Charlie and Phillippa

From Malaysia to the UK by bicycle

After living in Hong Kong and Malaysia for five years, it was time for alumnus Charlie Hoare (BA Business & Management with European Studies 2007) and his girlfriend Phillippa to head back to the UK.

But while most people would look to hop on a plane, they decided that the best means of transport home would be by bicycle – a journey of almost 7,000 miles.

Having a lifetime passion for cycling it was a dream come true for Charlie and for Pip it was an opportunity for adventure. They also saw it as an avenue to raise money for the mental health charity SANE.

It wasn’t a decision made lightly, however. Charlie resigned from his job, threw away the majority of five years’ worth of belongings and packed up just enough to carry on a bike.

“You soon realise how little you need in life on a trip like this,” he said.

So far they’ve encountered a few difficult moments – running out of food and resorting to eating rice with curry powder, unforgiving weather conditions and problems with their bikes which almost left them stranded.

It hasn’t all been hardship though:

“We have experienced more generosity and hospitality in the last six months than in our lives to date,” added Charlie. “The vulnerability of being on a bike opens people up to you.

“Kazakhstan was amazing for this. People would pick us up off the street and invite us to stay as well as feed us, expecting nothing in return.”

The pair still have a long way to ride with a lot more adventure in store but what Pip and Charlie most look forward to is a hot shower: “Our record so far is two weeks without a shower. River washing is great fun though.”

Their journey is followed on their website backtoblighty.com.

 

Date: 4 August 2014

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