“I’ve traveled all around and met the most amazing people.”
Before the winter of 2015, Nikki Misurelli had a choice.
“In winter in Alaska, you have to store your bike,” Misurelli told Travel + Leisure. “So I had a choice: whether to store my bike or to ride down to warmer weather.”
Misurelli chose the trip.
With a former boyfriend, Misurelli had discussed a motorcycle trip along the length of the Americas — at the time he said that it would be a “boys’ only” trip. But by the end of 2015, she was single and couldn’t stop thinking about that trip. So she decided to head south.
Misurelli had just two weeks to get everything together. She pulled money from her retirement fund and sold almost all of her belongings. She bought supplies off Amazon (a new helmet, a tent, tools) and then she hit the road with no route and no real plan. In six months, she visited nine countries on her motorcycle, traveling over 12,000 miles from Alaska to Panama.
Misurelli travels on a Honda CBR 600rr, which she has equipped with dual sports tires to turn it into an “adventure bike.” The bike is equipped with only minimal supplies. On the back, Misurelli packs a tent, a hammock, a few clothes, a couple pairs of shoes, and her motorcycle tools.
Throughout her travels, Misurelli volunteers with local charities she finds — whether that’s building houses in Costa Rica or just picking up litter on the side of the road with groups she encounters. When she sets out on her next journey, she hopes to partner with another charity or organization to bring awareness to some of the causes she comes across while traveling.
Misurelli noted that traveling long-distance on a motorcycle is physically and mentally exhausting. She’s been biking for 12 years, although generally her trips on her motorcycle were reserved for just getting around town.
“It takes patience and persistence,” she told T+L. “Everyone sees the fun photos, but you have to go through harsh conditions on a bike.”
However, despite any hardships endured on the road, Misurelli wants to continue her motorcycle adventures around the globe, starting next with the Middle East. Her long-term goal is to “travel the world and see as many places as possible,” while encouraging other people to do the same.
“I’ve traveled all around and met the most amazing people,” Misurelli said. “My main goal is just to inspire others and see that the world is mostly a beautiful and safe place. We live in such a beautiful place.”