Foreword, Leaving Rawdon & the Status Quo

I suppose you don't really appreciate a person or place as much as when you are leaving them. This was very indicative of the way I felt after deciding to up sticks and travel the world. This was something I had often dreamed about, had been saving for, but not yet had the balls to actually go ahead and do it. The fact that I had been made redundant after seventeen years of taking the easy option of adhering to the status quo was the kick up the arse that was needed. But quite scary as well!

I had been on many walks around northern Leeds last summer and was amazed by how little time it takes to get from my front door into the countryside. The River Aire is 15 minutes away and the Billing 10 minutes, where one can get panoramic views of Leeds and Ferrybridge power station to the south and east (above), and Ilkley Moor and surrounding moors to the north and west.

The view from the Billing over Rawdon towards Ilkley Moor and Haworth. The sunsets here were always sensational. I'm going to miss living on the side of a hill in Yorkshire - but the world awaits!

One of the glorious sunsets from my bedroom window!

I like to think I'm doing a modern day version of what my grandfather, William Holt, did. He traveled around Europe for over a year with his horse, Trigger, and wrote a book about his experiences called "Trigger in Europe". My version is a lot easier though, as Billy and Trigger slept under the stars with a blanket for cover, whereas I am staying in Pensions and Hotels at the moment and have 110 horsepower instead of 1! Also I am writing a blog rather than book - modern times eh! People "don't know they're born these days".

My story starts in Scotland, then moves to Spain where I traveled extensively on my motorcycle for four years before becoming broke and homeless and having to return to England! I am still writing (very slowly) about Spain and hope that by the time I finish blogging about this glorious country, I will be in another foreign climb - possibly Thailand, watch this space.......

The story WILL continue!