The end of the West Road
If you’ve ever looked for the inspiration to pack your bags and leave your job behind to go on an adventure of a lifetime then read on! Many of you will have followed the story of “The West Road” on our blog with Tom Bing and Sally McGee who turned away from their 9-5 lives in the UK to search out something more. Their plan was to fly to South America and ride 150cc dirt bikes, loaded with surfboards and pack, along the length of the Pan American Highway from Santiago Chile to California. When I heard about their trip it really struck a cord as an amazing leap of faith to turn away from job security to embrace an adventure into the unknown, following a dream of exploring, surfing and delving into new cultures. It takes courage to drop out of “normal” life for over a year to follow a dream so here at Northcore we were stoked to be able to support them in a small way and provide some kit for the trip which we knew would get a thorough testing!
It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to remain in regular contact with Tom and Sally as they rode and surfed their way North, being amazed, envious, in awe and inspired in equal measure by their journey. So now that they are both safely home and settling back into their new lives we’re pleased to be able to bring you an interview with Tom reflecting on his and Sally’s adventures.
What prompted you both to embark on this journey and why the Pan American Highway?
We were feeling like we were stuck in a rut at home, we both had ‘good jobs’ which allowed for a pretty comfortable lifestyle but when we dug a little deeper, we knew we weren’t living the life we knew we could be living. Sometimes it feels hard to make small changes in your lifestyle that actually stick, it’s easy to slip back into old ways and get distracted by the wrong things. Money has never been the most important thing in either of our lives; time is the commodity that makes us the most happy. We started to think about doing something to shake things up a bit and we started to think about a motorcycle trip and realised it seemed possible. We own a little flat we could rent out and come back to, our jobs had afforded us the luxury of buying a decent van we could sell to raise money for the trip and we had jobs that meant we could save hard quickly. Once you realise something like that is possible; you have to do it otherwise you will regret it for ever I think. We knew that after a trip like ours it would be impossible to fall into the same traps as the first time round, we would have to come back with a different approach to life after spending twelve months basically sleeping rough and living off very little.
The America’s are an amazing travel resource, tens of thousands of kilometres of land with only one language, great food, great surf and plenty of quiet and rarely-explored places. It has it all, sometimes in one country, surf, beautiful beaches, great cities, deserts, mountains and plenty of wilderness. We knew people had done long bike trips in the Americas but we had never seen anybody do it South to North, on 150cc bikes or with surfboards attached to their motorcycle but we could work out how to put it all together.