Travel stories: the 6 wildest challenges!

28 May 2019 - Written by Caroline Le Pichon

“Madness is the only thing you never regret,” said Oscar Wilde.

Here are 6 atypical stories of non-conformist travellers: Antarctica on skis, travel by tuk-tuk, bicycle, or American school bus, round the world without money, on foot…

 

  • 14 000 km in tuk tuk

Naveen Rabelli built an electric tuk tuk, to go to England from India. The tuk tuk is a widely used means of transport in the world but it usually runs on gasoline. Thanks to solar energy, it has travelled nearly 14,000 km without emitting a single gram of CO2. In 7 months, he has crossed about ten countries: Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Germany, France…

 

This alternative travel solution was designed to encourage the use of renewable energy. His tuk tuk tuk contained a bed and a small kitchen. He had a daily budget of 5€ for food.

 

Through his adventure, the young man hopes to inspire others and encourage them to use solar energy in their turn. It is in this idea that he nicknamed his solar tuk-tuk “Tejas” which means “brilliance” or “radiation” in Indonesian.

 

His facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ProjectTejas/posts/

 

  • The broke adventuress

Wanting to discover the world but without the means to finance her trip, 20-year-old Sarah Gysler decided to give up everything to challenge herself – a little crazy – to travel without money.

 

Thanks to the stop sign (car, boat and even plane), the unsold supermarkets, couchsurfing and the generosity of the locals, she was able to take up this challenge with flying colours. In one year, she only spent €730 (food, visa, insurance, hygiene products and 1 plane ticket mainly).

 

From Switzerland, she travelled through 32 places that allowed her to discover Europe, the Caribbean, Cancun to Panama and finally Colombia!

 

And why would you want to travel without money?

 

According to Sarah: “We have reached a stage where everything can be paid for (and everything can be bought), where we lock ourselves in our homes, where we no longer even look at our neighbour – if not to criticize or compare ourselves. I sincerely believe that gratitude – like generosity – makes people happy. »

 

You can follow the rest of her adventures on her blog: : L’aventurière fauchée.

 

  • Skiing through Antarctica without assistance

In 2014, Stéphanie and Jérémy Gicquel made the longest crossing of Antarctica on skis, without a traction sail.

 

For 74 days, with temperatures as low as -50°C, the two adventurers braved the elements to make it through Antarctica. The result: more than 2000 km covered, with a world record (the longest unassisted expedition by a woman in Antarctica).

 

It took them months to prepare this expedition: physical training, field studies, search for sponsors… Indeed, this type of trip is very dangerous, between crevasses, ice waves, cold, wind… Some unfortunately did not survive.

 

What will they have learned from it? “We come back from it simpler, less attached to material things”; “It is important never to give up on our dreams“.

 

Their website : https://runningtothepole.com/

 

  • Crossing the Americas by bike

In 2012, Etienne Théroux launched a challenge: the CycloExpedition AMERICAS.

 

The concept is simple: from Inuvik in northwestern Canada, he will cycle to Ushuaia, the southern tip of Latin America. A 30,000 km course in 2 years, linking the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.

 

His trip was to support Équiterre, an organization that promotes sustainable transportation and organic agriculture. In the end, he managed to raise $2200 for the association.

 

He decided to take steep and mountainous roads, including the Andes mountain range. Nearly 30 people joined him on a few parts of his journey to support him.

 

This adventurer is already used to such distances: he had already cycled across Canada!

 

You can follow his new adventures here : http://www.cycloexpeditionamericas.com/

 

  • Around the world on foot

It took Jean Béliveau 11 years to walk around the world.

 

Following the bankruptcy of his company, he decided to take refuge in running and then walking. The 45-year-old Canadian decided to cross almost every continent: Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania.

 

In total, he will have visited 64 countries, travelled more than 75,000 km and worn 54 pairs of shoes! His march was also intended to promote peace and non-violence for the benefit of the world’s children

 

Equipped only with a cart and a tent, and speaking only French when he left, Jean was not the most prepared.

 

No less than 1500 families hosted him: “I keep the memory of the simplicity of life. These thousands of smiles from men, women, grandfathers and grandmothers, children who received me with love in their humble homes.”

 

Find the details of his journey here : wwwalk.org

 

  • The man who has visited every country in the world

André Brugiroux is one of the greatest travellers of all time. Now 81 years old, he has travelled for more than 50 years. In total, he explored 235 countries and territories: he is one of the few people who has visited every country in the world!

 

For the first 9 years of his journey, French remained in Europe to learn English, Spanish, German and Italian. Then, using his thumb to hitchhike, he embarks on an adventure that will take him no less than 400,000 km!

 

He encountered some difficulties, such as his 7 stays in prison, when he was accused of espionage or being an air pirate for example. But his good mood (and maybe a lucky star) has always allowed him to continue his journey.

 

André Brugiroux said: Around the world is first and foremost about yourself. You have to get to know yourself before you want to get to know others.”

 

Others after him tried to visit all the countries of the world, but with a view to breaking a speed record, more than to really discover local cultures. Thus, recently, it was the American Cassie De Pecol who visited the 196 UN countries in 2 years.

 

  • Roadtrip in American schoolbus

Paul and Benoit, two childhood friends, have decided to embark on a roadtrip in South America. But these two young French people made this trip in a surprising way: they boarded an American school bus.

 

After a few months of planning to transform it into a itinerant hotel (the bus is equipped with a kitchen, a lounge, bedrooms, bathroom, roof terrace…), they left for more than a year of roadtrip in 16 countries.

 

On board this atypical bus (named Natasha), many activities are possible: paddle, mountain biking, canoeing, molki, diving… They have met the local populations, climbed Mount Huayna Potosí (over 6000 meters), or even visited the famous Machu Picchu.

 

After 60,000 km covered, and 210 travellers welcomed, they decided to transform the project into a startup: the Travelling Brigade was born.

 

You can find more information on the trips they offer to the United States directly on their website: labrigadeduvoyage.com

 

I hope these 6 examples have given you a taste for adventure! Remember one thing: anything is possible, just get started! As Lao Tzu said: “Even the longest journey begins with a first step”