Jay Kannaiyan – A Long Journey Home

October 3, 2011 by  
Filed under On the Road

BikerCamps invites you to follow along with us the travels of Jay Kannaiyan of JamminGlobal.com.  Most of us only dream of one day lightening our loads and taking off on a lifetime adventure to foreign lands. Jay is living that dream. From trip planning to troubleshooting to viewing breathtaking scenery, Jay has offered to share with the readers of BikerCamps.com some of the details of his trip. Further details are also available on his JamminGlobal.com blog.    

Introduction to JamminGlobal.com and Jay Kannaiyan

Taking off my helmet at a petrol station in Peru, I'm approached by a curious local, and the inevitable first question is always, "Where are you from?"  I enjoy the shocked reaction upon them hearing, "India," and I quickly add to that, "but I started in the US," which doesn't help reduce the shock value.

Hola, my name is Jay Kannaiyan. I was born in India, but moved early to spend my childhood in Zambia, Africa, where wildlife safaris were the regular family trips.  After finishing up school back in India, I arrived in the US to pursue mechanical engineering, and that's where I got my first taste of two-wheeled excitement.  I putted about campus on a Suzuki GS500; and once I landed my first job, I started making small trips on the bike.  I soon recognized my need for speed and upgraded to a more powerful Suzuki GSX-R600, on which I toured around the US and dragged knee around Mid-western race tracks, putting 50,000 miles on her in four years. I saw the beautiful mountains of the Eastern US and the great lands of the Rockies in the West, and soon the desire to go further, beyond the asphalt, lead me to the dual-sport Suzuki DR650.

By this time, the idea of riding around the world on a motorcycle appealed to my inner core, and I eagerly absorbed as much knowledge as possible about this way of life.  I knew I had to make some preliminary smaller trips in order to iron out the bigger issues like what to carry and how many tools I would need, etc.  Since I planned to head to South America, I figured a short trip to Mexico was in order to see how it would be to travel in a developing country with a foreign language.  Brushing aside all the usual warnings, I had a great experience and knew I could continue all the way south.

Waiting for things to line up, I next went up to Alaska and all the way north to Prudhoe Bay.  I had some major mechanical issues towards the end of that trip, but I put it down as experience-building for the big trip.  After recovering from a skiing knee injury, I spent two weeks going down the US Continental Divide as a final dry run with the bike setup properly and with all the appropriate gear.

The time came to pull the trigger on the big trip, and I sold everything I had in Chicago and set off on my DR650 — motorcycle and man into the wind. It's been over a year now, and I feel right at home on the road with sanDRina, my steady companion. I've already had numerous lifetime experiences and my appetite keeps growing. When the muscles tire, I rest my bones in a welcoming place. When sanDRina shows signs of wear, she gets treated well, as her health is as important as mine.  Waking up for a sunrise in the remote high altitude southwestern deserts of Bolivia over a pot of steaming oatmeal and a cup of coffee, I breathe in and know that life is good, on two wheels.

 

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of this journey of a lifetime.

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