.Nigel Francis ‘Born To Cycle’
Initially raised eight years in Ghana. Educated in England, soon after a spell in the military. Studied furniture design and crafts (traditional cabinetmaker). Followed by many years as a sales representative for a timber importer.
Plenty of other jobs in between; hotel porter, barman, beach litter picker, shelf stacker, motorcycle courier, the list goes on and on!
2001 backpacked ten months round the world. Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia (my father was born in Penang, so a spiritual visit), Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, America, Canada, and back out through New York.
In Malaysia, I spent a week hiking on my own in Taman Negara. It’s regarded as the oldest-tropical-rain-forest in the world. I only found out afterwards it contains a large proportion of Malayan tigers!
Once back in the UK, settling back into some kind of normality was not really going to transpire. So in the light of my itchy feet, in 2003 I sold my apartment, and headed south to Namibia. I have relatives in Windhoek, so seemed a good place to land back on the African continent.
A road trip around South Africa then ensued to chase another dream. I completed my private pilot’s licence and also attaining a field-guide certificate with Eco Training.
Six months then as a guide with Wilderness Safaris at Little Kulala. A luxury camp in the Namibian desert.
In time, returning to South Africa to complete my commercial pilot’s licence. Two years as a bush pilot for Sefofane (now Wilderness Air ) in Namibia and Botswana.
A year also on a scheduled airline service along the Namibian coast.
Again returning to the UK an completed my air transport pilot’s licence exams.
Back to Namibia 2009, and hosting VIP guests at Lianshulu, in the Caprivi. Then six months in Tanzania as a bush pilot … again!
Life I believe to be a series of chapters, as I’m not a great follower as you may have gathered of a single career path!
My journey has always involved a bicycle in some form, motorbikes too. Cycling to school, mountain biking, even a few sports category races. Those were tough! Cycling to work in Namibia, and commuting by bike in Cornwall, England, since early 2010.
I’m constantly having a wonder lust for travel, and consistently wishing to be totally independent of commercial carriage. Eventually, I saw the light, and the seed was sown after bumping into Elvis in Botswana! Eureka, bicycle touring for me was then conceived.
When I’m not tinkering with my bikes, I need to be constructive somewhere else or have a project. So this is where the blog comes in.
Photography has always been a passion, but I’ve never really had the time or inclination to take it further. Time will tell whether I’m any good at it, remains to be seen! So along with my cycling journeys, I hope to combine the two into a journal.
With small journeys now under my belt, and ever far-flung destination’s beckoning, I’ve never been freer. I hope you enjoy the journey too.
“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet, our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Don Williams, Jr. (American Novelist and Poet, b.1968)