Three Rides in Three Years

Twenty-four months of using a plethora of public transportation in Australia led me across the world to the United States to meet up with a couple of friends and travel by plane to Central America landing at Tobías Bolaños International Airport in San Juan, Costa Rica.

We spent the next 3 1/2 weeks traveling across Costa Rica in private chauffeured automobiles, public busses travelling up over 200 meter hills at a sluggish pace of 30 mph (50 k/mph) and everyone’s favourite mode of transportation: horse back.

List of Vehicles Used & Owned

Ages 30 to 33

With wanderlust stuck between my backpack straps and flip-flops I landed a job teaching English somewhere outside of Osaka, Japan in a small town not listed on any maps. Upon my arrival in this foreign land I was handed a set of keys and informed I would be driving to 75% of my classes as they were spread within an hours drive of my apartment.

“You know what, I’m starting to like this country already.”

My ride during my employ was a left-hand drive 2002 Daihatsu Mira CX, 4-speed automatic hatchback with chrome mirrors and a 648cc engine. The vehicle topped out on the toll way roads around 95 k/mph (60 mph) which I rarely drove as it cost far too many Yen to take the toll ways. But when you did ante up the cash for a toll ride it was usually you and maybe 3-other automobiles.

The other interesting thing about driving in Japan was there were levels of roadways. Each time you rose up a level above the ground there would be less and less vehicles on each section of road.

From April to August 2004, I drove this little beast of a car everywhere I possibly could until my colleague destroyed his car in a late night accident and I was asked to give up my vehicle because his school area reached up to 4-hours away in one direction. I laughed that the guy who totalled a car was given another. But those were the perks of this job in Japan!

Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”

Romeo to Juliet, by Shakespeare

Returning from Japan, I headed back to the front range of Colorado. Ducked into a room at a friend’s house and began paying rent. The rent of $300 per month was not going to break the bank. In the meantime I spent my time searching for a couple of part-time jobs and my next ride.

Originally I was searching for a Toyota Tacoma or 4Runner. At the time everything I could afford under $5,000.00 USD was listed over 200,000 miles (322,000 kms) and that just was not going to cut it. My buddy Noah and I scoured the City.

Eventually we ended up on a random Thursday afternoon at a used car lot that was sporting a list of very nice vehicles at very reasonable prices. As we wandered through the lot we agreed on four possibilities all priced between $4,500.00 to $6,500.00 USD

  • 1999 Mitsubishi Montero 4×4, w/ 135k miles, fog lights, panoramic sunroof, skid plates
  • 1998 BMW X5, w/ 145k miles, fog lights, sunroof, roof rails and specialty rims
  • 1999 Volvo XC90, w/ 155k miles, fog lights, sunroof, roof rails and leather interior
  • 1998 Honda Passport, w/ 165k miles, fog lights, roof rails and 2nd set of tires

The decision was reached after we took each vehicle up and down a dirt hill with a grade of 68-degrees. Surprisingly none of them really had a difficult time but both the Passport and Montero came with 4×4, and only the Montero had 4Lo gears and a rear locking differential.

The Monty was a true trooper carrying gear up and down the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We took this SUV everywhere and anywhere that my group of Jeep friends took their built up rigs. Then with wanderlust still clouding my vision I spent the next nine-months working at ski resorts and living the ski-mountain-bum-lifestyle until I dropped funds on a plane ticket to Thailand where I would begin my next adventure learning how to be a PADI Scuba Dive Master!

I dove in the Gulf of Thailand logging 3-to-5 dives per day for nearly nine-months collecting an astronomical amount of dives completed: 1,080 logged dives which earned me the professional title and nineteen certificates.

In 2006 my dive contract ended at the shop in Thailand and I packed my bags heading for Bangkok and a flight back to North America. The plane landed in Los Angeles and soon I made my way to Phoenix, Arizona.

Whilst living in Phoenix my buddy JJ assisted me in purchasing my next ride: a 2006 Suzuki GSX600F with 22,503 miles (36,215 kms) bought for $2,500.00 USD. The ‘zuki was ridden day and night all over Phoenix and the surrounding metropolitan area. For eleven months Phoenix fly by over the top of my windscreen and with the OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD aftermarket Yoshimura Exhaust Pipe SCRRRRREAAAAMING as my adrenaline pumped and we Flllllllaaaaaaaashed by!!

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb