As you might expect, and may also wonder yourself, lots of people have asked me why I am doing this... how did it all come about? Well, a few factors came into it.. but the story goes a little something like this..
I had been thinking about it for a while, taking a short trip overseas - perhaps 6-8 weeks; 4 or so of those in Vietnam and Thailand, and the other 4 in Europe - when I was at my best mate Spuddy's house having dinner with he and his fiancee. After dinner we got out the atlas and started drawing a trail of where I might like to go. Being a complete geography failure at school, I figured I would just start somewhere familiar, and go from there, stopping at each place that I recognised by name and circling it as a place to go. From Paris to Amsterdam, then Berlin to Prague.. we continued until we got to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. I think it was Spuddy who initially suggested how cool it'd be to motorbike for some of the trip.. I agreed without hesitation and we continued to plan from there. Of course it didn't take long to realise that 4 weeks wouldn't be anywhere near long enough, and I considered taking the full 8 weeks and dedicating that to Europe. That consideration soon stood to the side as an epiphany took its place.. "why not take a year off and do the whole bloody thing?"...
For a good while after that night, the thought danced around in my mind. Repeatedly balancing the realities of life with the extreme sense of excitement just the thought of a year off work brought me, let alone spending it motorbiking across Europe. Being the indecisive gemini that I am, I couldn't bring myself to make up my mind, so I left it like that for a week or so..
The final nail (2 of only 2!) was driven into the decision well into a very deep and meaningful conversation with my close friend Vicky. Talking about love, and life and death and everything in between, we inevitably got onto the topic of my Mum, who died just a few years ago. Vicky asked, "As sad as it is that your Mum died, you always have to look at the positives, you should always try and learn something from experiences like this... so what have you learned from your Mum dying?". Not at all shocked by the forthright question - I am used to it from Vicky - I thought for a moment and replied "Life's too short", given Mum was only 50 when she died. Vicky smiled, paused for a moment, then pondered with a slight smirk on her face and responded, "so, what have you done to prove it?".
Of course when I sat back and thought about it, the answer really was "not much at all". Sure I'd done a few standard bits and pieces - got a tattoo, bought a motorbike - but really, not much else had changed. Really, I was doing the exact same thing as I had been doing for the last 5 years - working, and truly, that's about it! So it was that very moment that I made the decision that has truly changed my life (and told a couple of people about it too, just in case I changed my mind!) and from there, aside from a few hundred man hours of research, preparation and planning, the rest is history (in the making).. Stay tuned!