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Keep Moving: Tokyo to Cape Town by Motorbike
Monica Joseph
Xlibris, 251 pages, (paperback) $29.99 AUD, 978-1-4846-1118-1
(Reviewed: October 2013)

Adventure, danger, and the wide-open road merge in Monica Joseph’s travel memoir
Keep Moving: Tokyo to Cape Town by Motorbike.
In these pages, Australian-native Joseph recounts how she sets out in her “mid 50s with no recent motorcycle riding experience and certainly no long distance experience,” on a motorcycle trip. She departs from Tokyo with her husband and three others in the summer of 2010, exhilarated by the prospect of fulfilling a 30-year-old dream. But she is also wary of difficult terrain, mechanical issues, and rumors of dodgy border crossings ahead.

Instead of ending her journey in St. Petersburg, Russia as planned, Joseph and her husband choose to continue riding as far south as Cape Town, South Africa (minus one stretch over which they travel by plane) to complete a year-long journey that spans 50,000 kilometers through 30 countries.

For someone so inexperienced, Joseph displays courage in completing this journey, and her story will inspire those who have doubted their abilities but dared to follow a dream into the unknown. And while Joseph comes to appreciate and even prefer motorcycle travel, she reflects little on how she grows to gain freedom and autonomy in the end, instead saying: “I am sure that other long distance motorcyclists know what I mean.”

As a catalog of places, sights and events, Joseph’s story will likely appeal mainly to readers who would like to follow this route and motorcycle across Russia and through Africa, an “unexpected jewel in the travel crown.” Others will wish Joseph had woven more personal reflection throughout her story. Still, readers who persevere will find
themselves cheering on the author as she completes a truly epic journey.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.



Shane Kuhl’s Review


Keep Moving: Tokyo to Cape Town by Motorbike
Written by Monica Joseph
Available from the Book Depository:

http://www.bookdepository.com/Keep-Moving-Monica-Joseph/9781483611198

I first met Monica at a Horizons Unlimited meeting in Dayboro Queensland in 2013 and once I heard her story, was very keen on getting a hold of her book. It took me a while to order the book from the Book Depository but once I did, I was very glad that I had. It’s quite a read. Monica’s story is quite interesting as she actually rode a motorcycle when she was younger but family and career put a kybosh on that for some years. Essentially once Monica and her husband Simon decided that they would travel the world on bikes, she re-started from scratch. Simon rescued the very same bike from younger days and then Monica relearns how to ride. From there, the journey grew.

From the shipping of the bikes to the trials of riding with people with very different styles of travel, Monica tells it like it is. In doing so, she opens the reader to the possibility that whilst it isn’t always easy, it can be done. The trick is, of course, to keep moving.

A good read and certainly recommended considering such an adventure, especially for the late starters. Inspiration and education in the one package..”

Shane Kuhl (April 2014)



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Other Reviews


I would like to say I am enjoying your book but unfortunately I had only got a few pages into it when I showed it to Dad and he started reading it and became so hooked that I could not get it back and had to leave it with him so he could finish it! At least I’ve got a good read waiting for me next time I go down to see Dad, which won’t be too far off.

Andrew

Wow just finished reading your book, great read, easy to follow, a nice combination of motorcycle and country info.

Trisha and Billy

Thank you for writing your book and selling it to me. I really enjoyed reading your book. It is a remarkable story and quite inspiring to read of the adventures you and Simon have had; not only on the Tokyo to Cape Town trip, but in your preparation and other trips you touched on that you have done earlier in life. Now at my age (65), I doubt if I could tackle the endurance and logistics of such a long and arduous trip such as what you have done. This now leaves me to consider a Silk Road trip from China to Istanbul by train after reading your book.

Rob

Hi Monica, I am in the Livingston Jolly backpackers reading your entertaining adventures in Russia and Stans. Originally I started from Africa and now finishing the first part. It is old good memories from the road. Excellent book!

Pavel

Just to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your racy account of the most amazing bike journey. It should be made into a movie. You and Simon are heroes.

Jackie

Thanks for the news regarding your book! We certainly enjoyed it and can understand the reaction of some readers not wanting it to end. We are currently in Germany on our regular sales trip and have been listening to some of the news and latest trends regarding the Frankfurt Book Fair, which closed just recently …… to think that that your book was also represented there in some way is great!

Helen and Ernst

Just finished your book – great read – really enjoyed it. What an epic journey – the riding and the writing must both be so satisfying.

Peter and Patricia

I was so chuffed to receive the signed copy of your book. I am a sporadic reader and can only finish a book if it flows well and holds my attention. Well, I finished yours in about 5 nights and lived every km – the title sure is apt. Congratulations for a great effort. I am spreading the word amongst everybody I know and meet who are keen on motorbikes and travel, so I hope you get a few sales out of that.

Kerry

I’m glad you took my advice and wrote your book, which I shall try and get. Besides, I’m intrigued as to how you got to Africa when you were about to enter Finland…

Sebastian

Well it has taken me months to read your book but this is no indication of how it was. Once I got into it, I could not stop. It was compelling; I wanted to just keep moving. At first I wondered about the name. ‘Keep Moving’ I thought maybe it could have been something catchier like ‘The Harrowing Journey’, Unstoppable Adventure, Live or Die. You know some Hollywood title. But once I got into it and was on the edge of my seat going through the traffic in Africa where you were prodded on to ‘keep moving’, it was then I had an Ah Ha moment. The title made sense and in a different way then I first imagined. However, you did keep moving and in more than one-way and it all came together. That is what a book should do, leave you wondering, in suspense, entertain, and it did. I could not wait to get to the next border, the next country, and the next campground. My butt was sore.
Your writing pulled me along. At one point I started sweating, felt like taking a bath, and had to stop to go get a drink. The border crossings made me nervous, the people you met I think I had met them too. I felt like I was the pillion. Yes, I would not have been the rider like you and I am still in awe that you had very little experience riding until this trip. That shows what one can do if they really put their mind to it. I loved your words on your thoughts and that is the only thing I wanted more of.
It did show your personality. I loved in the first part where you would end a paragraph with a little dig that showed your agitation. When you got more personal I got more interested. Much of it was an amazing travel journal and I loved that you mentioned all the names of places you stayed, the distances you went from place to place and basically covering all basis of a travel book. You did a great job with that. I mean I actually learned something.

Gayla

Greetings from Harvard where I am a visitor for two weeks. I am about 3/4 ways through your excellent book. I’m currently in Western Sahara…It’s a great evening read.

Richard