Freedom as a Way of Life - Adventure Haks Interview
We love to be searching for humble, adventurous and inspiring motorcycle adventurers on social media. When we discover Brendon and Kira, two young Canadian adventure riders, we were immediately interested in interview them.
You will be highly inspired by their spirit and their project - Adventure Haks - and we're very happy to share now with you this great interview! Enjoy.
We are Brendon (31) and Kira (29) Hak.
- Describe your project to the world.
Brendon: This is not really a project, it is just simply our way of life. In this phase of our life we are living off of our motorcycle as we travel through the Americas. I believe a project is much more defined and outlined than life is.
- How and why did you start your project?
Kira: I started ‘Adventure Haks’ back in 2015 because I wanted to create a space where I could share my photography and writing, document our experiences, and hopefully, inspire someone along the way. But since then, it’s become so much more than that. I don’t see ’Adventure Haks’ as a project, but rather, a representation of the life we have created together, which is one built around creativity, exploration, and freedom.
- There are many motorcycle adventurers that would love to travel around the world in their bikes. What do you think are the main difficulties in making it happen?
Brendon: For most, the biggest difficulty is the all encompassing stress of money. We have met people from all walks of life travelling the world by motorcycle (and many other types of vehicles). If it is something you want bad enough, you will figure out a way to adjust your priorities and make it happen financially. It really is that simple.
Kira: I think the only reason people don’t go after their dreams is fear. Fear that they don’t have enough money. Fear of not having the security of a house or job. Fear of not being able to speak the language. Fear that they might get robbed or hurt. Fear that something might happen to their kids (spouse, or pet) while they are gone. And the truth is: some of your fears will come true. There will be a lot of misunderstanding as you learn a new language, your motorcycle will most likely break, you may have financial trouble, and someone you love might get sick while you are gone. But, what is also true, is that you will find a way to work through the challenges. “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
- How did your family react when you told them your were going to start traveling around the world via motorcycle?
Brendon: To be honest I don’t think anyone was too surprised. They were sad to see us go, and there were the typical safety concerns, but everyone was supportive. Most of our family lives on the other side of the country, so naturally it was the two people that lived in the same city that were affected the most, my Mom and Dad.
- There are many couples who ride together. What is the most difficult part of travelling as a couple?
Kira: I think it would have to be navigating around each others bad days. We are in a constant change of situations and conditions, and it doesn’t always bring out the best in you. If one of us gets frustrated and snappy, the other has to recognize it’s the situation and not take it personally, and try their best to support the other person and keep things calm….which isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
- What was the most emotional moment you lived while in your adventures and why?
Kira: Shortly after we left on our trip across the Americas, we found out that our dog has cancer. It’s been a constant emotional battle throughout the trip. But when it comes to the things I have seen on our travels, it would be the abuse I have seen being done to animals. I have seen some really awful things. It makes me emotional just thinking about those poor creatures now.
- What's the weirdest thing that has happened to you while on an adventure?
Brendon: I am not sure what weird is anymore. Being outside the culture we grew up in for so long has desensitized us to what one might normally think is weird.
- And the most amazing one?
Kira: There is no way we could pick just one amazing moment from our adventures. It has all been amazing in one way or another. Some highlights would include: hiking to the top of Volcán Acatenango in Guatemala to watch Volcán Fuego erupting in the middle of the night, seeing a humpback whale breach off the coast of Ecuador, exploring the Amazon jungle by canoe, taking the risk and driving across the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, all the new food we’ve tried, and people we’ve met!
- What was the worst decision you make during an adventure?
Brendon: Ya, some of our decisions are better than others. But it’s hard to pinpoint a really terrible one, because all of them have lead us to here. And we like here. Bad decisions happen, but we learn from them and carry on.
- ...and the best decision ever?
Kira: Rearranging our priorities in a way that enables us do the things we want to do. It’s a decision we have to make over and over again, because as our wants change, our priorities need to as well. The benefit is that our life is much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
- Your first motorcycle was…?
Brendon: My first motorcycle, that was legally allowed on the road, was a 1998 Yamaha XT 225.
- Your present motorcycle is…?
A 2016 KTM 1290 Super Adventure
- Wheelies: Yes or No? Yes. But I feel there needs to be a little more explanation. Can I wheelie? Yes. Do I like to wheelie? Yes. But, given the trip we are on the front tire stays on the ground more often than not. Mostly due to the luggage, being two-up, and the financial need to keep the rubber on the tires and the oil in the forks.
- The most amazing countries to go to on an adventure are?
Out of the 17 countries we have been to, we’d have to pick: Canada, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina.
- What are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
Brendon: There are many but the most influential was “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.
Kira: This is the most difficult question of this whole interview for me. My emotions, beliefs, life choices, and writing style are influenced by every book I’ve read. But here it goes. In no particular order: “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, “The Curve of Time” by M. Wylie Blanchet, “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, and any books by Mitch Albom, Elizabeth Gilbert, J.K Rowling, Cheryl Strayed or Brene Brown.
- What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life as a motorcycle adventurer in the last six months (or in recent memory)?
Brendon: A few months ago we bought two small camp chairs for less than 10 dollars. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how much having a chair has improved our lives. Over a year of sitting on the ground - when you’re not sitting on the bike - gets to you. You cook on the ground, read on the ground, relax on the ground, etc. Not anymore!
Kira: Baby wipes! I do not know how we lived without these. We try our best to take regular showers, but baby wipes help to keep you feeling fresh when it isn’t possible. We use them to clean our helmets (and face) after a really dusty backroad. They do a great job at picking up the fine sand in the tent after a sand storm. If our camp spot doesn’t have a water source, we can even get by with washing our dishes with them. It’s an invaluable item in our motorcycle!
- What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love to do while riding your motorcycle?
Brendon: I like to see how far I can ride with my eyes closed. I am getting pretty good, up to a few kilometers now. Ha, just kidding. I like to sing in my helmet and make up my own version of songs. I’ll take a tune that’s stuck in my head and make up my own lyrics, depending on my mood that day.
Kira: I don’t think I do anything too unusual or absurd. I listen to music, podcasts, or my own thoughts. I take pictures and videos. On occasion, I’ll pull my phone out and type out a good thought or idea for whatever project I am working on.
- In the last five years, what’s a new belief, behavior, or habit that has most improved your life as a motorcycle adventurer?
Brendon: For us, the key to maintaining a positive attitude are the snack breaks. The bike is always stocked with food for the roadside stops. Creating a habit of regular snack breaks gives us the opportunity to get off the bike, stretch, and chat about the revelations from our personal helmet time (we don’t use helmet comms).
Kira: I’d have to say, the belief that there is no better time than now, has improved my life in general. For my life on a motorcycle, the habit of stretching for at least 15 minutes a day has been really important. Riding on a motorcycle for 18 months (and sleeping on the ground) has taken a toll on my body. I am experiencing chronic pain in my knees, shoulders, and back. I’ve also had a bruised tailbone for about 6 months. The stretching helps to relieve some of my pain.
- Can you give any advice to all the motorcycle adventurers out there that love adventure on 2 wheels?
Brendon: Don’t set your expectations to someone else’s experience. Find your own adventure, and set it to whatever length you can.
Kira: Think it. Dream it. Do it.
- What can we expect from the project Adventure Haks in 2019?
Sometime in the summer (northern hemisphere summer, that is!) we will be returning to Canada, and our adventure will continue, in a new form.
We want to thank publicly to Bredon and Kira for their time and wisdom. You're family now!