Danielle Murdoch: Live to Ride

For most of us, the thought of travelling alone for a months on two wheels is well beyond our comfort levels to say the least, let alone through war-torn and third-world countries (for four years). For Danielle, it was the need to shake off the weight of being stuck behind a desk, a desire to explore how other people lived their lives across the globe that drove her to the decision to leave it all behind. She wanted to create her own style of living. Danielle Murdoch felt the great urge we ALL desire, the need to be free.

We recently caught up with Danielle, who had just been told that she will receive the Australian Geographic Society’s ‘Young Adventurer of the Year Award for 2015’. When asked about receiving the award, she admitted to getting the ‘warm fuzzies’ every time she thinks about it. “I would never have ever expected to receive this amazing award. I’ve always admired adventurers, read their stories, let them inspire and guide me throughout my own adventures. I never thought I would be named Young Adventurer of the Year. I guess I hope that I too will be an inspiration to someone else” she said. In 2010 Danielle was the very first recipient of the Australian Geographic Society ‘Nancy Bird Walton Grant for Female Adventurers.’

Growing up, Danielle was always interested in motorcycles but says she never really had the opportunity to learn how to ride one. “Most people are pretty shy about lending their baby to a learner rider,” she said. By the time she was in her mid-twenties, Danielle had completely forgotten about her desire to learn to ride, until a trip with friends to Laos in 2006.

“I had no idea where I was going nor if I would still have the bike by the end of the day. My backup plan was to ditch the bike and just go backpacking if I felt it was all too much for me” she said. But after a few days she had settled down into a routine. Very quickly, she had learnt how to ride on dirt roads, dodge around chickens and cautiously travel through rice paddy fields.