If you are looking for a peripatetic philosopher, keen observer, challenger of the status quo, appreciator of all that is grand, noticeable, and worthy, and someone who’s handy with tools, you may have come to the wrong site.
Hello. I’m Robert. Some people call me Bob. And that’s okay too.
I’m an ordinary bloke, a Joe Public, with an insatiable curiosity, attempting to live life to the fullest, wherever my adventures may take me.
You might already know that I was born very young. And that this happened a long time ago. A bunch of stuff has happened since I stopped answering to Bobby, or even Rob.
I am passionately curious, a life long learner, with many diverse interests. I have an appetite for adventure, slow travel, nature, breathing, breathing fresh air, beauty, good coffee, technology well done, photography, cultures, authenticity, integrity, facts, social justice, accountability, new ideas, noble ideals, good dogs, gravity, living better, laughter, kindness, courtesy, compassion, toques, wool socks, maple syrup, and smart, practical, reliable humans and machines.
I’ve been around a bit. I often travel to faraway lands and try to connect with the people I meet wherever my journey leads. I have travelled to over 30 countries. When I travel it’s mostly for months at a time, sometimes years at a time. That allows me explore deeper, gain an intimate understanding of the people, and their culture. It’s not that I’m trying to escape Canadian winters. Really.
After 28 years working for the same employer, I took early retirement shortly after a colleague was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer. Paul had worked 37 years for that same organisation and was only two months shy of fulfilling his lifelong dream of travelling with his wife. Most of us have heard similar stories. I had. But what was different is that I worked along side Paul and witnessed his excitement when he talked of his plans. When he was diagnosed, I realise how fragile and short life could be, and I had to go explore. While I was still able. I was only 48 years old when I pulled the pin. Paul passed a few months later.
My last day of work was exactly 28 years after I started working for that organisation. The day after my last work day, I jumped on my motorcycle and started a 58,000 km / 36,000 mile journey from a small town on the east coast of Canada. I rode across the USA to California, then through Mexico, Central America, flew the bike to Colombia as there are no roads through the Darién Gap, and then rode down through South America, all the way to Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southern city in the world. Then I rode back.
That trip was epic for me. I wasn’t in a rush and took nine months to do it on a big heavy 1200cc motorcycle. That adventure changed the direction in my life. I wanted to do more of this type of travel. And to more parts of the world. If I was to do that same trip over again, it would take me much longer. I’d take more time getting to better know the people, learning from them and learning about their cultures. And I’d do it on a smaller bike.
A few years after my trip to South America I rode the length of Vietnam on small 110cc Honda Super Cub over 5 months, and had just as much fun. Maybe even more. The developing world runs on these wonderful little machines. Bigger is not always better. Often the simpler solution is the better option.
Your mileage may vary, of course. It probably should. Your experience should be unique to you. Mind the gap.
I’m a sailor, a motorcyclist, a racer, an overlander, a voyager. I have run seven marathons, including twice the Boston Marathon. I’m a licensed amateur radio operator. I have seen more people in pain than any one individual should. But, oddly enough, I don’t know how to ride a horse. Perhaps I should try wearing Old Spice.
In my younger days I raced an open wheel Formula Ford, and rallied 4-wheel drive Subaru in the Canadian Rally Championship. As a teenager, I dreamed of racing against Gilles Villeneuve, the great Canadian Formula 1 driver. I was fortunate to admire him race his Ferrari up close when I was a race marshal. He too passed away too young.
I have spent months at a time visiting Cuba, Thailand, Cambodia, India, the USA, and many other places. I’ve owned and travelled in a VW EuroVan camper (fun, but frustratingly unreliable), and a Toyota Tacoma (wonderfully reliable and capable) with a factory-built commercial camper that was too wide, too heavy, and not very aerodynamic. I’m a big fan of things that are reliable, purposeful, and work. Honest machines. I am now having a custom light-weight truck camper built for future voyaging that, if I’m fortunate, will take me through Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and then back to North America over the next 10 or so years.
You may also want to know that I am currently under a long-term contract to a bossy, sturdy, wilfully stubborn, active four-year old. A 17 lb. Cairn Terrier named Skye. Most people fall in love with her after meeting her. She is shaggy, spunky, intensely tenacious, playful, independent, scruffy, and scrappy. She thrives on attention and is very friendly, but when she spots a squirrel or cat, she loses all common sense and turns into a mad barking beast warning me the world is about to end.
I had been looking for a sailboat to go cruising full time when I found her. So I named her Kai, which is Hawaiian for ocean or sea. I quickly learned that she hates open water. Any water. Even puddles. Imagine that, a terrier not liking water. So I renamed her Skye after learning Cairns were developed more than 200 years ago on the Isle of Skye, a destination I plan to visit.
I’d still like to sail a small boat across an ocean some day. That plan is on hold while I concentrate my efforts overland.
Travel has shown me that we all live on the same beautiful blue marble and have more in common with each other than most of us realise. I think the world is a better place when we honestly and openly take the time to get to know each other a little better.
I have visited our ten Canadian provinces and lived in half of them. I plan to spend more time in my own county and see more of it. I have yet to visit our three northern Territories. I hear they are magnificent. But first I want to travel to more distant places while I still able.
There’s a whole lot more to this story that I’m not quite finished living. Perhaps by sharing my story, I will inspire some of you to live your life to the fullest and see where it takes you.
I hope you are well.