by Mark Holmes (United Kingdom)
Sitting on a bench in South Island New Zealand, a long way from home, my thoughts turned to wondering how I got there, as they often did in that period. The same question had been circulating inside my motorcycle helmet for many days, but this day was different. Instead of having the usual thoughts about my life, my loves, my losses, my journey and so on, I found myself screaming at the top of my voice, ‘What the **** just happened?’ ‘How did I get here?’ ‘What are you doing Mark?’ ‘Are you crazy?’ But no one was there to hear me.
May I try and explain? The company that my wife and I had run for 28 years, selling film and television production equipment in London, had gone into administration. But that paled compared to what happened just 11 days later. My wife died. She had been suffering from cancer for eight years, and her passing had long been forecast. Losing the business was a shock.
Every business owner learns how to deal with difficulties. Problems occur almost daily and all need to be solved. Losing my wife and our business seemed liked a monumental difficulty to tackle, but somehow, I managed to remain positive.
Staring at my favourite adventure holiday photo of my wife and I with our motorcycle on Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, it gradually dawned on me that I might have a chance to live a dream. I am a dreamer, climbing Mount Everest, playing James Bond, scoring in the FA Cup final had always been amongst my childish thoughts. So had riding a motorcycle around the world.
I had just lost my wife after 39 years, the mother of our two sons, my business partner, my soul mate, my income, at least half my pension plan, and my life’s work. Life had unexpectedly delivered me an opportunity to live one of my dreams.
On 1st April 2017 I left London on my Triumph Rocket X, officially the world’s largest capacity production motorcycle with a 2,300-cc engine. It always attracted attention wherever I went so I knew that meeting and engaging with people would be easy. I wanted to share some messages and passions with them. If the conversations permitted. And in return I hoped to learn something about their lives. Did my utmost to open up my heart and soul. Peel back layers of fear and prejudices, tackle the world head-on. And accept whatever it had to throw at me. And I certainly thought a new business idea would emerge. and possibly another country to live in, but I tried to open my mind to everything else.
About Mark Holmes
On 1st. April 2017 Mark set off from London to become the first man in the world. To ride the world’s largest capacity production motorcycle. His 2.3 litre Triumph Rocket X, around the World. He rode on 5 continents, through 36 countries, riding nearly 39,000 miles (60,000 kilometres), in 506 days.