Joseph Thomas and Katie Moss are in the middle of cycling from Vietnam to Nepal through seven countries, but their journey is not your typical long-distance cycle touring adventure. It’s a deliberate, socially aware exploration to publicise social initiatives in two fields: sustainable energy and the education of women and girls.
Adventure Uncovered recently caught up with the couple in Thailand, ahead of their border crossing into Myanmar, with a full feature planned to coincide with their homecoming in July.
After two years working in London, Katie and Joseph knew it was time for something different. To engage in a new kind of travel experience, with a purpose, to a region they had no familiarity with and was changing rapidly.
What immediately struck me (energy, enthusiasm and openness aside) was their unwavering desire to be useful during their trip, and not a burden, to meet with social enterprises and charities along the way and genuinely understand the challenges being faced. Katie explains, “Our initial idea was to link the journey with the Sustainable Development Goals and share information. Planning the trip was sequential by nature and organically evolved over a six-month period.”
Using previous skills gained in cleantech and the civil service, combined with new knowledge acquired during the trip, they hope to leave a social impact legacy and build and develop a platform based on ‘collective responsibility’, as individual countries and nation states no longer live in isolation: we are one global community.
Through mixed terrains of mountains, flat floodplains, potholes and smooth, paved roads, often camping on their limited budget, Katie and Joseph cycle 85km days on average in 6-day chunks (5 days on, 1 day off), sometimes in gruelling humidity. Joseph highlighted one of the main challenges, “It’s not your typical adventure or holiday, the main challenge is documenting everything along the way, as we’re always busy due to the nature and scope of the project with time, budget and weather constraints.” The latter a deadline to get into Nepal before the monsoon arrives.