After Mongolia, I returned the UK. Moving to London was a different kind of adventure. London, I realised, was a good place for cycling and walking both for utility and exploring. There were numerous trips out of London between 2010 and 2014 when I left London.
A major elephant in the room after Ride Earth was the lack of an output of my filming. Tom was able to complete the Janapar project. I had expected a different outcome, more focussed on the travel rather than the love story. I was very happy for Tom that such a professional film was made, but I was now faced with the daunting project of creating a film with my own vision.
This involved retrieving my footage (and rights to the footage) and shelving it all for at least until I finished my Masters. Being back in the UK brought real costs and between working for money and my masters there wasn’t much space for anything else.
All my travels inspired a lust for learning. They also made me realise how much I loved “being creative” in some form or another. I wanted to know more about how to be good at it.
My studies allow me to do this with some really well defined design projects. However, in terms of my own practice things remained somewhat in flux. I was convinced that I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as a coder but even when I worked with other designers I tended to end up working either on the vision or more technical things. During my studies I had found some work as a freelancer, but that dried up a bit, so after my studies, I took a job as a developer at MTV.
Whilst at MTV, on the side I started to take Georiders seriously. This was an idea that had come out of being in Georgia, meeting local bikers and seeing an opportunity to run bike tours. I collaborated with others to create new branding, a new website and started working with another partner in Georgia to create the tours. The next couple of years I did a couple of seasons in Georgia but eventually it dawned on me that the model was wrong and needed to pivot and that included not being so Georgia-focussed. In addition, other things such as family life were started to draw me back to the UK.
Its not 2022 and I still think about a possible next step for Georiders, but it is on the back burner.
I think cultural changes meant that between early to mid 2000s and 2010, attitudes to travel changed. The economy has gone from being very product focussed to more experience focussed and people increasingly demand experiences. Tribes around interests have formed, driven by Facebook groups.
Whereas travel used to be analogue, it is now digitised. People who travel, Instagram it, use digital maps, have location tracking on and are always connected. This has changed the face of travel.
In 2022 travel again is totally different from what it has been and deserves a fresh look. The question is, with all the issues facing the world today, is what has changed and what has stayed the same. What does travel mean and why is it important?