MARK’S STORY: ADVENTURE TALES
15 May, 2020
Every journey should be an adventure.
Hell, even just popping down to the store for a pint of milk has the potential to change the way you look at the world. For me, it wasn’t anything quite so mundane.
For me, it all stems from taking a few motorcycling holidays with friends out to the continent. Those initial group forays into Northern France and Germany whilst fun, were just your average extended biking trip, going to the same regular places doing the regular touristy thing, and this left me wanting… something… more.
I took a couple of solo trips over the next couple of years – camping in Scandinavia in Summer and crossing the Alps in late Winter – but again, these were really just extended road trips which again, left me wanting.
It was the following year then that I ended up visiting India and riding an Enfield Bullet around the Himalayas up above Shimla. This was the moment of realisation. This was the moment that I discovered what I’d been searching for.
It wasn’t just the fact it was India (my first foray out of the Western World), but that combined with the character of the bike, coupled with the terrain we were traversing fulfilled a desire in me that, other than those nagging feelings of something missing, I didn’t realise I had.
In subsequent years, I’ve ridden in Cambodia, Africa, South America, Nepal, Mongolia and Tibet – each time different terrain, different people, different cultures and different challenges – often pushing me physically to (and beyond) breaking point, but there’s one thing that keeps me coming back and that’s the desire to see all these places and cultures and people who are more often than not desperately poor, yet in practically every case happy, generous and incredibly welcoming – and that’s what’s opened my eyes to the wider world.
Each year I try to ride somewhere new, and each year I try to ride somewhere that will challenge me more than in previous years. Yes, this has allowed me more than ample time to explore and experience my physical limits – trust me, hospitals in Mongolia and Tibet are nothing to write home about, although hospitals in Cambodia are incredibly good.
But as long as there are still new places to explore, new places to ride and new experiences to change my view of this beautiful world I’ll keep on going out there and riding.
Yet all experience is an arch where through Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades Forever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end, to rust unburnished, not to shine in use! – ‘Ulysses’, Alfred, Lord Tennyson
MARK’S ADVENTURE TIP
Adventure somewhere new every year.
ABOUT ‘ADVENTURER’S TALES’
A compilation of recollections in celebration of 10 years of Adventure Ashram, ‘Adventurer’s Tales’ is a true celebration of a decade of purposeful adventure by our charity partner Adventure Ashram, a small but mighty charity.
Complete with some great adventure tips, it not only provides handy pointers for when out ‘on the road’, but also some thought-provoking insights into the heart and spirit of adventure. Written with humour, passion and integrity, this wonderful book is a fine tribute to 10 years of Adventure Ashram. Click here to buy a copy.
If you are planning an adventure with Nomadic Knights, please consider raising funds for one of Adventure Ashram’s projects and help to make a difference to the people and places you explore. Anyone planning an adventure can choose to support Adventure Ashram.
So you’re considering taking on a real adventure? I remember the feeling. In 2006, I was sat right where you are now… wondering if it was for me.
Join our mailing list – The Knight Club – and I’ll send my no-BS thoughts on why you should (or shouldn’t) take it on. No sales. No special offers. These rides aren’t for everyone, but if you’re the right kind of person, it can remind you what it means to be alive.
All the best, Alex.