Seven years, twenty countries, no plan. How it started . . . In 1998, after bringing up a family and enjoying a lifetime career as a nurse and health visitor in the UK, I set out on a year's journey, on my own for the first time ever, having always been someone's daughter, little sister, or wife. I started backpacking in Thailand and explored many South East Asian countries armed only with wide-open eyes and a guide book. Six months into the trip and feeling quite the adventurous explorer, I went to Pakistan and then to Rajasthan, India, where I met a Dutchman who was travelling on an Enfield Bullet motorbike. He fired my imagination with tales of the open road. I returned to the UK, but I found it hard to settle down, as I really liked travelling, and although at my age I really should have known better, I set off again, this time combining my love of travel with my other passion . . . motorcycling. I'd owned various Japanese motorbikes over the years since Exchanging guide books for road maps, for my fiftieth birthday I bought a brand new 500cc Enfield Bullet in India and rode it, initially alongside the Dutchman who had suggested the idea. He was seventeen years younger than me, and I thought the adventure might last six months, at most. None of it was planned. I would not have dreamed I'd be having this chance of a lifetime when I should have been saving for my retirement. But life's too short not to take a chance.