BRENDON AND KIRA: @ADVENTUREHAKS
By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orca’s – 12/10/18
For the ninety seventh installment in our ongoing interview series here at Dirt Orca’s, we are very pleased to speak with Brendon and Kira. You may know them as the @adventurehaks.
Brendon and Kira have been travelling together by motorcycle to some of the worlds most epic destinations for several years now. I have been following their journey through their Instagram gallery, because the places they go and the photography they share is always so damn beautiful. I also really appreciate their lightweight travel style. Opting for minimalist campsites when they can, but also incorporating some nicer accommodations when possible. If you prefer another avenue, you can also stay in touch with their travels via Facebook or their YouTube. channel.
However, as I always do, I highly recommend going to their website directly because it gives you more insights into who these people are. Visit www.adventurehaks.com to see some additional information and context for their travels.
Brendon and Kira are excellent reminders that casting off on a journey is the most difficult part but doing so will reward you in ways you cannot imagine.
Check out the interview and their photography below.
What do you do for work?
Right now, not too much. We sell a few prints (https://society6.com/adventurehaks), and have the odd writing and photography gig, but it’s by no means a steady income. Back at home, we had an HVAC company and Kira dabbled in photography on the side.
Tell me about your bike. What do you call them?
We ride two up on a 2016 KTM 1290 Super Adventure. We call him Bagheera, after the black panther in the Jungle Book.
What other vehicles did you consider for your travels and what made you ultimately pull the trigger on the ones you bought?
We looked at all the big adventure bikes, but ultimately the tall stance and the massive horsepower of the 1290 won the decision.
Have you made any upgrades or changes to them?
Aside from wrapping the bike black, most of the changes have been to help the ease of maintenance on the road. Such as a gas pre-filter, foam air filter, stainless steel oil filter, and an automatic chain oiler. Plus, an aluminum skid plate and headlight guard for protection. A recent modification that has proven to be amazing was changing the sprocket sizes. Dropping the gearing down a little has been great for this bike while two up and fully loaded.
(Editors note: You can also check out this recent blog post for additional information on this subject)
What is your favorite part about it living/working off of your motorcycle?
Brendon: Every day is our own.
Kira: My favourite part of this lifestyle is the freedom we have! The freedom to go where we want to go, do what we want to do, and see what we want to see. Like Brendon said, every day is our own. We don’t necessarily “work” off our motorcycle, but when we do have the opportunity to make a little money on the road, I feel the most fulfilment because writing and photography are my passions next to travel. Doing all three things at once – that is my complete dream!
What is your least favorite part about it?
Brendon: It can be very frustrating having to repair anything, or even just stock up on essentials being in countries with very limited resources. I have also struggled with not having an income, it can become tiresome to be constantly watching the budget.
Kira: I am energy sensitive so sometimes I need to disappear and recharge by being alone, which can be difficult. Not having my own space has been a real struggle for me. I didn’t realize how important that was until this trip. And, being away from our dog. I miss him terribly.
How many kilometers have you put on your bikes?
42,000 km to date (on this bike)
What is the best place you have taken them?
With 460 days on this journey alone, there is no way to even shorten that to a readable list.
Is there just one?
No, definitely not.
Favorite road you’ve driven?
Talk about an impossible question to answer. How about our favourite road in recent memory, the PE-12a. It was three days of remote Peruvian wilderness, from down in the Amazon basin up into the heights of the Andes mountains.
In one word, what describes your approach to life?
Brendon: At this point in my life I would have to say “Motivated.”
If you could give a person one piece of advice when thinking about living from a motorcycle, what would you tell them?
Brendon: I would give different people different advice, depending on their strengths and weaknesses. But for a complete stranger: The sooner you get comfortable with being uncomfortable, the happier you will be.
Kira: No matter how hard things may seem in the moment, have trust in yourself and your abilities. You’ll figure out how to fix what is broken, heal what is injured, or find your bearing if you’ve lost it. Once a solid foundation of trust is built, there is nothing left but to open yourself to the experience. Wherever the wheels are pointed, you will know without actually having to “know” that your journey will be successful.
It takes a special kind of person to recognize that the journey, not the destination, is the point of life. Travelers know this. Was there a point in your life where you became conscious that you were those kind of people?
Brendon: I’ve lived the “journey” for as long as I can remember. No matter what is happening in life at the moment I try to never live in the future or the past, and I think that is the key. That’s not to say you should never look forward or backwards, that’s very important. But you have to live in the now.
Kira: Losing Brendon’s brother and my step-brother in the same year was the turning point for me. Nothing teaches you to enjoy life, savor each moment, and stop living for the future, better than death does – especially young death.
You have found a strong place in the community of travelers. What values do you think your home or family instilled in you, that you take on the road?
Like most people, we’ve endured many hardships in our lives and it is those hardships that taught us the most, pushed us to grow, and encouraged us to change. They are what gave us the drive to go after what we wanted, the faith and trust that no matter what happens we’ll be fine, and the strength and fearlessness to combat anything that comes our way. It’s what taught us independence, adaptability, compassion, empathy, resourcefulness, and resiliency – all which have been invaluable in our lives, and this journey.
I admire your outside the box approach to career and home. Do you see yourselves as people who took a leap of faith to live in an unconventional way or do you think it kind of just happened?
Brendon: We have always lived in an “unconventional way”, but that is a relative term. Leaving our already unconventional life in the rearview mirror to set off on this trip was a “leap of faith” you could say, but in order to jump out of the plane, we had already got ourselves dressed and drove to the airport. Ha, what I’m trying to say, I suppose, is that throughout life we all take little steps towards something, our little steps just happened to lead to this.
Kira: Bren and I are two very driven people. On our honeymoon we made a list of all the goals we had as a couple, and individually – a bucket list – if you will. This journey across Latin America by motorcycle was on it. Brendon’s brother had passed away 6 months before our wedding, and when my step-brother passed away 6 months later, I knew there was no more waiting.
Where do you want to go next?
The real challenge for us will be reintegrating back into life as we knew it before this journey, so, we’ve decided we are not going to do that. It would be a shame to leave this lifestyle behind after so much personal growth and lessons learned. There are many discussions about what is next, and to tell the truth there is a world of options out there that we haven’t decided on yet. Wherever or whatever that happens to be it will be an adventure.