Earlier this 12 months, 23-year-old Kasia Szewczyk was chosen because the recipient of the 2012 Bicycle Touring Professional Journey Scholarship and was given $500 USD to assist her make her bicycle tour, from Spain to Turkey, a actuality. Not solely is Kasia planning to journey by herself from Spain to Turkey (a formidable feat in and of itself), however she can be hoping to make use of her bicycle tour as an opportunity to lift greater than $10,000 CAD for the non-profit group, World Literacy Canada, who will then use the cash she raises to show folks in India learn how to learn and write.
I’ve requested Kasia to share some details about her upcoming bicycle tour and her makes an attempt at elevating cash for the WLC. That is what she needed to say:
It’s been a really busy time to date in Barcelona. I haven’t performed something “touristy,” apart from taking the vacationer bus the primary day from the airport to town core – Plaza Catalunya. I’ve, nevertheless, a reasonably good information of the ebook, bike, sport and tenting shops within the metropolis to not point out a spare period of time spent within the metro commuting to varied properties and assembly locations to purchase second-hand gear from the locals. It’s alarming how briskly I’m studying, and liking, this European metropolis.
Other than recovering from jet lag through the first few days, I’ve been operating on spare hours of sleep caught on the fly as I seize a felafel wrap on my approach again “residence” (my good friend’s residence the place I’m at present dwelling) to reap the benefits of fixed and high-speed WIFI… to repeatedly promote the Trip to Learn occasion. If I’ve a spare hour or two I go to the native health club, the place a pleasant worker is letting me train totally free, to exhaust myself foolish – in hopes that it’ll make me stronger for the journey.
If time had been expressed in how it’s felt – this era in Barcelona could be categorised as a month. Because it stands, nevertheless; it has formally been one week.
Don’t get me fallacious – I’m actually having fun with this whirlwind of occasions. Being so absolutely devoted to 1 challenge is refreshing and, doubtlessly, very rewarding. Nevertheless, as I, and my trusted challenge assistant Stefani, work away onerous on selling the Trip to Learn, sending endless emails and making fixed phone calls to varied firms and organizations, in search of sponsorship and help, creating leaflets and posters… I’ve my moments of doubt.
I suppose it’s regular to really feel this while you’ve invested a lot power, time, emotion and cash in a single challenge. There are moments once I really feel deep down that every one of my efforts shall be rewarded and that this journey shall be not solely a biking however a fund-raising success as effectively. I see photographs of myself receiving the long-awaited e-mail – “we’ve reached our purpose!” the display screams at me in enormous numbers – and I fist-pump the air for the success that this implies for everybody, for all that we’re working for. Out of the blue, there isn’t any soreness in my thighs, or again or neck – I might bike for hours, days and weeks with out stopping! Nothing on the earth can take the smile off my face. I envision the staff at World Literacy Canada in Toronto high-fiving one another and cheering.
Then there are moments once I doubt my bodily functionality and I doubt our supporters capability to return by for us to lift the hoped-for quantity: $10,000 CAD. It’s each a frightening and symbolic quantity. For a millionaire – our hoped for sum is sort of as trivial as the price of a Starbucks espresso. Alternatively, the 5 figures for anybody scraping by an existence is a imply sum of cash. Be it what it might, it’s our Trip to Learn purpose, and we gained’t again down from it.
However what if we’re all, merely put, absorbed in our personal lives and don’t care in any respect for others and their welfare? What if the ugly reality is that you would be able to’t depend on anybody besides your self? At this level, are you sighing with resolve or shaking your head, like me, as a result of you may’t bear to simply accept that perspective?
The query that Bicycle Touring Professional would love answered earlier than I go away on my trans-European bicycle fund-raising journey is the next: What do I hope to attain with my journey?
I really feel that this can be a three-fold reply.
Firstly, for myself, I hope to reach protected and sound, and in wonderful biking situation, to Istanbul, Turkey. I hope to be taught as a lot on the highway as I’m studying now in making ready for it, to make significant connections with people who I meet and to remain linked to everybody following the Trip nearly, whether or not by the weblog, Fb and/or Twitter. I need them to benefit from the journey, and all of its adventures and sweetness, with me.
Secondly, for the Trip to Learn staff, I hope to attain our purpose of $10,000 CAD and to have that substantial sum go in direction of the literacy and teaching programs run by World Literacy Canada in India. I hope that this funding will give WLC its wanted increase after having lately acquired main cuts, this 12 months their CIDA funding from the Canadian authorities was not renewed. I need this journey to be a fund-raising success for everybody concerned, and for supporters to understand the goodness and helpfulness of their donations and for these recipients of the India packages, within the majority girls and kids dwelling in poverty, to benefit from the present of literacy and training.
Thirdly, I hope for an inspiring, worldwide success story – might this Trip to Learn be a platform for us all to attach and are available collectively for a typical trigger, no matter our nationalities, beliefs or walks of life. Might or not it’s a affirmation of individuals coming collectively to assist folks; proving to one another that it may be performed.
That, pricey supporters, is what I hope to attain with – and for – the Trip to Learn.
To be taught extra about Kasia’s Trip To Learn bicycle tour (and to make a donation to her trigger), please see the web site at: http://ridetoread.wordpress.com