Moving on and talking about equipment, I recall from the Long Way Round series you massively over-spec'ed your kit and took too much stuff with you. Now you're a hardened traveller and learnt from all your mistakes, what would you say are your essential kit bag items for an expedition?
I think you always have to take a lot less than you think you need. You can buy just as much stuff in the country you go to as you can in England. If you had forgotten something you can always pick it up on the way. I think you've just got to sit and think about the essentials. You don't need four pairs of jeans, you only need maybe one or two and a couple of pairs of shorts. Be smart about your packing.
I always take a silk liner you can have for your sleeping bag. They pack up to nothing, and you can hook them over your pillow. I always take one of those, because you always end up in some sort of dodgy looking hotel, and sometimes it's not quite clean. you can slip into your silk liner, and sleep because bed bugs can't get through silk. It's always a good idea, along with baby wipes. If you're on a motorbike, just take the bare minimum of the toolkit you need. You can tell people as much as you can about your experience but you have to learn it yourself really, because you don't always listen to other people!
So what's next for you? I know the Darian Gap was something in planning before the accident. Is that still on the cards?
At the moment that window's passed by. I'm still recovering, so I can't commit to something like that yet until I really know where I am. There's still lots of question marks as to how my leg is going, and I'll probably have to have some more operations.
It's a tough point of my life at the moment, where I really want to do more, but I don't know the full outcome of my injuries yet so it's a tough one. But I want to do it all (laughs).
What would your top tips be for budding adventurers looking to get off the beaten track, not specifically just by motorbike, but by any means?
You always have to do a lot more planning than you might think. Winging it is fine, but you want to get the most out of where you're going. I always say if you look at where you're going and look at all the things you'd really like to do in that country, and then once you've really decided on all the things you want to see, then make a route to connect them together, but don't be too rigid on it. If someone says “You've really got to go and see this" then change your plan and go and see it! Have a good plan but be flexible.
Do you travel much without the camera rolling?
Yeah I've just got back from Kenya with my wife, we went out there to have a bit of a holiday. My kids love travelling too. The motorcycle tours in Africa are never filmed, just with a bunch of likeminded people who want have an adventure but maybe aren't sure about travelling in Africa alone or just don't have the time to plan it. We offer them a footprint into Africa by coming with us, to see how easy it is and then they go off and do it themselves or come again with us.
I'm going to close on a subject very close to your heart. You have many motorbikes at the moment, but if you could only have one bike and that's it for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
Oh God! Erm... I suppose it would be the Triumph Explorer 1200 because that does a bit of everything. It's a good touring bike, it's pretty capable off-road, it's good in the twisty's, it's also a good commuter bike, so I would have that!
Thank you so much for talking to us, good luck with your full recovery and I hope you keep your bike upright from now on!
(Laughs) Yeah me too! Take care.