I got the bug from my father Kevin Sanders, who holds the Guinness World Record for going round the world on a bike in under 20 days in 2002. I won’t beat that but to follow in his tracks is amazing.
After leaving school at 17 I went into hospitality, working my way through cafes, restaurants and bars, but it was always a means to an end. I wanted a challenge and this is it.
I started in London and headed across northern Europe through China to Bangkok before dipping into Australia through snow and rivers. Then I flew to Los Angeles and rode into South America and city floods in Peru. I’m currently heading through Argentina, with the next stop in Cape Town in South Africa.
I’ve done just under 50,000 miles in about 13 months, with the Tiger whipping me through more than 50 countries. The bike has been unbelievable. I’ve put it through everything and all sorts of terrain – snow in New Zealand, river crossings, mud and it just keeps on going. It’s so reassuring because I know it will turn over every time. The engine is stunning and just looking at my bike makes me think ‘yesssss’. It has style and class and badass mixed in. After my first two miles of the trip, I knew I could complete it.
Back home we hear so much about the world, places, people and cultures, and one thing that shocked me is how inaccurately the media portrays different people. China wowed me the most because the people were just overwhelming and the place made me feel alive.
Colombia, a nation branded ‘dangerous’, was anything but for me. Both made me realise that people are people, all trying to survive, protect their families and put food on the table. It’s that simple.
Scenery wise, the highlight so far has to be the Chinese Sand Dune Desert in western China. Who’d have thought China had deserts?
The first days were tough though. At first I really missed those moments you want as a 23-year-old – to have one of my close mates riding with me. But as I grew into the trip, I turned to Facebook and it felt like they were there by my side.
Also, even after a rough day with challenge after challenge you wake up the next day and think ‘that was amazing, I feel so alive’. When I finish I’ll be 24 and will have to pay my credit card bills, so it will be back to a normal job, but I want to continue inspiring others to get out and do what they want. If you want to do something, think of how you can do it not what’s stopping you. Don’t just dream, plan and put it into action, live life fully NOW!