A note sent to my colleagues:
I wanted to let you know about my decision to go on a partial sabbatical starting at the the beginning of April. As a bit of background to this decision I have to go back 27 years ago when, as a motorcycle courier and at the age of 19, I came up to London from Devon to pay off my college debts and to save to travel round the world. As it happened I started delivering portfolios for John Havergal at Garden Studios, after many deliveries and collections I had got to know him quite well and he offered me a job as an illustrator's agent. I immediately fell in love with the role and all those involved in it, which very much remains the case today.
Now at the age of 46, the opportunity to go off and discover the World beyond what I have seen to date suddenly seems doable. Over the last two years we have developed a management team and structure that includes Sarah, Juliette, Stacey, Vicky and myself. Collectively we have steered the business and made decisions on how to develop all aspects of it. With this in place and the additional authority agreed, I feel completely confident that the agency will flourish and prosper under their combined management, whilst I stepped aside for a while.
My plan is a little bit batty, but the top line is to circumnavigate the globe riding a vegetable oil fueled diesel motorcycle. Primarily this will satisfy my yearning for the journey, secondly it will mean that the trip will have a very light footprint on the environment (something rather close to my heart), thirdly it will be affordable as it should do over 150 miles to the gallon, and the tank will have a range of some 600 miles.
I said that it would be a 'partial' sabbatical, and that is because I'm taking my laptop and have said that I intend to do several hours work a week, keeping up with developments and progress in the business and helping where I can.
As yet I have not finalised a route, but it looks like it will be through Europe to Turkey, on through Iran, India, Southeast Asia and onto Australia and New Zealand. Then depending on the seasons, either shipping to Canada or Chile before driving the length of the Americas.
I don't want to put a precise a timeline on this, because I don't think I can, although I imagine it will be a bit more than a year. There is of course the possibility that I return after a month thoroughly fed up with the life on two wheels, but I hope that is not the case. The plan is to leave in May or June on the actual trip after a month or so preparation etc.
A blog is forthcoming, www.Vegibike.com, which is still very formative.