With the modest winnings from a TV game show in 2009, Graham Field announced to the viewing public he would use the money to take a long motorcycle ride. For £700 he purchased KLR 650 off eBay, put his money where his mouth was and headed towards Mongolia.
With a strong sense of direction, a vague sense of balance and no sense of proportion, he travelled 15,000 miles and then just carried on.
After travelling to places, such as Iraqi and Mongolia, as well as encompassing the Arctic circle and Mexico, Graham takes the decision to settle down, in Bulgaria.
Near Varna, as his previous books, are diaries of his travels, but this time it possesses the question of why we travel, what we are looking for and how we recognise it if we find it.
This journey is taken from Graham’s 2015 diary when a book promotion tour of Europe took him back to Bulgaria; a place he’d ridden through two years previously on his way to Iraq. However, this time he stopped and ended up living there permanently. The book still involves bikes and travel but also addresses the challenges faced when travel stops and relocation takes place. So what we have here is a cross between ‘In search of Greener Grass’ and a ‘Year in Provence’.
Always a brutally honest dairy; tantalising, introspective, anecdotal, observational and humorous. As ever, alcohol plays a significant role in events that unfold in this spontaneous decision. A decision based on gut instinct to leave Essex to live in a former communist country where he can neither read the Cyrillic alphabet nor speak the Slavic language. The relocation to the European Union’s most Easterly member became a commute from the UK as the obligation to attend bike events remained.
Slowly ties are severed as Graham’s realisation of retirement and a change in pace and lifestyle were acknowledged along with sunsets, seasons, pretty girls, cheap wine, empty mountain roads and unspoilt nature. Ultimately, his new life still carries the same lifelong obsessions of motorbikes, travel and exploration, but there is a contemplation of a personal quest seeking contentment and a realisation having achieved the objective. It is a journey to a new home near Varna where Graham found his own Nirvana.
I really enjoyed this insight into the motivations and passions of this intriguing man as well as into the culture and traditions of his newly chosen homeland.
#motorcycletravels #nearvarna #grahamfield #bookreview #motogusto