Everyone has something in life that they want to do. You want to speak Japanese. You want to learn to fly a plane. You want to climb Kilimanjaro.

Many people like to state this want, but usually the ratio of wants stated to wants actually achieved is quite low. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because we only have a set amount of time in the day and we have to prioritize. So most people state many more wants than they ever hope to achieve.

A friend of mine once told me that of all the people she knows, I was most likely to actually go through with all the crazy things I said I wanted to do. If I said I wanted to spend at least a year traveling overland through eastern Africa, she believed me. And that’s exactly what I did after graduation.

Yesterday, I crossed a major bridge for another one of my wants. A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle. So I did, from a friend in Ethiopia. Then I started thinking about the possibility of riding a motorcycle from London to southern Africa, via West Africa. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it (for a variety of reasons). So I got my motorcycle license, I talked to everyone and anyone about long overland trips for advice, and I started to accumulate gear. Saturday, I bought my first bike.

I am now the proud new owner of a KLR 650. I got it used for a good price not too far from Cambridge (with the help of a friend who told me everything I need to know about buying a used bike and registering it etc. in the UK). I have the whole year to play around on it, before I try to convince people to come with me on yet another ridiculous trip through western Europe and West Africa. I want to move back to Africa (Kenya or Zambia probably), but I want my own set of wheels this time. And what better way to have them than to drive them down there myself?

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