My name is Tony Gahegan. I was born in Sheffield in 1983 and have spent most of my life there. From the ages of 13 to 18 I was a member of the Army Cadet Force. I think that this has had a big impact on my life as it encouraged me to challenge myself, helping me become more independent and, through giving me a chance to instruct other people, gave me some of my first experiences of teaching.
After I had finished school and college I studied Computer Network Engineering in Sheffield, moved out of my parents house and in to the city. The university course was a four year ‘sandwich’ course, the third year being a year of employment. I arranged to spend that year in Tanzania doing charity work teaching Maths, English and IT in Makunduchi secondary school, through an organisation called Zanzigap. The school had been donated computers from the UK, and due to the dust, heat and untrained users, they were in need of repair. During my time there I stripped, cleaned and rebuilt the computers before designing beginner, intermediate and advanced IT courses, along with course materials, and began teaching these to the teachers and students.
The year I spent in Tanzania was the best year of my life up to that point, and it was during this time that I decided that I wanted to travel as much of the world as possible. I met other people, of all ages, who were teaching out there, and realised that travelling around the world teaching English was a viable way to spend your life. Luckily I managed to take one month in Tanzania travelling around the country, before I had to return home to England. I travelled with a friend I met in Zanzibar who was also doing charity work, we spent the month exploring Tanzania, travelling over two of the largest lakes in Africa. Before I headed back to Zanzibar I went back to northern Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa.
After returning to the UK I completed my final year at university and found some work. After about a year I heard about TESOL courses and realised that this would enable me to work almost anywhere in the world. I went back to university for a six month course in teaching English and have spent my time since then saving up enough money to allow me to get out and travel. It was shortly after finishing this course that I got my bike licence and my current motorbike, a 2002 Honda Transalp 650. I originally wanted a cruiser but this bike is a tourer which means it can handle the journey a lot better.
Since getting the bike, in the summer of 2009, I have spent the summers travelling around the UK to gain experience of my bike, cooking, camping and living on the road, in preparation for my trip around the world. I took my first trip with a friend, who took his car, we travelled up the east coast of Scotland, camping at Loch Ness and Dunnet point, before driving back down the west coast, climbing Ben Nevis and visiting the isle of Mull, before taking the long drive back to Sheffield.
The following year I took another trip to practice for the big journey, this time with my dad, we both took our bikes. This time the route was around Ireland, we drove through Wales and took the ferry across to Dublin, then travelled around, staying in B&Bs. My family originally came from Ireland, so I had always wondered what the country was actually like, I am glad I took the opportunity to see it before I left the UK.
In July 2011 I finally started my big trip, setting off from Sheffield, visiting a friend in London, before taking a ferry to mainland Europe. I drove through France and headed north through Belgium into Holland, then headed east through Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary Romania and Bulgaria. It was at this point I planned to visit Turkey, but I was missing some of the necessary documentation, due to a robbery in Holland. Instead of visiting Turkey I headed west through Greece, Italy, Switzerland, France, Andorra Spain and Portugal. The end of my Europe trip took me back into Spain, to take the ferry to Morocco.
In December 2011 I start the second stage of my journey, heading south into a new continent, Africa. I drove from Morocco to Ghana through Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo. From Ghana I grouped together with some other over-landers and we shipped out bikes from Ghana to Namibia. We flew down to meet the bikes and then I travelled to Zanzibar through Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. I stayed in Zanzibar for four months doing some charity work then headed towards South Africa through Malawi and Mozambique, ready to leave Africa and move on to the next section of this trip, Australia.
In February 2013 I arrived in Perth, Australia. I arrived with almost no money so I had to find a job and work in Perth for 5 months before travelling up the west coast to Darwin, down through Alice Springs to see Uluru, through Adelaide, around Tasmania to Melbourne. This is where I stayed for a while to get all my gear prepared for my trip through Asia.
My plan is to travel for as long as I can, visiting as many places, meeting as many people, and experiencing as many different cultures as I can. Ideally I would like to be able to sell my photographs and stories about my travels. Possibly becoming a travel novelist. This site is my way of documenting and sharing my experiences of the places I travel through, I hope you enjoy reading it.