really can't wait to get back there just because they are so welcoming. And as an American, I was quite nervous about going there. Just politically you would think that a lot of people would have this automatic judgment about me, but the truth is I found that most people can really separate the person from their government because that's how they see themselves, they're not what their government does and so they would completely welcome me and just take me on as a fresh new person, regardless of what country I was from.

Ashley Giordano: Nice. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that. 

Marisa Notier: Oh, you're very welcome. 

Ashley Giordano: So you guys drove from Chicago to Ushuaia and then you went from Cape Town to Kenya, correct? And Tim's written a few books, right? When did you start [00:21:00] writing? Did you start during the trip, after the trip, and what inspired you to put pen to paper to record your journey in that way?

Tim Notier: Well I wrote Maiden Voyage is our little trip around the Rockies, and I wrote that more for myself and my family and just to make myself kind of giggle. I didn't foresee me writing future books. But I was really inspired by like Sam Manacom. He's just an awesome guy. He's a mentor. And then when we did all the way down to Panama, I started taking more notes and writing. I actually didn't finish that book until we were in Tanzania. But it was, it was just awesome to relive our own experiences as I'm writing the pages, and again I'm glad that people are buying it and they like it, but it was originally more for me. And it was just a, an aftereffect diary memoir that I wrote. But it's just been really fun [00:22:00] writing and I never thought that that would be something that interested me. I can't spell very well, but I'm surrounded by... 

Ashley Giordano: That's what good editors are for.

Tim Notier: Yeah... but no, it's been just fantastic, and south America was just too wonderful of a place not to write about in full detail too. So I've written a third book and yeah. 

Marisa Notier: I really appreciated it because you remember all of these little things that I think I would have forgotten if it wasn't for you writing it down and so I get to read these books and just giggle and reminisce about it all, and that is one of the joys of traveling is taking those pictures. And in whatever way, you can record your journey, whether it's journaling or having a blog or making videos, but looking back on it... [00:23:00] 

Tim Notier: Yeah, and like Marissa and I would discuss, you know, when I'm writing chapters and where was that place in this, that, and the other thing. And it's just really interesting how she is less than a foot behind me and the different experiences that we've had through different countries, and like her outlook on certain scenarios and mine is just, it's like, it was separated by a hundred years and a million miles, but it's really good to just combine...

Marisa Notier: It's all about perspective. Another wonderful thing about traveling together is that we've been able to talk to each other about things that have happened in the past or say, oh, doesn't that remind you of Columbia? Or sometimes I meet solo travelers and they... everyone travels in their own way in some way. Really appreciate being on their own. And it's a personal journey that they wouldn't trade that for the world, but for me, I am so thankful that Tim has [00:24:00] been with me every step of the way and I get to relive everything with him through our memories. 

Tim Notier: Yeah. I don't think I would be on the road still if she wasn't behind me and you know, I mean, yeah, like she said, people have their own personal rites of passage when they go by themselves. And that's not an incorrect way of doing it, but for my personality trait I am very thankful to have a cheerleader behind me, a translator, a photographer, you know, she's an all-in-one package of a good support crew.

Marisa Notier: Thank you...

Ashley Giordano: You guys are so cute. I love it. By the way, for the listeners out there, there's a video that was captured in... was it Yellowstone or Yosemite?

Tim Notier: It was Yellowstone. So we had been on the road doing our little tour and I had a little special gift for her the whole time. And [00:25:00] ironically enough, the night before we had just gotten into a semi argument about children and marriage and, you know, would you say yes if I proposed to you, and she said I don't know, do you plan on having children and it was... 

Ashley Giordano: Big questions. 

Tim Notier: Big questions, and the very next day it was when I was planning on proposing at Yellowstone and I already got a pre "I don't know".

Ashley Giordano: Oh no, you're sweating and shaking in your motorcycle boots...

Tim Notier: She was sitting on the ring the entire time cause I hit it underneath the pillion seat. So little did she know, but we took a nice, lovely hike down by the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone or what do they call it? Was it...

