10 Things You Probably Haven’t Done


Let’s get the conversation going. I want to know about some of the things you’ve experienced that most others haven’t. What are the unique moments of your life?

I thought I’d try to spark things by listing a few things I’ve done that you probably haven’t.

While you may find one or two things on the list that you’ve done I sincerely doubt that you’ve done all ten. 🙂

I’m hoping that you’ll come up with a few of your own in the comments section of this post or that you’ll write a similar post on your own blog or Facebook page and link back here. If you’ve done any of the things on my list let me know.

I’ll just list the ten things and leave it to you. If you have questions about any of the items in the list, feel free to ask.

Ten things I’ve done you probably haven’t

1. Cycled across Australia five times.

2. Escaped a country when rioting and looting in the capital became widespread. (Haiti)

3. Hand fed a rhinoceros.

4. Stood on stage with Mikhail Gorbachev.

5. Cycled from Agra (home of the Taj Mahal) to Delhi in India.

6. Met General ‘Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf.

7. Interviewed 2011 Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans.

8. Preached at Cathedral Church of the Redemption in New Delhi, India.

9. Been mentioned at least twice in Australia’s Federal Parliament.

10. Cycled up and down an aisle at K-Mart in Miami, Florida.

So there you are. Now it’s over to you.

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Scenes from Distant Lands

As I’ve mentioned several times, late last year I traveled to Bangladesh and India to see the work of SIMaid’sGirls off the Streets project.

As well as seeing the great work being done in those countries I managed to take in a few sights and snapped hundreds of photos. Below are some of the pictures from the trip. Just click on any of the photos and you’ll be able to browse through the gallery.

If you haven’t already, let me encourage you to check out Girls off the Streets and find out how you can be part of this project which is bringing hope to those who had lost hope.

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Wish You Were Here

Mark.jpgIt’s almost 8 years since I was last here in Delhi, India. I’ve said plenty of times that I love India, and I do, but there’s something missing this time.

I travelled here with a great team. I’d be more than happy to plan other trips with Kieran, Emma and Alan. We’ve had wonderful times and experienced some amazing things that both broke and lifted our hearts. I wouldn’t want to swap that for the world but somehow this trip, my third to this incredible country, just hasn’t been the same.

Today that difference was brought home even more as I met up with many familiar faces from previous journeys here. The people were welcoming, as always, and I was more than happy to see them, but the joy was tinged with sadness.

The last two trips to India were made with my good friend Mark Simpfendorfer. Mark passed away a little over three years ago.

We first travelled to India together in 2003. Mark was here to capture my ride from Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, to Delhi. It was an amazing experience for both of us. Neither of us really knew what to expect when we set off for India but we loved our time here and were more than happy to return two years later with a small team of Aussie cyclists. We were talking about returning in 2010, around the time of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi but sadly that wasn’t to be.

The last time I saw Mark he had dropped in to my home capture some video for a project he was completing and we shared a Limca, the lemon lime drink that we enjoyed so much together in India. Several months earlier Pauline had found a shop nearby that imports Limca from India so when I knew that Mark was to visit I made sure there was some ice cold Limca in the fridge.

I’ve enjoyed plenty of Limca on this trip and it’s brought back memories of shared times. This afternoon I walked to a local shopping area. It’s a walk Mark and I had taken together many times. It felt weird walking on my own.

I’m finishing my time here catching up with some very dear friends and I just know the happiness it would have brought Mark and those here in India if he was here on this trip.

India has made a huge impact on me over the years and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of this country. Usually those thoughts centre around experiences that Mark and I shared. It’s not easy being here without him.

Mark was a true friend and thoughts of him are never far from my mind but this week those thoughts and memories have flooded my head.

One day I’ll take another trip, a more permanent trip, and I’ll catch up with Mark again.

I wonder if they serve Limca in Heaven.

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The Beginnings of Reflection


I love India. It’s unpredictable, mesmerising, beautiful and full of contrasts. You can see photos or video of India and get a little bit of an understanding for this country but you really have to visit India to even begin to see a true snapshot of what this nation is all about. This is my third visit to India and I still know so little about the country.

What a difference a day makes.

Yesterday I was walking across ancient, crafted marble at the Taj Mahal in Agra. Today I’m sitting in a guest room in Parliament Street in Delhi. Outside there are hundreds of unionists taking part in a protest. Leaders are chanting slogans though a P.A. system that’s been turned up to eleven and the assembled group is replying loudly. I have no idea what their cause is because it’s all in Hindi, but they certainly sound passionate. It’s now he middle of the day but the rally started early this morning.

Not far from here, at India Gate, a protest continues against six young men who raped and beat a 23 year old girl on a moving bus travelling through parts of Delhi. There has been a national outcry and there are demonstrations being held all over India calling for the perpetrators to be hanged. One of the rapists has already admitted his guilt and said that he should be hanged.

The events here are being reported around the world, including in Australia.

THE hours-long gang-rape and near-fatal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi has triggered outrage and anger across the country as Indians demand action from authorities who have long ignored persistent violence and harassment against women.

In the streets and in parliament, calls rose for stringent and swift punishment against those attacking women, including a proposal to make rapists eligible for the death penalty. As the calls for action grew louder, two more gang-rapes were reported, including one in which the 10-year-old victim was killed.

“I feel it is sick what is happening across the country.It is totally sick, and it needs to stop,” said Smitha, a 32-year-old protester who goes by only one name. – News.com.au

It seems strange that against that backdrop I will be celebrating Christmas with a group of Indian friends later today. As I’ve said many times, India is a land of contrasts.

Girls off the Streets

While in India this time I’ve had opportunity to see the work of SIMaid’s Girls off the Streets project.

I’m amazed at the work that is being done to bring hope and healing to young women who have been rescued from human trafficking. Young women who have been sexually exploited and sold into prostitution are now growing in confidence as they learn to trust again and develop life skills that will give them a strong foundation for life ahead. Girls off the Streets is giving them a future and importantly, letting them know that they are truly loved.

If you haven’t already, let me encourage you to check out Girls off the Streets and find out how you can be part of this project which is bringing hope to those who had lost hope.

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An Auto-Rickshaw Ride in Delhi

Here is a brief look at a ride in an auto-rickshaw through one of the less crowded areas of Delhi.

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