SwimTrek founder Simon Murie looks ahead to moving to Bali for a year, and the swims he has planned on route
The weather is just beginning to warm up in the UK but I’m afraid it’s not quite cutting it for me and I’m off in pursuit of warmer pastures. This month I am moving to Bali in Indonesia for a year to do both some great swimming in the region and to help build SwimTrek there. I’ll also hopefully enjoy some time living and travelling around both South East Asia and the South Pacific.
The move is a great opportunity for me and my family, the chance to experience a different kind of lifestyle and explore other parts of the continent as well as Indonesia itself –and most importantly, getting to swim in fantastic new locations.
But there’s more! As Bali is almost halfway around the world from our starting position in the UK, we’ve decided to make an adventure out of our journey to our new home – by driving as far as we can there!
It’s an important journey for me as I took a similar route when I was a child, driving from Sydney to London with my parents when I was three in a VW Combi Van. Alas as I was so young, I don’t remember any of it but now that I am in a position to take it, I’ve jumped at it. My kids are older than I was when I made my journey, so they’ll hopefully remember the experiences that they pick up along the way, and we’ll get to retrace part of the original route I made decades ago.
But would it really be a SwimTrek round the world move if we weren’t going to try and swim as much as possible along the way? We’ll be taking dips in lakes, rivers and seas as we go, soaking up whatever presents itself in front of us. I never said we would be the fastest or most efficient travellers, but we’ll certainly find some great stories along the way with just a rough plan in mind! A particular goal that I would love to achieve on the journey would be to swim in the five seas that are along our route: North, Mediterranean, Black, Caspian and Aral. With this in mind, the road trip journey will take us across Europe, through Turkey then on to Georgia, Azerbaijan and finally the Stan nations, with us continuing as far as possible by car, although we do have to get the kids there in time for the new school term starting in August, as well as the small problem of a few seas to cross once we reach Asia!
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I’m so looking forward to the year ahead to focus intensely on the things that I love: swimming in great open water locations and spreading the joy of it far and wide and experiencing it all with my family. It’s going to be an awesome ride, one that I hope makes a lasting impact on my children and discovering some awesome swimming locations along the way!
We have a ferry booked from Dover but the rest of the route is open to interpretation! What could possibly go wrong? In the next issue I will give you an update of our progress and of course in true Outdoor Swimmer style, I’ll let you know of the great open water swims I find during our travels.