Single white male who doesn’t quite remember the sixties but was there for nearly half of it sums me up in a nut shell. A remarcably unremarcable education culminated in a career as an electrician, athough when asked what I did I considered myself first and foremost a motorcycle racer. I had a modicum of racing success wining a major club championship followed by a couple of national titles which, if nothing else, shows that these things sometimes do come in threes.
Travelling has always been important to me. It was succumbing to the old racers blight of fear that took my lust for a nomadic existence from fantasy to reality. Midrace midseason I put my hand up, pulled into the pits, lent the bike against the van and opened a beer. I could no longer see what the busting hurry was. Why did everyone want to be in the same place at the same time? It was quite simply madness. I was still in one piece and desired to remain so. So with the former focal point of my life behind me I was free to move on. I rented out the cottage, handed my old blue tool bag over to my old colleague Dougie, and hit the road.
It began with a big overland loop of Asia utilising a variety of transport from a tatty old Indian bicycle to hired Land Cruiser to train and bus and foot.
Then came a motorbike journey that took me across Europe, the Middle East, The Indian Sub Continent and South East Asia.
The following couple of years were what I look back on as my wilderness years. Slightly lost, looking but never finding, a little bit hippy like you might say. Ashrams, meditation, yoga, buddhist centres; and then I rediscovered the bicycle.
Ever since my little ride through the south of India on that Indian made machine I had planned on cycling again. I bought a bicycle in Bangkok, began cycling in South East Asia and China, and have never looked back.
It was during the cycling era that a good friend, a high quality fine art photographer, suggested I chronicle my journeys in images. “You could even sell them” he chuckled. I protested that I knew nothing about photography and proved it by taking some appalling snap shots. He told me I could learn and proved it by switching a DSLR camera onto aperture priority mode, telling me not to change from this setting and sending me off to Lao during the rain season with instructions to not return until I had an interesting photograph. By nature I am not artistic, and perhaps because of this I slowly became fascinated in the whole proces of creating an interesting image. I have since discovered the camera and styles of photography that interest and suit me and now I never go far without my Lumix, a 20mm f1.7 lens and my ever faithful MacBook Pro. Photography is now a passion and if pressed for a favourite country for photography I would have to say Vietnam. [For those interested in such things I always shoot in RAW and I shoot 95% of the time on aperture priority (the other 5% is shutter priority). Along with the aforementioned Lumix 20mm f1.7 lens I also have an Olympus 45mm f1.8, and I postprocess using Apple’s wonderful Aperture].
Now having cycled one hundred thousand kilometres mainly through Asia and North and South America I cannot envisage living any other way. Half of my adult life has been spent living on the road, it is the life I know and love. People say ‘when will you stop?’ I do not even think about this, I cannot envisage it, why should I stop living a life I love?
I would say that my life is summed up quite fantastically and with great understanding and insight in the song my brother Dicki wrote for my 40th birthday, Life Time To Go.
I am pretty much based in South East Asia just now working on and off as a tour leader for British based adventure cycling company Redspokes.
My intention for this blog is to entertain and providing a little insight into a modern nomadic way of living, as well as show a little of the lands through which I wander.