What began as a random thought being inspired by electric bicycles in Vietnam (where I was living at the time), I soon found myself planning an epic solo bicycle trip from Vietnam to England in hope of raising £50,000 for my four incredible charities: Crisis, Friends of the Earth, MSF (Doctors Without Borders) and War Child UK.
If I’m being honest, it was not something I’d ever heard of anyone doing (in fact, I remember feeling like I’d made up the concept at the time!) but I knew if I wanted people to listen to the strong messages I had to share, I had to do something extreme, something that showed my commitment and something that not only challenged but truly shattered social norms.
My fundraising journey started from 1st April 2019 in Hanoi but as I had no biking experience at all (other than literally just about knowing how to ride one although not very well…) I’d decided to ‘practice’ by cycling from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi which was around 2000kms. I left Ho Chi Minh on 1st February and never looked back. It was that decision that has now changed my life forever.
After the final stretch of my adventures through Vietnam, a place I’d explored thoroughly, had a chance to call home and had grown to know and love so deeply, I cycled through Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Northeast India, Bangladesh and ‘mainland’ India before getting stuck in Rishikesh due to the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
I spent four and a half months waiting for everything to blow over but the state of the world was volatile and after a call from a loved one who was struggling back home, after more than 9000kms and almost a year an a half since I’d started cycling from HCMC, the universe gave me the sign to change direction. It was a very tough decision and on some level, I felt like I was giving up everything I’d already worked so hard for but it was necessary and definitely the right choice.
And although my moral standpoint was to avoid flying as far as physically possible, unless I could have learned to teleport, it was the only way to get back home so I booked an Indian repatriation flight on their outbound leg and made it back safely.
What’s Happening Next?
Despite having such a drastic change of plans, I can’t help but be excited for all that lies ahead. Returning back to the UK inevitably opens new doors and paves the way for different exciting opportunities for me to make a difference. I’m adjusting, learning and evolving every single day and each challenge provides me with a greater capacity for mental, emotional and spiritual growth.
During this time I’m spending at home whilst this crazy global disaster blows over, I’m definitely still keeping extremely busy. I’m still completing another 8500kms of riding (to reach my fundraising distance of 17500kms), I’m getting involved with and setting up different forms of local activism (make sure you’re following my Facebook page and Instagram for updates on that!) and (most excitingly) planning my next mission…
I am also spending this time finally collating all of my footage from this epic trip and will start sharing it soon via my YouTube Channel which is a big, scary new venture for me!!! (Wish me luck and please subscribe!)
From West to…Further West
I’m anticipating cycling down through Europe and crossing by ferry to reach Gran Canaria where ideally, I’d like to buy or borrow a boat to sail with an all vegan, female crew across the Atlantic followed by cycling down to Patagonia and up to Alaska whilst continuing with my outreach. If I am unable to raise the funds to sail independently then I’ll opt to hitchhike a boat to the Caribbean and continue with my bicycle as planned. I’ve never sailed but I will learn and the happiness movement inevitably continues..