70 something countries, nearly 4 years on the road since I first left home, now in Paraguay and about to head into Argentina, it's just a Sunday ride that has gone for 1200 odd days and counting, this riding a motorcycle around the world is fun.
As of March 2013, I had Eva came and join me on the adventure so now riding two up, I had met Ev from Poland some 7 months earlier in Prague Czech Republic. We did quite few rides around Europe and got on so well it was an easy decision to ask her to join me on this adventure, she just simply never complains in any conditions I have taken her into, from riding in the German alps in -9 Celsius, flying along at around 200kmh in the south of the Czech Rep to dropping the bike in a snow storm on the highway outside Innsbruck she is simply and absolute trooper and continues to amaze me with her fearless approach to life, not to mention she puts up with my antics.
My baby enjoying the Grand Canyon
Ok from the start
Hi there my name is Sheldon Thomson and this is my little round the world adventure, its just a Sunday ride that has gone for 950 days or thereabout so far.
From the very start my real adventure really got underway on October 25th 2007 when I pulled over on the Pacific Hwy New South Wales Australia to answer my mobile phone when a Kenworth semi tralier came into the break down lane and rammed into my car leaving me with 13 fractured ribs, 6 fractures in my back, lacerated liver (nearly in half apparently), collapsed lung and a knock on the head.
Ever misplaced your favorite golf putter, well I did but found it when I was looking through this photo of my accident, if you look carefully you can see it in there.
First thing I remember coming too and the ambo chick cutting my soccer shirt, so my first words after the accident were "dont cut my good f$@king soccer shirt" I did apologise to her for that later by the way. 40 minutes later im in the biggest nearby hospital at Tweed Heads on the border of New South Wales and Queensland here in Australia.I was in intensive care unit was there for awhile then things took a turn for the worst.They took me for some scans and was in some machine scanning for whatever and I remember the Dr saying "get him off there we need to get him back upstairs right now" So back up in intensive care now ok the right side of my lung was collapsed the left partially and my chest is filling with blood so I couldnt use what was left of my lungs, no biggie I only use them to smoke ciggies anyway.The Dr rolled me on my side and said im just going to have to cut you, ok no probs looking at the scalpal in his hand always a nice look. Ok he jabbed me with a painkiller then slash yeah righto mate that sort of hurt, but the best was yet to come. There he is standing over me trying to push this tube into my chest, me lieing there screaming "f$&king hell" and he says im going to have to cut you more, so I yell "well just do it". So here he is cut me for a second time standing over me trying to push this half inch tube into my chest and he's beading up with sweat im looking at him doing it and to be honest it wasnt a look of confidence he had, and he says I cant get it in to which I yelled "well push f$@king harder". A few seconds later POP!! in she goes and I take a big breath of air, now that wasnt so hard was it, pussy. Thankfully he did save my life right at that moment, good on ya Doc. So there I am blood being pumped into me and coming out of me into a bottle next to the bed, oh ok I guess a Mac attack is out of the question at that moment.
Things were'nt looking good for me at that stage so they decided I needed to be flown to Brisbane a few hours away via the careflight helicopter as there was a team of surgeons there that may be able to save my life if things didnt improve, apparently they didnt hold out much hope for me at that stage, they didnt count on me being such a tinny pr$(k i've always got out trouble when others wouldnt of. My son was brought in, not ideal holding your sons hand seeing him so upset and saying "just grow up to be a good man" its not everyday you have say goodbye you your son like that, probably the most painful thing of the whole experience actually. He got lucky though usually it would of been "get a job" or "Jared, do the dishes" both of which he hates hearing. The one thing I do remember clearly thinking while I was lying there with the life draining out of me was, "well ive had a good run", so as you can imagine now im still alive its like a absolute bonus and certainly gives you that appreciation of just how precious the little things are in life.
Anyway to cut a long story short survived the helicopter flight, surgery, a few weeks in intensive care and a few more in general ward and im at home lieing on my bed thinking now this hurts a tad. 12 months lieing around recovering feeling sorry for myself I thought I needed to set a positive goal and decided since i'd always wanted to go to Africa and Europe I would ride there on a motorbike. Dont ask me why I couldnt of just set a goal of going to the local shop or the pub, oh well the decision was made easier by the head injury I got as well so it's all good. Although there is so much more to my recovery with support of family and friends you guys are here to read about motorcycle adventures not me having my ass wiped, ok that didnt happen but you know what I mean.
I actually left home in January 2011 and had little side trips to Thailand, then another little detour trip to New Zealand and another around Tasmania with my sons before I left Australia, Sunday the 26th June 2011 I flew to Johannasburg South Africa then planned to head to Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Turkey then up into Europe spend awhile there see how i'm travelling I might turn right and go around the world, back across Europe, Russia, Alaska, North America South America and home, first goal is South Africa to Europe, I havent got any real route planned just a basic oh yeah that would be cool. I did have my Kawasaki Klr 650 Tengai all decked out to do the trip but after constantly being told i'll get shot or cooked over in Africa I thought stuff it what the hell better buy myself a new toy before I go then. So went out and bought the 2011 Bmw GS 800 which flew into Africa with 250 k's on the clock, a new start for both of us.
I have a website facebook pages etc but since I used Advrider to gain so much advice over the last few years of planning I thought i'd share some of my trip with you guys and if worse happens I could let you know what it's like to be shot or cooked, either way it might be helpfull to someone. I've had lots of advice about my trip but im just going for it and seeing where it leads me, people keep telling me this trip will change me forever to which I respond , surely I cant be a bigger c$&t than I am already, oh well i'll give it a shot. You will either get my Aussie sense of humor or you want but one thing is for sure I don't take things to seriously and love to have a laugh so hopefully I can share some of them with you through here.Anyway thanks everyone for your stories blogs etc its certainly helped with my preperation and inspiration to keep going and hope my journey is somewhat interesting as well.
By the way dont get your hopes up if you want to hear of my conquests of the fairer sex, I dont kiss and tell so if your wanting to hear some stories about some of the chicks I give the best 2 minutes of their life to it ain't going to happen, I know I'm already bragging.
Where im from in the world, just a few k's north of Byron Bay in a town called Brunswick Heads
Cape Byron certainly a beautiful part of the world in it's own right
And where i was living before I left Brunswick Heads
Below is a picture of me and my little hero and champion son Logan who was there throughout my whole recovery, he was kind gentle and understanding the whole time, just an amazingly beautiful human to be gifted with, he gave me the strength to stay positive as I recovered which was a long slow process of ups and downs, hopefully he will understand one day why ive set this goal and I am leaving him, on a positive note I was seperated from his mother if you could ever call us together and she made my life misery trying to be in his life having to go to court 20 times over 5 years, so as you can imagine it actually makes it alot easier to leave Logan knowing i dont have to deal with her crap any more not to mention it will give him some peace and quiet, I know thats selfish but im sure theres a few guys out there that can understand what I mean, plus with my injuries after the accident and how bad my back and neck are I might not be able to do something like this trip in a few years, I'm not getting any younger so its now or never with this little adventure and little Loges is easily the biggest sacrifice I have had to make.
My 22yo son Jared with little Logan, i'll be meeting Jared in Ethiopia at some point and he will be bringing all the soccer gear we raised for the kids in the Ethiopian schools in the Gondar region and then he heads off to the UK to work and play for a few years.
UPDATE: Jared has now joined the family travel scene and has backpacked through 30 or so countries himself.
The original Kawasaki Klr 650 I was going to do the trip on
Heres a few pictures of what I like to call my bump in the right direction, Ive always said if you are going to do something do it once and do it well