The time has come for me to write. Not necessarily to start writing - I’ve been sporadically writing for the last four years. More accurately, the time has come for me to share.
My first book “It’s Just a Ride” will be self-published and available for download/purchase within the next couple of weeks. It is, for the most part, based around my three-and-a-half-year trip by bike around the world. Yet there are many other topics that are explored within. The book is inspired by this Bill Hicks quote from the end of one of his gigs:
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?"
I’ve found it quite difficult to stop tinkering and just put it out there. I can feel myself growing in the art of writing and also my ability to express myself – my memories and my emotions. Each time I approach the draft of the book I always find ways to tweak and change it.
I’m excited to continue to write and grow in this craft. But mainly, I’m excited to finally share and connect with others through this medium. So I’m committing now to do more sharing – through this book, potentially more books and, in the meantime, through this blog.
In this first post I want to announce the release date of my book and my commitment to more writing and sharing. I’d also like to briefly fill you in on what I’ve been up to in the last four years. I haven’t really shared much of this online.
During my trip I was sharing videos, uploading music and updating twitter/facebook profiles. But since I finished I’ve taken a step back from this. I did this mainly to gather myself and find a cohesive way to express what I felt such a strong urge within me to communicate and share. It didn’t feel right to be sending out brief tweets or updates during this time. I definitely needed to write this book and get everything around the trip that was in my head into words before I could begin to communicate and connect.
The first two and a half years after finishing the trip can be lumped together as a time of feeling generally quite down and at a loss with being back in the normal, civilised world. I was living in Edinburgh, struggling with myself and this way of life. I felt like I had changed so much and I needed some acceptance or vindication of this from others at that particular time. I felt like an alien. It was also quite difficult to just be in one place in a city. My heart had found a home in the wilderness away from civilisation.
I was planning to get back on the bike and cycle around Europe: working/volunteering on farms and looking for rural communities where I could feel that sense of community amongst others who share a similar set of values. Around six months before I was due to quit my job and execute this plan - I met Roberta.
She had plans and plane tickets to go travelling to India and Australia. I didn’t want to upset these plans and decided in myself that I would try to re-connect with her once she got back to Europe. A couple of days before she flew to India we realised that we both really liked each other and a relationship began. She came back from India only a month and a half later. She suggested that we do a cycle trip together from Edinburgh to Slovakia (the country where she is from).
It was nice to be back on the bike but it didn’t work out so well for both of us. We took public transport for large chunks of the journey (Amsterdam to Munich) but enjoyed some wonderful days cycling along the Danube through Germany and Austria before arriving in her hometown of Samorin just below Bratislava.
We stayed there for a bit and then returned to Scotland to begin our next project: converting an ex-ambulance into a motorhome. We planned to live in it full time. A few months into the conversion Roberta became pregnant. We persisted with the conversion, with plans to head back to Slovakia in time for her sister who was due to give birth to her first child.
After finishing the van and driving back to Slovakia in the middle of summer during Roberta’s first trimester – we realised that this was not the life for us and that we desperately needed to settle somewhere.
We decided on the small coastal town of Kinghorn in Fife, just across the water from Edinburgh. We moved into a flat there just over a month ago and are enjoying the settling in process and being in one place as we prepare for the arrival of our first child in January.
It has been quite the adventure together for the last 2 years. I’m sure the birth and parenthood thereafter will be an even greater adventure than anything that has come before.
And that brings us up to present day. Thanks for reading. If you wish to be updated when the book is available, and about future blog posts, please subscribe to this blog. Alternatively, you can find me on social media using the circular icons at the bottom of the site.