Heading east: one photographer’s wild 15,000km ride from Scotland to Mongolia

Turning 25, British photographer James Parker wanted to take on a personal challenge and raise money for a good cause. So he embarked on a marathon trip through 19 countries in a classic 1972 Morris Minor

17 April 2017

Turning 25, British photographer James Parker wanted to take on a personal challenge and raise money for a good cause. He planned a marathon trip in a classic 1972 Morris Minor that was to start in Edinburgh and continue through eastern Europe into Asia — money made from the trip would go towards local projects helping the homeless and those with mobility issue. “We drove from Scotland to Russia, through the southern route of Turkey, Azerbaijan, over the Caspian sea and into Kazakhstan. The journey was personally very reflective and took 53 days, spanning over 15,000 kilometres with an average speed of 8mph,” the photographer explains. Not only was this his first time travelling but the first time crossing West to East. “Turkey was where we started to notice a difference,” says Parker, while Kazakhstan, the toughest leg of the journey, was “spare and bare” with not a lot to catch your eye as a photographer. All through the trip, Parker found himself drawn to things that reminded him of home. So came the name Boys, Bikes and Bucket Hats — a momento to his early youth.