Marisa Notier: I think so. I think that's correct. Yeah. It’s a beautiful yellow canyon. 

Tim Notier: And we get to a very nice point. And then there was a lovely woman that was walking in the opposite direction. And I said, hey can you snap a photo? And [00:26:00] I proposed to Marissa, and she said no about 14 times.

Marisa Notier: But here's how I said it, I said. No. Nooo. Nooooo. So I realized after the fact that I never actually said yes, but I did later, you know? 

Ashley Giordano: Yes, I remember. So we met for the first time at mountain expo or Expo Mountain West, and yeah, I've just loved chatting with you guys and then I went onto your website. And I saw that video and I felt like I sort of knew you, but during the video, I was like tearing up and like almost crying. Yeah. It was so cool. So check that out, but yeah. So the most recent journey you were on was the Cape Town to Kenya trip, and COVID affected that trip a little bit.

Marisa Notier: It was supposed to be [00:27:00] Cape Town to Egypt, and then from Egypt we would somehow find a way over to Eastern Europe and then go through Europe. You know, that was the plan. We had everything sorted out. We had all our paperwork, the Carne, and if anyone knows about Carne's, that's no easy feat. And we were very excited to make our way through Ethiopia and to Egypt, but we got to Uganda and...

Tim Notier: The world froze. But silver lining to scenarios, we had at that time been on the road for three years and we've adjusted to that lifestyle obviously, but it was nice to play house again with each other and we rented a house for seven months. It was a very basic home. So it wasn't luxurious, but it was very, you know, we had to go shopping together and we had to cook our meals as a team and wash dishes and the bed, and we had a living room.

Marisa Notier: We were like normal people. 

Tim Notier: [00:28:00] It was really, it was nice to play house for the first time in a long time. And it was also nice that we had like, you know, there was a cat that had two kittens, and so we raised kittens for... and you know, it was just...

Marisa Notier: We were very, very fortunate because the whole world suffered, and we suffered as far as stress over the news and our family and everything in our own ways. But we also counted our lucky stars every day, because we had gotten stuck in an area of the world that was affordable for us to get stuck in and that also welcomed us with open arms. There were a lot of countries that would have kicked us out and it would have been financially very difficult for us, but instead Uganda and Kenya. Both welcomed us and we became part of the communities that we were living in, and we really felt like we lived there and that...

Tim Notier: Well, we can say we lived [00:29:00] in Kenya and we lived in Uganda. We've spent months in a single place in Mexico and Guatemala, because sometimes it's nice just to park the bike and rent somewhere and just settle down. But in Uganda and Kenya, we lived there, and it was...

Marisa Notier: It was amazing, and it was such an opportunity to really immerse ourselves in that culture. Our original plan. It wasn't by any means fast for overlanding, but it was to spend a year in Africa, and we probably would have zipped through Uganda and Kenya pretty quickly. But instead we spent over a year in both Uganda and Kenya, and so that was such an opportunity looking back on it to, you know, learn the local foods and a little bit of the language and...

Tim Notier: Laugh with people. I was very fortunate in Africa because English is a, you know, a lot of people speak English. Whereas in like south America, I missed out on a lot of the cultural experience that [00:30:00] Marissa would giggle and the ladies would laugh and just sit there and kind of smile. But in Africa I was able to engage with people. It was, you know, kind of poor timing because not as social, when the pandemic just hits, everybody's kind of concerned about each other, but you know, it was nice to be part of a community even if it was foreign. 

Marisa Notier: That's right. And also if it had happened at the very beginning of our trip, I think things would have been very different how we felt about it. But at that time it was not unpleasant to take a break from traveling and it was very refreshing. Sometimes I think pacing oneself is extremely important overlanding because it really depends on how much time you have. Some people have to take off work and only have a very limited amount of time and try to cram in as much as they can, and that is one way of doing it. But we have discovered for ourselves that we like to really take rests in [00:31:00] between a lot of traveling, 

Tim Notier: That was the longest streak we've had in the four years; we had a toilet every day and a shower every day.

