Like most vacationers, Londoners Kimberley Kifun (aka Kimmi) and Brett Seychell too yearned for unique experiences, a bespoke holiday that finds no mention in the Lonely Planet guide. And the two have come up with a novel solution. They are travelling the world, on two wheels. From London, UK, to Melbourne, Australia, the pedal-pushing pair, who worked at a bar in London, has been travelling since June, 2011. Currently in Mumbai, and having covered 12,765km, they plan to fulfil their
wanderlust till they reach their final destination.
“I took a trip to Paris on my bike in 2010. I saw so many things I would have missed out on a train or a flight. Later, I wondered how long it would take to cover the world. So I asked Kimmi, and we pooled our resources,” says Brett.
Besides reducing carbon footprint, they are also living on the kindness of strangers. Through the gruelling route across several countries, the spirited cyclists are looking to raise money for those they “have not yet met”. “People said you can raise money for a cause on the road. And we thought, why not? But we were discontent with big international charities and their lack of disclosure. So we started a small charitable venture, The Kindness of Strangers,” says Brett, adding that raising money is not their primary aim now (they have raised 12,363 of their 15,000-pound target), but to find a worthy charity. “We have been able to micro-finance three independent projects — two in Kosovo and one in Iran,” he adds.
To travel on a shoestring budget, the duo, with bags weighing 70 kg that hold a tent, sleeping bags, video cameras and laptops, has been couchsurfing. “In Mumbai, we are staying in Bandra with fellow couchsurfers Charles and Revati Victor. We’ve receive so much kindness from strangers. Some have cooked meals, while others have given directions or shelter,” he says.
Ask him whether riding in India has been chaotic and he replies, “It would have been if we hadn’t been through Italy, Turkey and Iran. But it’s nicer than expected.” The duo plan to head north, before leaving for Bangladesh. “We are excited about visiting a Bollywood set,” he adds.
For more info, visit www.thekindnessofstrangers.net. Follow their Twitter handle: @kindcyclists