Aaron Mitchell: travelling the world on a motorcycle

WE TALK to ex-serviceman Aaron Mitchell about his plans to travel around the globe on a motorcycle.

Aaron Mitchell motorcycle

Photo www.ah-photos.net.


AARON MITCHELL served in the British Army where he learnt many of the skills which today enable him to live the adventurous life he leads. 


He has travelled the world extensively and in this open and thoughtful interview talks about the beauty he has found in some of the countries he has visited and the warmth and friendliness of local people.


Aaron is passionate about several extreme sports and has recently taken a serious interest in motorcycles. He is currently planning to ride around the world on a bike in 2016. 


To find out more about Aaron and his around the world bike trip visit www.aaronmitchell.net.


Aaron Mitchell army

Aaron Mitchell joined the British Army at 18 and served in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.


Could you tell us about your time in the British Army and how that has shaped the person you are today?


I joined the British Army at the age of 18. For me, university was not an option. I wanted to get straight out into the big bad world and forge my own path. My father’s service in the army definitely influenced my decision to join. The Army would train me physically and mentally and prepare me for the worst. 


During my service I was deployed on operational duty to Northern Ireland twice, Iraq and Afghanistan. I joined the Infantry and later transferred to the Royal Engineers. I qualified as a number 2 bomb disposal operator and also a team commander for an advanced search team. 


The British Army has taken me to a lot of diverse places. It has trained me to be self-motivating and take pride in things I work towards and achieve. You learn respect for others. The camaraderie in such a close unit is fantastic, very unique to the forces. Work hard play hard. A lot of the skills I’ve learnt definitely filter into my normal daily routines and in my view have made me a stronger and more confident individual.  


In 2006 you decided to travel the world. Where were some of the places you visited and what were some of your wildest experiences?


This was certainly the catalyst for having a wanderlust lifestyle.


My friend Zac and I sat down with a map. Picked some countries we liked and planned a route and a rough plan. Bought the tickets and off we went. A lot of the route was all through South East Asia. And we threw in places like India, Cook Islands and Fiji plus the big places like Australia and New Zealand. They had to be visited.


As for wildest experiences, there are so many to mention. Trekking in the jungles of northern Thailand, learning to skydive in Australia, climbing mountains in New Zealand, SCUBA diving in Malaysia, these were definitely some of my favourites.


Oh, and India, we had a guide who drove us around Delhi while drinking whisky. Crazy crazy guy! The whole trip from start to finish was an unbelievable time. I have great memories for the rest of my life because of those days.


Aaron Mitchell

Aaron enjoys a number of extreme sports and here is pictured on a skydive.


What has been your experience of extreme sports and how often do you get to enjoy them?


Climbing has always been my biggest sport. Whether that’s climbing rocks or mountains. The feeling you get from reaching the summit is incredible. A great feeling of satisfaction.


Over the years I’ve tried many sports. From SCUBA diving in Asia to skydiving in Australia. I’ve kayaked rivers, climbed mountains, snowboarded all over Europe and even bungee jumped six times in one day! I will give most things a go. 


My direction at the moment is expedition work. I’m looking more and more into endurance type of expeditions. So watch this space. Plans are afoot. 


Aaron Mitchell British Army

Snowboarding is another of Aarons passions and he has enjoyed the sport all over Europe.


Could you tell us about your first motorcycle adventure and some of the highlights and any hindrances you came up against?


My first trip was into Western Europe. Made it down to Italy and back through the Swiss Alps. Crazy scenery – absolutely beautiful. This was the highlight along with the friendly people I met everywhere. Especially the Swiss farmer who couldn’t speak a word of English, but between our grunts and finger pointing, she let me camp on her farm and cook my dinner while watching the sun set over the Alps. The pictures I have of that night will never explain how it made me feel. Worth more than any hotel room. 


The biggest hindrance would be me in all honesty. I’m my own worst enemy. I don’t know why but I have this issue of making everything a challenge. I’m very competitive, suppose I’ve got the army to thank for that. So when riding the bike I was always trying to push myself constantly to the point of discomfort to make my own records to beat. It’s crazy and I need to sort this out. Perhaps I should take up record breaking. We will see, would be cool to be a world record holder for something. 


Your around the globe motorcycle trip in 2016 sounds epic! What inspired the idea, what charities will benefit and how can people donate to the cause?


The idea to do this was from a programme called Mondo Enduro. A guy called Austin Vince was the brainchild behind this. In the 90s, he and some friends took DR350s on the longest route possible in the shortest time. It was a crazy journey. They didn’t really know what they were doing but they had an idea and enthusiasm. It worked. Sort of… 


Basically, that’s my approach to this trip. I’m learning as I go along and taking advice from anyone. So if you’re reading this, please get in touch and give me some help. Would be much appreciated. 


I will be doing this trip for The Royal British Legion. It’s a charity close to my heart coming from a military background. They do amazing work for so many soldiers and dependants that stood up to serve for their country and some made the ultimate sacrifice, Including some of my friends. They also support smaller charities with go avail help which I think is really cool too. If you would like to hear the full story and donate visit www.justgiving.com/AaronMitchellUK/. Any help would be very much appreciated. 


Aaron Mitchell circumnavigating the world

Aaron is planning an around the world challenge on a motorbike for 2016.


How important is it for you to be able to connect with other likeminded people through www.aaronmitchell.net and what can people expect from the website?


Very important. I love hearing from people who are on similar paths in life. There are so many people who inspire me. I read various blogs and find a lot of advice from them. The idea of the website and my social media accounts was to give something back to the community. And hopefully in the process inspire others to get out there and live the life they want to, as I am. 


If you could sum up your philosophy on life in no more than 15 words what would those words be?


Live, love and always be honest with yourself. And smile! 

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