When I’ve told people what I’m planning, I tend to get one of two reactions. Either “That’s so cool! I’m jealous. I wish I was coming with you” or “Why on earth do you want to do that?”
To those with the first reaction I say “Just Do It!” Those with the second reaction just don’t get it and trying to explain it to them is a little harder.
Being out on a bike is all about freedom. You feel so much closer to everything than when you are in car. Riding makes you feel alive. The idea of a long road trip on a bike is many biker’s idea of heaven. I got bitten by the bike bug when I did my direct access course at Triumph Motorcycle Training in Exeter some years back.
The idea for my American adventure really began to take shape about two years ago. The relationship I was in at the time was coming to a torturous end. I’d got to the point in my life of thinking what’s it all about? Is it just all about work and making endless compromises in screwed up relationships? Surely there has to be more?
I’m not getting any younger. I wanted to do something that was just for me and to have some adventures while I’m still young enough to enjoy it. The idea for a big road trip began to form.
I’d travelled and worked in a lot of Europe and I wanted something new, so I had to look further afield. There are so many places that I wanted to visit, but America and New Zealand were coming top of my list. Big in scale, full of natural wonders and both places that I hadn’t previously visited (except for a trip to New Orleans in 2002). Both gave the opportunity to get away from it all and to get out on the open road, to see new places and to meet new people. The other plus point for both was that in theory we shared a common language. The idea stuck and began to take root.
But my relationship was terminally ill, not yet dead and buried – its final death throes still to be played out. However, I’d decided that if and when the relationship finally self-destructed, the road trip would be on!
About the time the relationship finally did crash and burn, I had the opportunity to work again with some of my good buddies from Ascendant Technology on a gig in Edinburgh. It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse, not least because it would help to fund the trip. So the big adventure had to wait for one more gig and I moved up to Edinburgh on what was originally intended to be a 4 week engagement. The assignment ended up lasting nearly a year, but it’s been a blast. I’ve made my home in Edinburgh now and I’ve also made a lot of good friends here. I love the city and I love Scotland. This is the home I will come back to after the trip.