Born In Salford England
I was born in Salford, England. My dad was a Bricklayer and was accepted for migration to Australia, under what was known back then as The Ten Pound Passage. So as a family of £10 Pom's, we went.
We returned to England when I was 16. I didn't make the most of my school days, as every so often I would take a day off from school - without my parent's consent - to spend time in the bush or on micro-adventures.
Those early years in Australia were filled with adventure and getting up to mischief. I was always wandering off and doing my own thing. The open bush was just at the end of our street, and I spent a lot of my time there exploring and catching critters.
I would lay along drainpipe on the ground in the bush, and every now and then I would creep up on it and look to see if I could see light through it. If not much light, I knew there was something in it.
I would then put a bag on one end, then stand the pipe up so that whatever was in there taking shelter for the night, would slide into the bag. It was a great idea, and there was usually something in the bag. A small lizard, frog, and even snakes fell foul to my pipe bag trap. I caught a Dugite once, a potentially lethal species of a venomous snake. I used to love roaming in the bush with friends or on my own back then.
In Perth as a teen, I didn't hear the shark alarm one time and the next thing I knew, there were 3 sharks cruising alongside me as I was waist-deep. This was a beach well known for shark attacks. Still wondering why my parents would take me there to swim :).
One time I put my hand in a big shell in Western Australia and a few seconds later a Blue Ringed Octopus slithered out. The list of near misses goes on :) How I made it past my teens I have no idea, and my brushes with death have continued ever since :) Not a "normal" life, that's for sure.
Returning to England was not the best move, as none of the family really settled. Gone were the wide-open wild spaces at the end of the street, gone the roaming around without any shoes on, gone the great weather!
In the UK I became a Hod Carrier - bricklayers labourer - and worked on building sites in my early teens, a park ranger, an apprentice butcher, and an apprentice carpet fitter. Talk about trying my hand at anything, always looking for something different, and always raging against the machine.
I had just turned 21 and sat in my flat watching the TV in Cheshire England, and I had a lovely girlfriend I had been with for years, a cat, and a fun job at an entertainment centre. I was sort of content at times, but not really.
One day - and as usual - something inside me was saying "there's got to be more to life". Within just a few weeks of thinking this, I was gone. I left everything and everyone, and I was on my way to Australia via Singapore.
Those 2 years were some of the best I have ever had. Young and full of life, Hired as a Break Dance Instructor at a large dance studio in Perth, being flown out to amazing places to teach. I was even on TV for a company called Liqourland in which I had to dress up as Santa and Break Dance for an Ad.
After the first year there I became a bricklayers labourer again, and enjoyed life to the full, partying all the time, surfing, fishing, exploring, and generally just kicking back with some amazing people.
At 23 I returned to the UK from Perth, and some years later I married and became a father of 2 amazingly wonderful daughters, Chelsea and Chloe, whom I love dearly and who are both young adults now, setting out on their own life adventures.
For my 40th birthday, I always said I would love to be in the Amazon in a canoe on that day. And sure enough, there I was. I made it happen and I was thrilled!
The picture to the left is of me with a Black Caiman. I don't know who looks scarier in the picture, me or the caiman. Three of us went out in a really small boat in the middle of the night, in the middle of a tributary of the Rio Negro to catch them to see them up close, then let them go.
I took more travel time out and caught up with a great and late friend of mine in Australia after a short trip to Dubai. We had 6 weeks together and had an amazing time.
We spent a few weeks in a surfers house in Broome in the North West. At night we would gather around with some other visiting travelers that were also staying in the house.
We drank, smoked, and just chilled as Fruit Bats glided effortlessly into the trees above us. That was the last I saw of my best Aussie friend, as soon after he passed away, and he will be sorely missed, a truly great friend.
I returned to the UK and fell in love and again married. My wife Sue and I travelled all over the world on some amazing holidays. Cruised to Hawaii and around East Asia, took my young daughters on a cruise in Europe and we took them to Disneyland in Florida.
We visited India and Sri Lanka and drove more than 10,000 miles around all the Southern US states and throughout the West Coast.
My wife Sue and I in Madrid in 2017
I cycled out of Cheshire England on the adventure of my life.
The girls have grown up beautifully and I couldn't be prouder of them and I love them to bits. They are starting out on their own life journey's now as young adults, and I know they will do just fine.
:)) Images they did themselves. They are crackers :)
Not so long ago
And now :)
Countries Visited 38
United Kingdom Northern Ireland - Wales - Scotland - England
United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi - Dubai
Philippines: Puerto Princesa - Manila - Boracay
Malaysia: Panang - Langkawi
United States: Hawaii - Texas - Louisiana - Mississippi - Arkansas - Tennessee - Alabama - Georgia - Florida - North Carolina - South Carolina - California - Nevada - Arizona (14 States)
South and Central America
Brazil: Brazilian Amazon
Mexico: Ensenada - Costa Maya
Colombia: Santa Marta - Cartagena