I’m Tom, originally from England. No short bio can really explain the unconventional life I lead, but, when asked, I currently prefer “self-unemployed creative nomad”. In recent times I’ve considered switching “nomad” for “explorer”.

How did this happen?

It began with a simple bike ride.

I was all set for a conventional life – aged 23, with a good degree and the prospect of a decent career. Then I stumbled across a world I didn’t know existed – the world of long-term independent travel.

First choosing the humble bicycle as my mode of transport, I pedalled away from middle England, away from the meaninglessness of it all. I boarded a ferry to Europe and kept pedalling, destination Istanbul, each day more memorable than weeks or months of conventionality.

Soon I’d left Europe behind and was striking out across Asia. I was already a different person. I couldn’t have imagined a world so exotic and unfamiliar and exciting. I rode through the Middle East and fell in love. I rode to Africa and found the birthplace of humanity. I rode across Mongolia and got lost in space and time. I rode to the Arctic and got really, really, really cold.

Then something changed. I felt compelled to stop moving and work out what it all meant. I made a film from the footage I’d shot. I wrote a novel-length book and published it. I evolved my travel blog into a guide for others wanting to make their own personal, meaningful journeys by bicycle.

These projects became the counterbalance to the journeys. The creativity was as challenging and fulfilling as the riding had ever been.

So I repeated the pattern.

I put the bike aside and walked, kayaked, hitch-hiked, rode horses. I wrote more books and made more films. I gave talks and gave away bikes. I launched a big exploration and mapping project in the Caucasus Mountains. Goodness knows where that’ll lead, or what’ll come next.

I never came back to the career, never used the degree, never came home. Instead, I found my calling at the intersection of exploration and storytelling – to go out into the world with an open mind and turn what I find into something useful.

I’m guessing you’re here because you too have a spark of curiosity inside you.

My mission in life is about following that spark and seeing where it leads.

Because there is enough doom and gloom.

The world is beautiful. People are good.

Yes, humanity has its problems. So let’s find them and tackle them.

And let’s show these truths to everyone.

Interested in knowing more? Let’s keep in touch! When there’s news to share, I send out an occasional email newsletter – primarily to update you on my work as an explorer and author, but also with occasional invites to real-life events and projects. (While I do some social media too, my mailing list is by far the best way to stay in the loop.)

(Nothing irrelevant, no spam, and you can unsubscribe any time. That’s my promise.)

2014 12 16 13 39 47 Rio Santa Cruz 300D
20150901 084943 Janapar Trail Part 2 01698