The Full Story
I was born September of 85 and raised in Preston, UK, a town back then, now classed as a city in North West England.
I always enjoyed my small adventures growing up, camping out, playing commando in local rivers and woods, building dens, generally any activity available that ensured arriving back at home either soacked, muddy and just generally a mess as it began to get dark and with a big ol smile on my face. Yes sir, no ipads, smartphones or Internet back then and seriously it rocked, would never swap those memories.
As a young boy I was a member of the local Cubs and then progressing to Scouts, as I got a little older, all nice memories, hiking, camping, collecting badges for making fire, learning knots and other useful things that shaped me as a young man, this only fuelled and fed my desire for the outdoors and to be in nature.
Let's fast foward, after high school (honestly i wasn't much of an academic, I felt there was just more to life) and college I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and how I could explore my passion for travel and adventure.
At the age of 20 years old on February 28th 2006 I joined Her Majesty's Royal Marines Commando training in which over 60 hopefuls started with the seemingly impossible goal of earning the highly prized coveted Green Beret of the Royal Marine Commando’s.
After embarking on 8 months of what was regarded as the toughest military training globally and alot of pain I passed as a member of only 12 original applicants.
Training achieved complete i joined the commando unit famed for their toughness and Arctic speciality "45 Commando Royal Marines" based in Arbroath, Scotland. After numerous experiences in the Arctic mountains of Northern Norway, Jungles of Brunei, wet, cold and beautiful mountains and forests of UK landscapes and generally every other environment globally you can imagine including 3 demanding war tours of the Afghanistan conflict in 06, 09 & 12. A truly wonderful and absolutely defining time of my life.
However, I am a huge believer in periodically changing your life up a bit, never growing stagnant, as cliche as it sounds life is short, so very short, and as such I want to squeeze in as many experiences as possible, so after 7 years service I made the difficult decision to leave and move into the private sector specialising in Maritime Security as an Armed Contractor assigned to various commercial and private shipping vessels that sailed through the High Risk Area, an area internationally labelled due to the activity of known piracy groups operating in the region. Stretching from the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf & Gulf of Oman i was tasked to deter threats and protect vessels from approaching pirates intent on hijack or attack, the job was simple "Protect the vessel, the crew and her cargo at all costs".I generally worked 4 to 6 months and took time off to travel. Its my passion. This way of life suited me as it allows me to live how I like, to travel in work, travel on my time off and earned good money to fund it all. Perfect! Then, "dun dun dunnnnn" 2020 reared her ugly head and a global pandemic dug in and took the world stage. With the world on lock down i continued to work and thought a lot about life and whats next as I often do.
I bought my first motorcycle in 2012, a Honda Magna 750, this was my first proper bike which I sold after only one year due to working away, though this short time was certainly enough to take a hold of me.
In April 2020, mid covid I decided after 7years having not owned a motorcycle i’d continue my passion for travel as a homeless nomad with a new adventure bike which seemed the perfect combination as I generally don't like to follow the tourist trail or the crowds. There is just so many weird and freaking beautiful lost corners of this planet and I want to see them all and with each new experience both good and bad you grow and learn about yourself and the world around you.
Here’s to the beautiful memories yet to make, the challenges yet to overcome and to living an incredible life.
What is it about riding a motorcycle?
Wow, such an expansive question, where to start. Firstly its so real, when you ride you are there, present, in the moment and aware of everything around you, the scenery, the weather, every little movement and noise.
Whereas in a car you generally ride A to B barely noticing the beauty surrounding you.
On a bike you can make every ride an adventure, make every moment count, its a deeply beautiful and exciting series of moments for me.
When your riding life is happening, it demands your respect and in return will deliver true excitement and countless memories.
Do you ever miss home?
"Home" for me is completely relative, its my chosen way of life and honestly I deeply hope I can live as a nomad the rest of my life travelling from place to place.
When people ask me "don't you want to settle down and have a family"? My answer is "absolutely not" to be tied to one place atleast at this point in my life is unimaginable, I simply feel "caged".
The thing about travelling in my sense is that the more of the world you see, the bigger it seems to get" you constantly hear of this place or that place, meet new people who tell you of a great experience in an unheard of corner of the world. Im also a minimalist so to live out of what i can carry is a beautiful way of life to me.
How do you fund you're travels?
The short answer, with alot of bloody hard work and self sacrifice! Haha, as a former Royal Marines Commando i now work as a private security contractor in hostile environments, whether protecting vip clients in the Middle East or protecting commercial/ private shipping vessels from pirate attacks off the coast of Yemen/ Somalia.
So in a nutshell "I work my ass off".
What is you're most important consideration in preparation for a trip?
For me, I would say absolutely "Security" that being all aspects of personal safety, security and awareness of surroundings.
I see alot that many people travel with little preparation into their personal security.
Nowadays it doesn't matter what part of the world you are riding, ultimately your are riding a machine often worth a pretty penny not to mention sentimental value if you have ridden the globe but also generally alot of important documents ie: Passport, registration, maybe even birth certificate. Then you have electronics ie mobile phone, laptop, cameras etc and furthermore cash, debit and credit cards, not to mention watches and jewellery if that's your thing.
Now i have section on my blog here ............... this page explains in detail how i prepare and travel with all round security of myself and my property. I heavily recommend taking a look if you feel your preparations can be improved.
"Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail".
What do you love about travelling?
Travelling, especially by motorcycle is a constant reel of unpredictable surprises whether good, bad and extraordinary experiences.
This way of life demands you to adapt into a mentality of readiness and openness where you live a life in the grey area between logic and fantasy and this is what I like the most, the 'unpredictability' of each day where you feel connected through all the inter-passing moments that flow through each other.
What is it about riding solo do you like so much?
I guess everyone is different, for me the term loneliness is a perception, for me i prefer it. I enjoy the physical benefits such as riding, stopping, detouring, generally any and all riding decisions based on how I want without discussion at the drop of a hat, then there's the mental side, to simply ride and enjoy a clear mind or even just to contemplate or balance out thoughts im having both good and bad.
In short its the freedom to go anywhere and do anything.
Why the name 'Rogue Explorer'
Actually, a few thoughts were considered in the choice of this name for my Tenere.
I see myself as a Rogue, I look at the modern day world and deeply dislike what the powerful are doing to this planet and all walks of life, I choose to live a life of minimal stress, living only healthy, happy and strong, living simply and consuming only what I need is a philosophy that fills me with good energy, I choose to surround myself with positive vibes.
Explorer, because of course the adventure ahead is all about exploring new places, people, cultures and ways of life.
Also, having worked on many ships and other ocean going vessels travelling all over the Middle East, Africa, India and vast oceans, crossing the horizon and to explore is not too dissimilar to travelling by motorcycle so I thought it a great idea and I'm happy with it.
What are your future plans?
As I mention in my first blog, the original idea was to ship 'Rogue Explorer' to Buenos Aires and ride south to Ushuaia then north to Alaska, I have never travelled to South America before but I feel inexplicably drawn to it.
Of course covid changed everything and to get great weather in southern Argentina and Patagonia means I'd need to leave December 2020 at the latest. Failing that, next window will be spring and head the opposite direction Alaska to Argentina. But really I don't like to plan life too deeply so we will just see what happens.
For now, at this moment it seems a great opportunity to explore the UK and all the places I have still yet to see. We have some of the most beautiful nature here and a magnificent ancient coastline.
Additionally, in the mean time i'd like to self teach/ learn how to maintain my bikes mechanics and general trouble shooting in preparation for the inevitable future moments of bike failure.