I’m Tom, originally from England, now based in the South Caucasus – specifically in Armenia.
When asked what I do for a living, I usually go with “self-unemployed creative explorer”. This doesn’t really explain anything, of course. But it’s a good starting point.
What’s the story?
It began with a 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 location-independent work, travel, living and being.
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 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 an online guide for others wanting to make their own personal, meaningful journeys by bicycle.
These projects became the counterbalance to the journeys. The creative process was just as fulfilling as the travelling had ever been.
So I repeated the pattern.
I put the bike aside and walked, kayaked, hitch-hiked, rode horses, biked some more. I wrote more books and made more films. I gave talks and Q&As. I embarked upon a massive trail exploration and mapping project in the Caucasus, resulting in the birth of the Transcaucasian Trail, and founded an NGO to make it real. I don’t knows where that’s leading, or what’ll come next. And that’s OK.
No, I never came back to the career, never used the degree, never came home. Instead, I found my calling at the intersection of exploration, storytelling and community – to go out into the world with my eyes open, and to turn what I find into something that benefits others.
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 fix them.
And let’s show these truths to everyone.
Interested in knowing more?
When there’s news to share, I send out an occasional email newsletter – mainly to update the community about my projects, but occasionally with invites to real-life events. It’s completely free.
(Nothing irrelevant, no spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.)