For my final article, I would like to share some of my favourite memories from my solo cycling tour so far.
In Nepal, I ticked off two items from my bucket list – hiking up the Annapurna Base Camp and experiencing snow! When I caught my first glimpse of snow, I was like an excited child and did what a child would do in the snow – I tasted it, made snowballs and even a snow angel. Later in Pakistan, I even camped in the snow and melted fresh snow to cook a meal!
As I cycled through the different countries, I took the opportunity to learn about each country’s religious beliefs and visited famous religious landmarks like the Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda in Myanmar and the Blue Mosque in Turkey.
I also came across unique and unusual places, the most memorable being the Cave City of Vardzia in Georgia. The history, ingenuity, and efforts behind the building of this city were simply mind-boggling. It was especially impressive to view the Cave City from the town of Apnia where visitors were treated to an aerial view of the cave monastery. I hope you will be able to see the breathtaking view in person someday!
I experienced the most heartwarming hospitality when I was Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan. Though the locals were not wealthy, they offered me their best. In Pakistan, when I asked a family if I could set up camp in their fruit orchard for a night, they invited me to stay in their house, fed me, and even boiled water so that I can enjoy a hot bath.
While I was having lunch at a restaurant in Azerbaijan, the owner refused to accept payment after learning about my fundraising initiative. During one of my tougher 5km push up a pass, the friendly locals stopped me every few kilometers to offer tea, fruits, and other food, all with smiles and arms wide open.
Advice for those who would like to follow in my footsteps
If you dream about going on a cycling tour, I hope you will never let that dream fade away. As the saying goes, “a man without dreams is like a bird without wings”. Be courageous and seize the opportunity to have an adventure of a lifetime. Comprehensive research and learning from others will be of great help and will increase your confidence level.
Should you embark on a cycling tour like mine, I encourage you to do it solely out of passion. Understand your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses and be humble enough to ask for help when you need it.
I strongly believe that life should be filled with adventures. This cycling tour has opened my eyes to new things and enabled me to experience new cultures. I’ve also made a lot of new friends who have shown me kindness and generosity. Money certainly can’t buy the experiences I’ve gained and the memories I’ve made.
These experiences are like the ingredients and spices to my life story, and they are far better than material things. There were many moments on my tour where I felt that life is really worth living.
As I cycled through underdeveloped countries, I was disheartened to see many children deprived of their basic needs. Their situations have spurred me to increase my efforts to help those in need.
It is my sincere hope that many more will join me by supporting my fundraising initiative for World Vision Malaysia’s Education Fund https://www.simplygiving.com/withloveiride
World Vision’s Work in Education
World Vision is a global community leader dedicated to improving the quality of children education. It works continually to improve school facilities and provide learning resources – where appropriate and necessary – to give children access to quality education. Today, World Vision is also working to overcome the challenges that keep children away from school.
With programmes that provide equitable access and demonstrate measurable learning outcomes, World Vision ensures that children have the education they deserve and a solid start for success in life. Together with its supports, World Vision can do more than fill the seats in classrooms. It can fill young minds with the knowledge they need to help them reach their God-given potential.
Footnote: Due to family commitments, Peter has to suspend his cycling tour temporarily. We hope you’ll still support his fund-raising initiative and give children in need the opportunity to access quality education.
About The Author
Peter Yoong, a cycling enthusiast currently on a two-year solo cycling tour around the world. As part of his trip, he will be raising funds to give vulnerable children access to education through World Vision Malaysia’s Education Fund.
Find out more at https://www.simplygiving.com/withloveiride.
Join my ‘With Love I Ride’ Facebook Group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/1810195412626719/