Happiest when outdoors, cycletouring or sea kayaking, I put food on the table by working as a Solutions Architect for a multi-national IT Services company in the UK. I like the simplicity of both cycle touring and sea kayaking as a means to the end of travelling independently, especially in Scandinavia, and especially if I can find a deserted beach to camp on.
Northern Norway, 2004
I was 16 when my parents waved me off on my first cycling holiday with two friends, a really cheap fortnight taking in the mountains of Snowdonia on a pretty unsuitable 10-speed racing bike with home-made panniers, a sagging cotton tent, and a miserably thin sleeping bag. Fifteen years later and with considerably more experience and a better range of gears , Janet and I set off with fully loaded touring bikes for a year-long trip through Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. The year away really defined my identity in my own eyes for the next decade or longer. I had found my ideal medium.
Sea kayaking seems to be complementary to solo cycletouring. I took it up after reading that “life begins where your comfort zone ends”. It’s a great social activity, since at my level of paddling there’s a pressing need to go out into the waves with people you can trust to put you back into your boat even if a capsize without a roll is a rare event. It’s certainly taken me to places I have been very privileged to visit, many of them unreachable by any other activity. Another attraction of sea kayaking is that as well as independent mobility and the feeling that one is always learning, you can fit fifteen days of food into the craft if you pack carefully.