Last year Andrew was watching a couple of his favorite YouTubers (usually fellows who mow or haul dirt and such), when YouTube gave him a suggestion for Itchy Boots which he watched and started following.
Itchy Boots is the YouTube channel for Noraly, a Dutch lady who decided she'd rather travel the world by motorcycle than write travel blogs or work in her former field (she trained in geology). She'd already traveled quite a lot in the world, and - if I remember the story correctly - started riding a motorbike in India and fell in love with this mode of travel.
Anyway, Andrew started watching her videos, and I would hear them while trying to read nearby. Over time, my listening turned into watching with him so that the two of us would bend our necks over his small phone three times a week when he'd get a notification that she's posted a new video.
Noraly was already well into Season 6 by the time I started watching. She was in Colorado or Nevada though Andrew had watched her in parts of Latin America and her crossing into the US. Her final destination this season was Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. This lovely movie (about 90 minutes) is a summary of her trip that she created once she was home in the Netherlands. Since I only watched the last part of Season 6, I found this a great way to see the parts I missed in South America, Central America, Mexico, and parts of the US. I especially enjoyed seeing the people she met along the way although the scenery and hardships she faced made it more interesting!
That was sometime last summer and we watched her final episode of Season 6 in mid-November, and then decided to start watching some of her earlier seasons.
On November 23, we started Season 1 which began with a short video, perhaps four or five minutes. I wonder if she was just starting out, seeing if people were interested in watching her videos. Over time, her videos became longer with most of them in the 15 to 20 minute range. She records such things as food she eats, places she stays, people she meets, scenery, good and bad roads, border crossings, stuff about her bike.
I just wanted to record my few notes from Season 1 which were mostly ridden on her Royal Enfield Himalayan bike, named Basanti.
November 23, 2022
watched episodes 1-10 which were in India
watched episodes 11-25 which were in India, Myanmar, and Thailand
She met "Roads Up" stars Peter and Claudia from Austria. She later stayed with them when she was in Vienna.
watched episodes 26-35 which were in Thailand and Malaysia
-- find review of motorbike after 10K miles; mentioned on episode 34
watched episodes 36-40 which were in Malaysia and Oman (she took a ferry to Oman)
watched episodes 41-45 which were in Oman
While waiting for Basanti to arrive in Oman, she used another bike and took off-roading lessons from someone
watched episodes 46-50 which were in Oman
watched episodes 51-57 which were in the UAE and Iran
I absolutely loved the hospitality and friendliness of so many people during her travels in this region and in several upcoming episodes.
watched episodes 58-66 which were in Iran and Turkmenistan
watched episodes 67-72 which were in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan
watched episodes 73-77 which were in Tajikistan and she pointed out the Afghan side across the river, but she didn't go into Afghanistan
watched episodes 78-80 which were in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
watched episodes 81-84 which were in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan
watched episodes 85-88 which were in Kazakhstan and Turkestan
January 2, 2023
watched episodes 89-93 which were in Kazakhstan and Russia
watched episodes 94-98 which were in Russia, Georgia, and Armenia
She bought a drone from a hostel-mate Tony from Switzerland, and had Itchy Boots stickers designed by another hostel-mate
watched episodes 99-104 which were in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey
watched episodes 105-109 which were in Turkey
watched episodes 110-114 which were in Turkey, Greece, and Albania
watched episodes 115-119 which were in Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Croatia
watched episodes 120-125 which were in Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands where we saw her mom, dad, and niece meet her; She said she had been gone from home for a year at that point.