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MotoStays

Home sharing for motorcyclists in the modern age

by Derek Roberts 

It has been my experience with motorcycling that all conversational roads lead back to one thing; Wanderlust. Appreciation for engineering, technical proficiency and the daily commute may vary, but mention to a fellow rider (or non-rider for that matter) the tale of a recent motorcycle sojourn and you will immediately have a captivated audience.

Maybe it’s the innate understanding of a motorcyclist that opportunity comes in many varieties. A sun parched stretch of desert highway, conversations with strangers and meandering trips that start with no end dates, are all blank canvasses. Each time we set out on two wheels we are privy to more than a windows view. Each time, is a unique experience.

Emboldened by adventure is often when inspiration strikes. Take for example, MotoStays founders, Tad Hass and Gaila Gutierrez (shown right). Over the course of 411 days, the two traversed the vastness of eastern Canada, crisscrossed the continental United States and explored the culturally rich interior of central Mexico, on a trip that would ultimately cover 40,000 miles and reach as far south as Panama.

As the pair rode, they began to take stock of their journey and question fellow travelers as to what made these types of trips, or even weekend ones, so special. Time and again the responses came back littered with reference to “adventure”, “different”, “local” and “real”. The two rider’s appreciation for such experiences had certainly grown since the start of their own trip, as had their appreciation for the most often cited obstacle: Cost.

With these insights and perhaps inspired by the view of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, the two began to envision a global network of homestays, built specifically for motorcyclists. Fellow riders from across the world, they reasoned, would volunteer to host their motorcycle brethren as they embarked on trips of all durations, in exchange only for a story and a “pay it forward” ethic. “If I host you on your journey, you will host someone else on theirs.”

Fast forward to early 2014 and after brief stints back in the “real world”, Tad and Gaila could not help but revisit the idea that had hatched during their trip. Home share models like Airbnb and Couchsurfing had been hugely successful and people were expressing a real desire to travel and do more. Hosts would not only provide a place to stay, but they would dispense local knowledge that would lead to a more rewarding travel experience.

On June 1st, 2014, MotoStays was officially launched. Just as the founders had envisioned the website quickly developed into a community of motorcycle touring enthusiasts. Each day new members began to join and in less than six months, MotoStays already has hundreds of free places to stay and is represented in more than 20 countries.

The process is really quite simple. A visit to www.motostays.com lets users browse the map of homestay locations and see snippets of member profiles. Once a new traveler/host is ready to join, they simply signup and create their listing. Now registered, members are free to communicate with the network and arrange stays along their route. It’s that easy.

For the early adopters, MotoStays is a no brainer. A free place to stay, a new friend to meet and another day of adventure. And for those who may be a little more hesitant, Tad and Gaila offer one piece of advice, “ Try it...You’ll be happy you did”.

Click the image below to see it larger.

 

To find out more about how MotoStays works or to browse the global map of homestay locations, visit www.motostays.com


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