I grew up in Gorey, Co. Wexford, Ireland and spent most of my youth either playing sports or reading adventure magazines and any National Geographic publication I could get my hands on. The latter’s photographs and stories were the second most important contributor to my wander lusting ways. The first was my parents. At 4 months old they had me travelling from Austria to the former Bosnia-Herzegovina and that was the start of it.
I studied Archaeology and Geography at University College Dublin, and for two years after I completed an MSc in World Heritage Management, where I researched deforestation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. As is true to my often distracted nature, I ended up minimal time researching and instead meandered through East Africa where I was lucky to visit pristine beaches in Zanzibar and climb Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
However, it was in 2010 that I really started to question what type of life I wanted for the next few years. My time in Colorado working for The Wilderness Society really influenced my outlook and for the time being I’ve decided to stay as far away from computers and desks as possible and go see some of the world! By cycling through many different environmental and cultural regions over 350 days, I hope to get a snapshot of our world and read an interesting story of people and place.
I’m from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range west of Denver, Colorado and spent a good deal of time romping about in the woods before going to college in Denver, achieving a degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry. With wilderness, national parks and the snowy mountains on my doorstep, climbing, skiing and cycling were just natural to become interested in. Whenever I can, escape from the city for a few days is in order and I try to get as much photography, reading and camping in as possible.
Along my life’s path I discovered that a pattern of holding jobs simply in order to finance adventure trips might be the way to go. On a 700-mile bicycle tour from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, California, I started to get a feeling that I might like to do a more extensive journey in the future. When Ian came along with his idea for the Pan American route, I had to jump on this trip of a lifetime.