Moving 80 km a day, Theo and Simon have been making the headlines across the world! They left from France, stopped by our hotels in Austria, Slovakia and Poland, endured an epic journey through freezing Russia, pushed on through Kazakhstan and became famous in India.
We caught up with the Cycle for Water pair just after they had crossed the border from Myanmar to Thailand.
Good to finally catch-up! How are the travels going?
“We’re currently in Thailand and heading towards the sea! The last time we saw the sea was back in Italy in 2015! Travelling along borders of the world has been one of the most interesting experiences. We’ve seen how human cultures change and blend together. Through attitudes, religions and mentality they all share a common interest but are influenced so differently. Our mission to raise awareness for the importance of clean water has taken us to the frontline of the problem. Since leaving Europe we have frequently seen the issues that poor water creates.”
What’s been the most memorable moment on your trip?
“There have been a few, from surviving the freezing conditions of Russia, to running into the Uzbek mafia! But our most magical moment was recently cycling in the Pa Hin Ngam national park [Thailand] where we spent a day cycling up a hill in 40c temperatures, it was a struggle all day, we were exhausted. But when we go to the top of the mountain the sun was setting and the sense of achievement of conquering this hill in one of the most picturesque settings was an incredible feeling. It really summed up the experience of travel, the fact that we’re all on journeys and will hopefully find a reward at the end of it. Finally, meeting the individual people along our journey and being spurred on by their kindness and motivation has had a really positive impact.”
What’s been your biggest lesson in travel?
“Teamwork and understanding your companion has been a big lesson. We’ve had to learn how to be adaptable in every way, whether with your host, changing routes or understanding new cultures. Finally, as we set out to raise awareness for clean water, we have focused more of our time on this topic. Seeing the effects of dirty water on infrastructure, nature and human welfare has been a big eye opener as well.”
How has the food changed from west to east?
“Foods from across the world have made the trip really interesting. From pasta and potatoes in Europe to the paddy fields of Asia, each location we’ve stopped at has had foods reflecting the local cultures. Right now in Thailand we’re really enjoying eating more noodles, fresh vegetables and fruits! The warm climate has been part of the food experience with a wider variety of foods on offer such as melons, coconuts and even insects on offer! ”
Where have you felt most at home on your journey so far?
“We’re on a journey! Everything continuously changes! We miss baguettes and wine!”
Your mission is to raise awareness for water. Tell us about your mission so far.
“Every country since Europe has its own challenges, whether it’s sanitation, providing clean water or ensuring access to water.
In India, we experienced a wonderful and really unique country. The culture and individualism of the people is something we have never seen before, yet the main problems of this country are pollution and bad water. As a result poverty can be seen everywhere. What our journey has made us think about is that clean water really is the first step to prosperity and good health.
Europe’s quality of water really is unique and we forget how lucky we really are with our infrastructure and ease of always having clean water. ”
And finally, after the hundreds of different places you’ve stayed where has been the most comfortable?
“We really have experienced some unique accommodation. In Myanmar we recently stayed in a big Buddhist temple, which was really interesting!
But the one place which has been truly comfortable and where we were most looked after has to be Vienna House Loipersdorf!!”