Ashley Giordano: Luxurious.

Tim Notier: It was amazing. 

Marisa Notier: And it really recharged us to want to experience the world again. Sometimes after a lot of traveling, people can get jaded and, you know, you see so many waterfalls and you think, oh my gosh, I can't see another waterfall, and that's a shame because they're beautiful. And so it was nice to take a break and to just watch Netflix. Just do normal things, and so that when I see that next waterfall, I'm just completely amazed and in awe.

Ashley Giordano: That happened to my husband, Richard and I, when we were traveling through south America and in central, like ugh another set of ruins, and we love going to ruins, but it just becomes the new normal, I guess, or even in Patagonia, some of the hikes that we did there were absolutely [00:32:00] incredible. There would be hikers that had come and flown in, and they hadn't done the driving part. And we had seen the section already and they're like, this place is blowing my mind and we're like, yeah it's pretty. It's awesome. But you could tell we needed a break because it is, if you're long going long-term. It's a marathon, not a sprint, and those rest times are really important, and we should be able to go up back and appreciate everything. 

Marisa Notier: Absolutely, and I think some of that is unavoidable, but at the same time, like you said, just having that reset, just taking your time so that. All starry-eyed again, once again, when you get to see that fresh new thing.

Tim Notier: To me personally, I can see every ruin and each and every one of them is like a unique fingerprint and I'm like, oh, but this one's got little Spanish Moss dripping off the side and oh, this one's got a weird face carved in it, you know, and waterfalls and I'm [00:33:00] always... I can never see enough elephants in Botswana. There was never a time like, oh there were still 180 first one, you know, I...

Marisa Notier: But it's possible, even for you. It's all about pacing. 

Ashley Giordano: There are those things that remain special every single time you see them. What did you guys take away, I guess, or what was the most powerful insight or experience in that section of Africa? For you, what did you learn about that region when you were there? Culturally I guess...

Marisa Notier: What's really interesting. And this isn't about culture. This is about nature, but Africa is just such a great place when it comes to nature, and when we had gone through Namibia, we had done a little four by four self-drive safari through a Tosha national park, which had all sorts of incredible animals. It was amazing, but we had tried really hard to see a rhino and we hadn't, by the time we got to Kenya, it just turned out that [00:34:00] we were living 20 minutes away from the last two Northern white rhinos. And there was a whole reserve full of rhinos.

Tim Notier: And there was a blind rhino called Erackoo. We fed them carrots and it was kind of like my Christmas present to her, cause we did a horseback ride through the conservatory with rhinos around us. And it was, you know, I jokingly asked our guide like, so you ever get charged by a rhino? Thinking like he'd be like haha stupid question, and he's like, yes all the time, you know? Oh my God, you know, I was like wrong answer, buddy. Wrong answer. 

Marisa Notier: He had given us some really big horses, thoroughbreds and warmbloods and I thought, oh that's unusual. You know, because we only ride whenever we can, but we're not experts or anything and then I realized afterwards, Huge fast horses to get away from the rhinos. 

Tim Notier: My riding skills are, the horse will probably get away, but I'm going to fall off.

Marisa Notier: Gosh, yeah. But we lived, we did not fall or anything or get [00:35:00] charged. Though, one rhino was pretty close to it. 

Tim Notier: I think one of my favorite cultural experiences when we were in the same area of Etosha and Namibia. We had stopped by a Himba village, and we've seen like three on the side of the road, and by the fourth one, I was like that looks kind of cool, let's pull over. So we pulled over and we take the little tour, and you know, these are the women with the red clay in their hair and the incense. And very wonderful people, very happy with little babies and all this. And as we're leaving, a gentleman asked us, said hey this woman and her small child actually need to get to the gates of Atosha. Would you, by any chance to give them a ride? And we're like, well, heck yeah, we will. You know, and they had to put down like a blanket cause she was covered in like red. 

Marisa Notier: We were in a car at the time because...

