Tom Bevan makes his own luck. A positive attitude and ‘give it a go’ approach to life’s next adventure have taken the Englishman on a journey to a string of amazing places and strange situations, from the surfer’s paradise of Australia’s Byron Bay to a French beekeeper’s mouse-infested barn. And he’s still only 27.
Tom has a knack for turning negatives into positives, so when his unhealthy lifestyle sparked severe eczema, he discovered a passion for health and wellness that led him back to Europe and a bike tour to find out more about the power of bees.
While living in London and feeling lost, Tom decided to follow his true passions: “One night while meditating I just decided to get on my Scrambler and go,” he says.
Trip of discovery
He headed for the home of a friend, Harry, on the Greek island of Crete, with some bee WWoofing (where volunteers work on organic farms for their keep) arranged en route with a French farmer.
Tom recalls: “I’ve had a real passion for bees since the 2006 colony collapse. This place was an organically run apiary near Angouleme in south-west France and my bedroom was the back of a shed filled with drying onions and garlic, no heating and mouse wee and droppings everywhere.
“After a couple of weeks staying in the shed and hardly eating, I needed to catch up with friends. I rode on to Bordeaux where I worked for a mate’s paragliding school, pushing people off cliffs for a few weeks before heading for the Riviera and Italy en route to Harry. Basically, I got distracted.”
‘Good for the soul’
With the wellness research side of the trip taking a back seat, Tom focused on the holistic and meditative quality of riding instead of honey: “I rode in jeans, gloves, a T-shirt and an open-face helmet and it was one of the best riding experiences I’ve ever had.
“To feel the sun beating down on you, the sun glinting off the Mediterranean around every bend and some unbelievable roads was a tonic that was good for the soul.”
A two-week stay turned into five and despite his choice of bike for an epic cross-Europe trip, Tom was vindicated: “I looked kinda weird riding across Europe on my 2014 Scrambler with its knobbly tyres. I’m quite tall and had a backpack on – I should have taken a Tiger to be honest – so it didn’t really make any sense, but once I was in Crete my bike was just made for the place.
“I’d ride along the coastal roads and see a little track down to secluded beaches where cars and most other bikes couldn’t get to and head off to find myself totally alone on these stunning sweeps of sand.”
Albanian solitude and Montenegro mountains
Despite the smooth roads and dirt tracks of Crete offering riders a variation in terrain, sensational scenery, good healthy food and the occasional ice-cold beer stop, Tom was determined to keep on moving.
“I headed for Albania where I had the roads to myself. It was magical rolling for miles and miles without another bike or car in sight,” he says. “The only time I saw someone was when a dot appeared in my mirror and overtook me. It was a car with its windows blacked out, followed by another. When I got to the next town they were both there surrounded by police. I kept my head down and rode on.”
If Albania was an unexpected joy, then the mountainous switchbacks of Montenegro were a revelation: “My favourite place to be honest, absolutely beautiful scenery and so green up in the mountains. It’s a difficult place to describe adequately, but again the roads were empty and it was fantastically warm.”
“Kotor, a fortified town on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast in a bay near the limestone cliffs of Mount Lovćen, was incredible. Winding streets and squares, with a medieval old town and several stunning Romanesque churches, including Kotor Cathedral.”
A month on and Tom had learned a lot about himself: “It’s not about where you go on your Triumph, it’s about what you do. I threw myself into it like I always do and it was the best decision I made because it forced me to get involved with people and situations everywhere I went.”
The travel never stops for Tom and it’s his passion for exploration that sparked a business idea. After a year back in Australia learning even more about bees, he made a friend with a shared love of honeybees and spent time learning about a powerful mix of ancient spices with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. His skin condition vanished and he set up health and wellness business GoldSpice to sell the elixir mix around the world. With his eczema a distant memory, Tom is living in Ibiza.