Way back at the beginning of our journey we received a message from Santosh asking if we’d be interested in speaking at the Motorcycle Travel Meeting or MTM2016 in Goa, India.
Struggling to come to terms with life on the road back then and wondering what on earth we had to offer an audience of experienced travellers, we took a leap of faith in ourselves and accepted the kind invitation. We couldn’t be happier that we did.
MTM2016 was an intimate meeting of around 200 Indian motorcycle travellers. These guys have some serious travel experience between them and it shows. I can’t recall ever being in such a positive, friendly, humble and inspiring group of people before. We were welcomed like old friends and the extensive organisation and attention to detail put in by the team behind the scenes really showed in the quality of the meet. The line-up of speakers and their stories were empowering, invigorating and downright entertaining. Even better, the deliberately small gathering (tickets sold out in 2 days!) gave us chance to chat to most attendees and speakers and amounted to 3 days of solid fun and lasting friendships.
Contact with so many kindred spirits a few days after setting foot in India also set us up with an amazing platform from which to start our Indian tour. The MTM crowd took care of our every need throughout the meeting and beyond, taking us in and showing us their India. We also now have a few more options on the table for getting our hands on bikes than we did- no small thing in itself!
Our talk was the last and so there was plenty of time for the nerves to kick in. Seeing this, Santosh secretly arranged with Mickey that he would be on stage with me too…in a rather unconventional way. As I took to the stage, Mickey was bundled on behind me, cable tied to the chair and gagged! Someone had joked the day before that the only way I would be allowed to speak uninterrupted would be if Mickey was bound and gagged and apparently the suggestion had taken root. Neither I nor the audience had a clue what was happening and I’m pretty sure we’ll be remembered in the MTM community for a while to come!!! We were also super pleased to discover afterwards that our stories and message touched and reassured a few people that they weren’t alone in feeling out of their depth when travelling.
To sit among so many seasoned and inspiring travellers was a real privilege for us and it was a meeting we won’t forget. What’s more, the generosity of the people we’ve encountered will stay in our hearts and minds forever. Thanks to all involved for the invite, the friendship, the hospitality and most of all for helping us experience India through your eyes.