I am very behind in my blogs. Riding, fixing and other priorities have kept me away from it. Here are some notes I had down from when I was in Sukkar Pakistan celebrating one year on the road. 

One year… What is they say about best laid plans? I left Sydney for my little stint to London with full plans and a budget to last eight months. My intention was to be back before Christmas, before a close mate’s wedding, before my father’s 60th. 2015 was to be spent with a new office job, settled, grown-up. Answered. 

Forgive the cliché, but life and adventure happened and threw me off track a little. Things broke and didn’t always go to plan. Things went my way but also against me. I have struggled more than I thought I would - the delays and challenges were never what I expected them to be. I am on engine rebuild number four while looking down the barrel (literal engine barrel) of my fifth and gearbox number three. 

Throwing in the towel has been a frequent temptation. When I am broken down by the side of the road, when I have to fork out another $150 for another visa, when I miss my sister’s 30th... Well, all of these things stack up and, damn, if a match in the petrol tank and a cheap flight home hasn't been appealing at times. I could wake up in my own bed. Dinner with friends on a Monday. Riding on a Sunday. Clean hands in-between. If I’d done that I’m sure there wouldn’t currently be a police guard outside my room with a high-powered rifle for protection against bad guys. 

However, the thread that weaves through my journey is that I am exploring the concept of what it is to be man and raising the subject of depression with the people I meet along the way. I’ve chatted with people of various ages and walks of life: exploration miners, outback truckies, consulate workers, motorcyclists and backpackers. It has been these interactions that have kept the towel – or, in my case, a filthy rag covered in grease and oil – in the bag. 

I will not share some of the stories and comments just yet but it's the people I meet and the conversations I have with them that keep me tracking along. Digging a little deeper to make it to the end goal. At the end of the day, it’s the difficult times that make the small wins just so much more rewarding. Without the crushing lows the wins would just not be as sweet.

A blown piston is a small price to pay for waking up and loading your life onto a leaky old bike with no plans apart from making it further down the road while not crashing or getting arrested.  If I can keep doing that – keep raising money for beyondblue, keep getting people to discuss the issue of depression – well, does it really matter that I haven’t hit my initial goals or found the answers I was initially seeking?