Personal Life | Rob Thomson
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Personal Life

I live in Sapporo, the prefectural capital of Hokkaido, the northernmost large island of Japan. I live here with my wife, another New Zealander with a passion for Japan.

My personal life revolves around human-powered travel. A desire to discover and share new, out-of-the-way places, as well as the limits of human physical endeavor, has driven my curiosities. This curiosity feeds back, to an extent, into my academic pursuits.

I thrive in physically and mentally challenging natural environments.

I am currently an administrator of the Hokkaido International Outdoor Club; a club formed to foster interaction, through outdoor pursuit, between Japanese and foreigners living in Japan.

    • Cycle Touring

      Cycle Touring

      Sating the curiosity within.

      Travelling by bicycle allows me opportunity and freedom to explore out-of-the-way places and meet local people on their own terms. From mid-2006 till April 2007 I cycled from Japan to Switzerland across Central Asia, the Caucuses, Turkey, and the Adriatic sea coast. Surprisingly common Internet cafes got me thinking about how our networked world is fostering group identity and what we bring to the experience as consumers. More recently, I enjoy shorter excursions around Japan’s northern-most island Hokkaido with my wife, a fellow Kiwi who enjoys the challenges and rewards of traveling by bicycle.

    • Photography

      Photography

      Still and moving - a creative outlet

      Photography, whether moving or still, is an important creative outlet for me. It is mostly documentary style. My still photography has been featured in print magazines as well as online (most recently on RedBull Adventure). My film works, including timelapse pieces, have won local awards in Japan and abroad.

    • Winter Exploring

      Winter Exploring

      Making the most of Hokkaido's sublime winter offerings.

      A great motivation to move to Japan’s northern-most island was the promise of 5 months of snow. As far as snowy winters go, Hokkaido’s is world class. Constant below-freezing but rarely less than -15 deg Celsius, and meters upon meters of dry powder. An outdoors-person’s dream.

    • Guinness World Record

      Guinness World Record

      Longest Journey by Skateboard (2007-2008)

      I currently hold the Guinness World Record for the Longest Journey by Skateboard. This 12,159km solo journey across Europe, the US, and China took 1.5 years, completed in September 2008. The journey was blogged daily (here).

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