I’m Robert. But you already know that, right?
You might also know that I was born very young. And that happened a long time ago. A bunch of stuff has happened since I stopped answering to Bobby. I don’t think you really want to know about that.
Instead, you might be interested to know that I am curious about living better and travelling more. You might want to know that I love combining travel and adventure. That I have travelled to over 30 countries. That when I travel it’s mostly for months at a time, sometimes years at a time, so I can explore deeper and gain a deeper understanding of the people, the 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. He had worked 37 years for the same organization and was only two months shy of fulfilling his lifelong dream of travelling with his wife. It made me realize how fragile and short life could be and I had to go. I was only 48 years old.
The day after my last day at work, I jumped on my motorcycle and started a 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, into Colombia, and down through South America, all the way to Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southern city in the world. Then I rode back. That epic trip took nine months on a big heavy 1200cc motorcycle. I have never looked back. That adventure changed the direction in my life. And if I was to do that same trip again, it would take me much longer. I’d take more time getting to better know the people and the different cultures. And I’d do it on a smaller bike.
A few years later I rode the length of Vietnam on a small 110cc Honda Super Cub over 5 months, and had just as much fun. Maybe even more. That little Honda’s engine was less than 1/10th as big. Bigger is not always better. Often the simpler solution is the better option.
I’ve owned and travelled in a VW camper (fun but not reliable) and a truck with an attached commercial camper (too wide, too heavy, not aerodynamic ), and I have spent months at a time visiting Cuba, Thailand, Cambodia, India, the USA, and many other places. I am currently building my own truck camper for future voyaging.
I’m curious about life, people, cultures, things. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy travel. It’s also the reason I read so much.
I’m a big fan of things that are reliable, purposeful, and work. Honest machines. I’m not tied to any particular brand. Often the shinny new gadget turns out to be just an expensive wrong tool that needs replacement after a few months.
In my younger days I raced an open wheel Formula Ford, and rallied 4-wheel drive Subaru in the Canadian Rally Championship. Before that I dreamed of racing against Gilles Villeneuve. I was fortunate to watch him race his Ferrari up close.
Like many, I try to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. I try to be conscious of what I consume. I try to stay active. I’ve run seven marathons, including the famous Boston Marathon on a couple of occasions.
I own a Cairn Terrier. If you were able to ask her, she’d tell you she owns me. It’s a daily struggle. She is shaggy, spunky, intensely tenacious, tough, playful, independent, scruffy, sturdy, scrappy, willfully stubborn, and always ready for adventure. She thrives on attention and is very friendly, but when she spots a squirrel or cat she turns into a mad barking beast warning me the world is about to end. I named her Skye after learning Cairns were first developed more than 200 years ago on the Isle of Skye, another destination we plan to visit.
I’m a licensed ham radio operator, though I haven’t turned on the radios much in the past few years. I am changing that and rediscover this wonderful hobby.
I’m also a sailor and would like to solo sail a small boat across an ocean some day. However, Skye is not fond of the open sea. Heck, I can’t persuade her to walk across a river bridge, or a dock. Imagine that, a terrier not liking water.
My first language was French. I was educated in English. I was born and grew up in Montréal. I am very fortunate to be a citizen of this wonderful country. True North, Strong and Free. I don’t take that for granted. Canadians are kind, “we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”
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 realize. I think the world is a better place when we 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. Abke physically and due to the qickly changing political environment.
There’s a whole lot more to this story that I’m not quite finished writing. If you want to know more about my life lessons, check out some of the things I’ve learned so far. If that’s not enough for you, ask me.
I hope you are well.