Motorcycle Travel and the Birth of MotoStays.com

Motorcycle Travel and the Birth of MotoStays.com

It’s just you and your motorcycle, cruising along freely with the wind in your face and the sun on your back. There is no better way to escape than an afternoon ride on an epic stretch of twisties.

Slowly rolling through town, you have a choice of five cafés, but you choose to stop at the one place in town that has 20 motorcycles parked out front. Why is that?

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“What is it about motorcycling that draws us towards each other?”

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Motorcyclist often feel that they are a part of a bigger community. A community of riders; one humungous club. We share an unspoken bond that somehow gives us sense of security, a temporary escape and feeling of freedom. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but we all know the saying, “it’s not the destination, it’s about the journey”.

Before we get into the journey of how MotoStays came about, let’s back up a bit and tell you a little about us. We are Tad Haas and Gaila Gutierrez, a normal couple (well mostly normal) from Seattle who had worked all our lives doing the typical things people do throughout their lives. Stuff like building careers, raising families, buying homes and climbing the corporate ladder. So there we were, in our late 40s, royally burned out on corporate life, tired of the hamster wheel and crappy Seattle winters.

We always had dreams of traveling and roaming the world on our motorcycles, living life differently.

But it wasn’t until a series of unexpected circumstances and establishing a decent savings account, that we heard the quote “Leap and the Net Will Appear”.  At that moment, we collectively stopped talking about it, and dove head first into the life of adventure.

On Dec 9, 2011, we sat at our kitchen counter, pinky fingers hooked tightly together staring into each other eyes with matching “we’re really doing this!” grins. We quit our jobs, rented out the house, found a place for the cat and just four short months later we were on the road!

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“And so began the year… that would change our lives forever!”

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We spent 14 incredible months living on the road traveling through North and Central America. There was no looking back only forward into what would become the most incredible year of our lives…so far.

We carried on our bikes everything we would need for our journey (packing light experts!). Our accommodations consisted of camping, budget hotels, hostels and the occasional stays with friends and family along the route. While those were fantastic what came as an incredible surprise was how complete strangers, who just happened to motorcyclists, were so willing to open their homes to us.

We were approached at gas stations, coffee shops, parking lots, tourist spots and just about anywhere we were parked for more than a few minutes.

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“People were intrigued & interested in being a part of our journey”

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Hand written notes and business cards were freely given with an open invitation to their guest room if we planned on staying in the area.

We also used other travel networks like Couchsurfing and Airbnb with much success. We were on a tight budget so Couchsurfing was of particular interest as it’s free and saved us a ton of money! We were always greeted with a smile and a welcoming host. Within minutes of being shown around, we felt at home and believe it or not, security/safety never crossed our minds.

We experienced the kindness of strangers first hand; invited into homes with little worry and tons of intrigue on both our parts. Hosts were eager to share our journey and stories, tell us about theirs and just help us out. What’s not to love about that?

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“There is a unique camaraderie that bikers share, and you can feel it with each passing wave of the hand. “

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The hospitality we found throughout our journey was astounding. Whether it was in the US, Canada, Mexico or Central America, received by unexpected hosts. Sharing meals and endearing stories of life and travels, we got pretty good at navigating language barriers with lots of smiles and hand signals. We met as strangers, left as friends…

When you overnight with someone of a different culture, the experience is amplified in so many ways. Whether you find that culture in New England, Louisiana, French Canada, Mexico, Guatemala or beyond, being exposed to local customs and cultures through the eyes of a local is priceless.

This phenomena wasn’t unique to us. Fellow motorcyclists have experienced the same hospitality along their journeys with the same outcome. The connections with people and home stays became some of the best parts of the journey.  This was too good not to share and our brains kicked into overdrive.

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“The Sharing Economy is a powerful movement because individuals are exchanging resources to maximize value and minimize waste.”

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How could we create this opportunity for other motorcyclists? The MotoStays idea hatched while we were on the road, but it wasn’t until we returned to Seattle that we really started hammering on it.

Through lots of hard work, thoughtfulness and development of cool website features; we hope we have created a community and service that every motorcyclist will find valuable.

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“Whether you travel for a night, a weekend, or take extended trips… MotoStays connects people who want more than the ordinary.”

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We are pleased to bring you MotoStays. A consolidated and network of like-minded people who love to ride, share experiences and money all at the same time.

We invite you to join our network and become part of the MotoStays extended family. This community succeeds because of people like you; those willing to share their home and local knowledge with travelers who bring culture, enthusiasm, awesome stories and perhaps a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or a small token of appreciation.

It’s cool, it’s fun. It’s motorcycle travel, that’s beyond the ordinary….