44,000 kilometers on the Vespa

Created by Dietrich Limper at 15:02 on February 1, 2022

In May 2015, Juvena "The Wandering Wasp" Huang set out on a great adventure. She started out on her Vespa in her home country of Singapore with the simple goal of seeing the world. In the end, she rode 44,000 kilometers through 25 countries in 27 months: Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Kosovo, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. On average, she rode 200 to 300 km a day and sat on the bench for six to eight hours. Her journey also took her to tranquil Landsberg and she visited us at SIP Scootershop. The contact never broke off and we asked how she sees her journey today and what plans she has for the future.

Please tell us something about yourself. Where do you live, what do you do for a living, how old are you?
Today I am 34 years old. I was born in and grew up in Singapore. Before leaving for my trip, I was a research assistant doing Aquaculture studies. Currently, I am a digital design and marketing trainee and also freelancer.

How did you get in touch with scooters in general?
The idea to get my motorcycle license and a scooter came about after travelling to Vietnam. The roads there were filled with scooters. It was a common and easy mode of transportation. I thought to myself how nice it would be to be able to travel and explore Vietnam on a scooter. After that, I enrolled to get my motorcycle license when I was 19 years old and bought a scooter for my 20th birthday.

How is the scooter scene in your country organized? Are you a member of a club?
There are a few scooter clubs in Singapore. It is quite small, not as big as those I had seen in other countries. Singapore is a small country after all. I am not a member of any clubs, but I did join the rides for a few clubs before. I mingle around with the motorcycling community in general rather than confine myself only to the scooter scene.

When did you start to plan your big adventure? Where did the idea come from?
A motorcycling buddy passed away in a traffic accident at age 29. He was driving a van when it happened, and he was not on a motorcycle. His passing made me realize the brevity and uncertainty of life. That made me rethink my priorities and goals for myself. I had always wanted to travel long-term after the trip to Vietnam. I did not have the courage to do it and play everything safe and comfortable. My friend’s death is the push to make me take the plunge and pursue the dream of travelling. And this time round, it is combined with my newfound love for riding.

25 countries, 44,000 kilometers, 27 months - the route of the Wandering Wasp

The sturdy Vespa Excel 150

{"alt": "", "image": "https://cdn-cms.sip-scootershop.com/74/5e/7e/eb/1658291321/armenien-klein-02.jpg", "caption": "A rest in front of Tatev Monastery in Armenia.", "parallax": false}

How did the many different people you met in many different countries react to you?
Sometimes, I got asked where my husband is, especially in countries where woman are usually accompanied by man. I would jokingly point at my scooter. Many people were surprised of a woman travelling alone, furthermore on a scooter. Overall, I encountered too many people who went all the way to make my stay pleasant and opened their homes to me.

Where you afraid in some situations?
I was the most afraid on the first day of setting off. There was so many unknowns and uncertainty in my mind. Many scenarios played out in my head. However, the more I travel, the more I understand the reality of the ground, the less afraid I become. My perspective shifted a lot and was able to look at situations rationally rather than emotionally. My scooter broke down in the middle of Baluchistan province, Pakistan, a region troubled by insurgency. In the past, there were kidnapping of foreigners and suicide bombings. I had officers with AK47s with me. Even so, I was still able to keep my calm. To be able to keep yourself level-headed and resilient is to accept the uncertainty as part and parcel. I had encountered and overcome so many problems before, each one is just another to solve. Being afraid will only hinder my thinking process.

Any problems at the borders? How many visas did you need?
I had some drama at the Indo-Pakistan border because I was crossing it with another German motorcycle traveler. That is an entire story by itself. I am very fortunate that I have the world’s most powerful passport. It is a privilege. Out of the 25 countries, I only had to apply visas for 7 of them. Some I had to apply in my residential country of Singapore. The rest, I applied along the way. It is important to research about each country’s visa requirement to ensure that the journey doesn’t face any hiccup.

Visiting SIP Scootershop

Dietrich Limper
Dietrich Limper

Dietrich Limper works as an editor for SIP Scootershop and also writes for local and national publications. When he's not geocaching, he enjoys the amazing antics of Bayer Leverkusen.