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Who’s Paddy?

Paddy Drinking TeaBorn in 1969 amid the incessant rain of County Fermanagh in the north west of Ireland, he has been travelling in search of anywhere with sunshine ever since, which is odd, given his pale complexion.

His first road trip took place, ironically enough, during the hot dry summer of 1976, and was a coast to coast road-trip across North America as a 6 year old, with his mum and big sister. Predominantly using public transport he was able to discover the beauty of a nation and the diversity of its people while simultaneously providing his mother with the makings of a nervous breakdown after wandering off at 2am in a Chicago bus station to engage some nice old men in conversation and look for change in the phone booths.

He was taught to play chess that summer, by a hairy hippy in the back of a bus somewhere in British Columbia and is forever grateful for being woken up to watch the sunrise over the endless prairies of the US mid west, the vastness and beauty of which he shall never forget.

Winter evenings as a child were spent leafing through the endless possibilities of the ‘Global Coach Tours’ brochure, and there was nothing as exciting as hearing ‘Here comes the sun’ when the BBC Travel Programme was about to start on a Sunday evening.

He first combined motorcycles with travel while at university in England and set off on a woefully unprepared 125cc Honda to try and see as much of Europe as he could in 4 weeks. Being arrested once or twice just seemed to add to the adventure, and the whole thing sowed the seeds of a plan for a two wheeled global assault, which has been undertaken in sections ever since.

He has been a motorcycle courier and instructor, a University lecturer, a writer, a builder and even collected litter at a landfill site to fund his travels. Indeed he may be the only person to have never successfully got a job in a fast food restaurant.

He is an advisor to the Ted Simon Foundation and is the editor of Overland Magazine.

He drinks a lot of tea.

To see an interview with Paddy on Canadian TV during a recent book signing tour, click  here

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