For the very first blog post of this new website for Team MAGA I thought I would write a little bit about how the rally team came to exist in the first place and how, unlike almost all other teams, everyone is spread out and unlikely to meet each other as one until after it actually begins in Prague!
It begins like every good story should- with alcohol at a hedonistic party hostel on the Greek island of Corfu way back in 2014! It was here I met Ben, a crazy Australian who was in the middle of a Europe trip with two primary aims- to drink every bar he went to dry and hit on every single member of the opposite sex he came across. I knew we were going to be good friends the moment he offered me some of his beer's during a drunken daytime kayaking trip in which dignity and clothes were very much optional- it was here I also found out he couldn't actually swim!
When I next saw him a year later in Scotland it was not so much to party but to hike/wild camp the 96 mile West Highland Way from Glasgow to Fort William that had planned months in advance and was completed in 8 days (including an ascent of the UK's highest mountain- Ben Nevis) despite me spraining my ankle on day 3! in 2016 we went one better and finished the 170km Tour De Mont Blanc through France/Italy/Switzerland in only 7 days with the only problem being day 1 as two bottles of wine and a litre of rum were consumed sensibly the night before beginning such a trek making it hellish to put it mildly!
I can't remember exactly where I was when I heard of the Mongol Rally but the moment I did I contacted Ben and it is has been in the pipeline since before our first adventure, with 2018 finally being the year it worked out well for us personally and financially.
Now we could easily do the rally by ourselves but I thought having more member's would make things really fun so got my best friend Amy on board, who was living in London at the time but now lives as an English Teacher/babysitter in Rimini, Italy. Unfortunately in March 2017 my father Chris passed away very suddenly and felt that it would be amazing to have my younger brother Nick join us as the fourth person even if it is just for the first part of the rally prior to the Caspian Sea Ferry due to work commitments.
I may be from Jersey but I have not spent much time over there in 8 years and am currently living on the 10 square mile island of Little Cayman alongside its 180 other residents working as a dive instructor. It is an idyllic life but I am desperate to get back on the road again and gear up for this huge adventure with my preparation being a big road trip in the United States between April and June.
The Mongol Rally is an epic undertaking that involves a lot of planning in itself with the purchasing of a vehicle, raising at least £1000 for charity, preparing visas, organizing a route and figuring out everything else in-between but doing that all from my apartment in the Caribbean with team members in 3 other countries and the start in another it is a logistical nightmare especially when I myself will not be back in Europe until June...only a few weeks before the start. All part of the Adventure and why we named our team- Team MAGA (Making Adventures Glorious & Absurd)!