Tim Notier: We can't go through Atosha on a motorcycle. Cause then you're just a big cat toy. So, yeah, and she couldn't speak much English at all. She could be like Giraffe, you know, and we'd be like, ooo a [00:36:00] Giraffe, but her just smile and then her little baby in the back, and it was just like most tourists do not get the opportunity to give an Uber ride to a Himba woman to one of the most beautiful national parks we've ever been to. 

Marisa Notier: That's right. And that's also one of the takeaways that I have from Africa is just the positive attitude of everyone. Even during the pandemic, during a very dire time, people were smiling and just always happy to see us. They're very resourceful always positive, even if they have so little, and very generous with it as well.

Tim Notier: And I think like, I'd give you the shirt off my back is the statement that is way over used here in the states. And people who we've run across south America, Africa, you know, they'll see that my sunglasses are scratched to [00:37:00] all hell and they'll be like, oh, take my sunglasses. You know? And it's like, no buddy. That's okay. Don't worry. And he says, no, it would be an honor. If you took my sunglasses to Europe and then I could tell my friends that my sunglasses have made it to Europe. You know. Yeah... it's just amazing the kindness, and obviously you look at us and we have more money than them and, you know, it's just humbling. It's very, very humbling to know that just the generosity and kindness of people. 

Ashley Giordano: Awesome. Thank you. So Scott Brady, when he's hosting this podcast, he asks everybody what there. Favorite book is, and I love that question. However, that's not my question. I have my own question for you guys. I'm asking everybody on each podcast episode with me, if you could travel to any country today and also, we're in a pretty busy area. So I think that's a motorcycle or something ripping around outside.

Marisa Notier: Its [00:38:00] ok, we love motorcycles. 

Ashley Giordano: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. If you guys could travel to any country today, which would it be and why?

Tim Notier: There would be a big asterisk on my answer just because I haven't been to all the countries and so I would, you know... there's a bunch of beautiful countries that are in our future that I'm very excited for. But my favorite country that we have been to is Peru because I think it's just an adventure motorcyclist haven. There's the Andean mountains and we just... I tried to do as many passes through there as we could just because it was some of the most beautiful scenery. I mean, I would just look around and I rode there and myself from Chicago and I know exactly how I got there, but I'd look around. I'm like, how did we end up here? This is surreal. This is beautiful. 

Marisa Notier: So I'll answer that according to countries that we've been to and a country that I've never been to and for Tim, he chose Peru and that was [00:39:00] also in my opinion, just naturally mind blowing, but I loved Columbia, particularly because of the friendliness of the people. And it was also naturally really, really beautiful, but mostly the people. They were just outstanding everywhere we went, so positive and so, so friendly. And then as far as a country that I've never been to. Drop me off in Mongolia, and I think that would be pretty exciting for me. 

Tim Notier: Anything that ends in "stan" is my, you know, that whole region of the world looks like it's going to be very fun to ride through. So that's my wishlist, you know, and this whole journey to me, I need to see castles. There's no castles in the united states, desperately trying to see castles to get to Europe. It's it's momentarily paused, but we will see castles soon enough.

Marisa Notier: That's right. That is in our sites anyway. 

Ashley Giordano: So Tim, if people want to find your books, what are [00:40:00] the names, the titles, and where can they?

Tim Notier: So I have written three books so far there's Maiden Voyage, and then there is 2up and Overloaded, which is very fitting to our journey and that is from. Chicago to Panama. And then the third book is Blood, Sweat, and Notiers and that is from Columbia to Ushuaia, and they are available worldwide on Amazon.

Ashley Giordano: And then if anybody wants to find you on the internet, where should they go? 

Tim Notier: We have Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and if you search Notiers Frontiers, our lovely faces will pop up. 

Marisa Notier: That's correct. 

Ashley Giordano: Awesome. Well, thank you guys so much for taking the time to chat with me and...

Marisa Notier: Thank you. It's been wonderful. 

Ashley Giordano: Yeah, I'm sure the listeners have learned a lot about adventure motorcycle riding. It's a really inspiring story you guys have. 

Marisa Notier: Thank you so much.