Mid life crisis? Crazy adventure? A journey into the unknown?… or just a fun way to travel a hell of a long distance. Call it what you whatever you want. I’m still working it out.
My brother is quite the Captain Cook and has completed some pretty tough hiking trails. I have to blame him for some of the inspiration. But the main reason I decided to set myself this challenge is to break the mold I’ve created for myself over the past few years and approach the rest of my life from a different angle (If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that you learn some amazing things about yourself when you’re completely out of your depth so I’m hoping this will be just the ticket).
I knew I needed to do something big and something by myself. I wanted to go back to Ibiza and, although I was scared of ruining my those wonderful memories garnered during my time there in 2002/03, I am never going to be able to move on if I don’t. So, the destination was inevitable. The question was; how to turn it into an adventure… “I’ll walk there!”, I thought. But I miscalculated the distance by about 200% and to correct answer scared the shit out of me! Cycle?… “no chance you’re catching me in Lycra”! I’m a skateb….. hold on a minute…..” and the seed was sewn.
In all honesty, I was thinking about taking the street set up I’ve recently been using to try and desperately inject some youth back into me, hadn’t even thought about a longboard! Do they even make boards for this? Has anyone skated this far before? That’s when the research started.
Of course, my questions were quickly answered! (*Get with the times Michael). I immediately discovered Dave Cornthwaite (albeit 8 years behind the pack) and started reading up on his Board Free journey across Oz. This put me at ease but although it answered many of my initial questions, I wasn’t prepared for the tidal wave that followed.
The research spread and spread and the more I read about the other long distance journeys and the individuals and groups that have skated them, the more hungry I grew. So, I took another look at the map and the initial 1200km, as the crow flies route that had previously scared the hell out of me now…. well, now it just doesn’t cut quite enough mustard to give me the fiery kick up the arse I felt I needed.