In the summer of 2015 I started my first adventure the BonnieTour – 1 man, 1 Bonneville, 5 weeks, 11 countries, 7500 miles. I didn’t have a plan, but I had a desire to see what the world had to offer. The trip made me realise how much more there was to explore and the idea of circumnavigation was born.
To tell you a bit about me, I’m a 23 year-old adventurer, born in La Linea, Spain, just across the border from Gibraltar. I’m 1/8 English, 1/8 Shetlander, ¼ Gibraltarian, ¼ Spanish, ¼ Unknown (my granddad was an orphan, so we have no idea)…so some would say I’m a bit of mongrel, but I’d tell you I’m a Sanddancer.*
*In case you don’t know, Sanddancers are people from a North-Eastern town in the UK called South Shields, aka Geordies.
In 2015, I graduated from Newcastle University after studying Computer Science, which I wouldn’t choose again given a second chance…. Having said that, university has more to it than studying a subject, it’s about the people you meet and the experiences you share. During my time there, I was fortunate to win a number of business competitions, became the Vice President of the Entrepreneur Society and also founded my first business during second year, which is what I’ve focused on since graduating among other things.
My mam had bikes when I was very young and she would tell me that every time one went past, I would yell “moto, moto”, so clearly bikes have been on my mind since an early age. Even so, I only got my first Bonnie at the beginning of 2015.
When I was 2, my mam and I moved back to England to her hometown of South Shields, where she brought me up alone. Together we went through some tough s**t, but her strength and determination always inspired me to become more independent; she always told me I could do anything I wanted, and when other parents were saying no, she encouraged me to take my own risks and make my own decisions.
I think this is why the idea of setting up my own business and being my own boss appealed to me so much…and the thought of travelling the world by bike alone appealed to me even more!
In life, you have to be willing to take risks and when you do, you are presented with endless possibilities. I don’t think that going around the world will necessarily change my life but it will certainly change my perspective, because you can’t truly understand the world around you if you have nothing to compare it to. And as we say up North, shy bairns get nowt!