Long Way Round

Where it all began

I remember being maybe 20 years old and seeing Machu Picchu (Peru) on the tv for the first time and I was completely in awe. I had never even heard of it before, but I remember thinking “I really want to go there one day.” And I kept thinking that… and many years later I finally did see it. When I arrived at the sun gate after a four day trek and gazed upon Machu Picchu’s grandeur, it was such a special feeling. Not just to witness one of the world’s most incredible marvels, but to think of how a seed planted more than five years earlier had finally bloomed. It was everything I had imagined and more.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Which brings me to today. Just like the Macchu Picchu seed, another seed was planted many years later. I’m not sure exactly when, but somewhere around 2004 I saw Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s “Long Way Round” documentary and I was just completely enthralled – and to be perfectly honest, envious – of what they were doing on their motorbikes riding through Europe, Central Asia, Russia and beyond. I didn’t just think “I want to do this!”, but “How can I possibly do this?”. The reality is I didn’t even own a motorbike back then, nor would I say I was more than a farm bike basher. So it just seemed completely and permanently out of reach.

Long Way Round

But life seems to gravitate and unfold in ways inexplicable. My first motorbike foray was a rugged ride up Bokor Hill in Cambodia. No helmet, no protection and no idea really. But I made it. In an ugly fashion mind you. But it reinforced how much I loved motorbikes (specifically the dirt bike variety) and adventure. (The ultimate combination!) Even then it would take me another two years before I owned my own bike and took up trail riding in anger. I also adopted full protection for my two wheel endeavours and this has since paid off multiple times I can assure you.

Bokor Hill, Cambodia

And so after years of terrorising any piece of dirt Queensland had to offer with a couple of global adventures with tour groups in between (Morocco, Chile and Argentina), I began to dream again of a major Central Asian odyssey. Fortunately, my financial goals aligned with my zest for adventure and piece by piece I conceived of an epic adventure that would begin in Iran and end in Italy. Of course, this would be via a number of countries (many of which I barely knew how to pronounce) and it would also be solo, but it would be an experience (and a gift) that life was offering that I would never say no to.

As I sit and write this today, it seems hard to believe that it is actually happening. I hope to share a lot of the planning and learnings that have gotten me this far… and hopefully some more that keep me going. Of course the travels themselves will be shared too. But like everything in life, there are no guarantees. So it really is just one day at a time.

Finally, a word on the blog title. According to immediate family, I have been known to complain about always being tired and dehydrated (I really do get thirsty a lot)… to the point where it is now a big joke among us. When my brother’s girlfriend then joked that it should be the blog title, little did she know I would take it seriously. (Stroke of genius on her part I think,) After all, if I can’t justify some tiredness and dehydration on this trip, I can’t justify it anywhere. So grab a large glass of water and settle in.

Here’s to adventure.