The purpose of this website is to document my world circumnavigation.
This site continues to evolve and I plan to expand the content and topics with a greater global and social focus as the journey advances into stage two and beyond.
Feedback and comments on my posts are always welcome. Alternatively, I can be contacted directly via the contact page.
The Broader Picture
Besides adventuring and exploring, I’m particularly passionate about art. These two fascinations probably germinate from the same seed, so some focus of this site is on art and design, particularly work that intrigues and inspires at the street level in the real world.
My work has suffered over the past few years as a second thought interest to travel. I sketch on the streets from time to time but regrettably my creative energy has more often succumbed to the easier, more immediate medium of photography. I intend to pick up the pencil and brush again for stage two and will post the results here.
I love analog photography so I’ve taken the opportunity while being stationed in Japan to shoot a lot of monochrome film, using both 35mm and 120 medium formats. It’s a fairly exhausting process of shooting the film, hand processing it (with a developing tank in my bathroom), scanning each frame, then editing for the web, but I think, or at least I hope, it gives a more intimate representation of the world around us. My Flickr page (100% digital-free) is dedicated to my film photography of Japan.
The story so far…
(A brief autobiography)
My earliest memories are from Papua New Guinea, where my family lived until I was seven. It was in New Guinea, hearing stories of the gruelling Kokoda track, which sparked a deep yearning for adventure and a love of nature. Throughout my schooling I hiked, ski toured and rock climbed avidly, but it was never enough to appease the apatite. I dreamt of exploring the world, sailing the oceans and climbing big mountains.
When I wasn’t playing in the outdoors, I was painting. My love of art led me blindly into an ill-fitting Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design. At that stage the design world was in transit, more or less departing a traditional fine arts base to being computer driven, and sadly computer obsessed. I found myself like a fish out of water; I hated computers and being chained to one was not the way I envisaged spending my life. Regardless, I completed my degree at twenty with the sole focus of escaping the prefabricated educational system and to start living and learning on my own terms. I traveled every summer break: backpacked Australia, hitched hiked New Zealand, and sailed the East coast of Australia.
After graduating I headed to North America and drove around the United States with a girlfriend, before moving to Banff in the Canadian Rockies. As spectacular as it is, this tourist town wasn’t what I was looking for so after four months, as winter approached, I hit the highway in search of the real Canada. Work was not forthcoming in the rural areas, however, so I kept hitchhiking west until I arrived in Vancouver, where I spent the best part of a year. I bought a bike and did my first tour on Vancouver Island and its neighbouring Gulf Islands. Hitchhiking provided a good apprenticeship for a vagabond but the bike redefined my parameters of freedom. I was now totally Self-sufficient, and that meant I could travel far with minimal expense.
I returned to Australia with various ideas of what I should do next, but these soon fell by the wayside as I came to the realisation that Australia was not the place I should be because there was still so much of the world to experience, and that was something I just couldn’t pass up.
I spent six month in Scotland but quickly became frustrated with my situation, unable to find decent work and generally unsatisfied with my life there. One night in a drunken stupor, I cursed that if things didn’t work out for me I’d pack-up my bike and ride around the world. I can’t recall if it was a premeditated idea but it was certainly the first time I verbalised it. Although that trip never happened, the seed had been planted. At the end of summer I moved to Glasgow and eventually onto Northern Ireland, but I remained uninspired by the lack of new experience, so I moved to Spain intent on learning a second language. I spent a year in Madrid teaching English and bike touring through Western Europe.
Around this time I formulated a plan to cycle through Latin America. I worked in Hokkaido, Japan for six months to save for the tour. Over time my plans grew to include the complete Americas and that, in turn, led to the idea of a full circumnavigation of the world by bicycle and sail. It was perfect, the objective I had been looking for; an idea seemingly so pure that the moment it occurred to me, I knew I would do it. From Japan I returned to Spain for another year. I toured Eastern Europe and began preparations for the grand tour of the world.
Looking back, it’s hardly surprising that my earliest ambition was to be an explorer. I was fascinated by the stories of Burke & Wills, and Sir Douglas Mawson. There was something about the idea of entering uncharted waters, the excitement of discovery and the freedom of adventure that touched my soul. Of course, as a kid I knew that being an explorer was no longer a career option but I was yet to learn that it could be a way of life.