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"There are not many better things to do with your life"

Tuesday 02 April 2019

"There are not many better things to do with your life"


An islander with a penchant for adventure has vowed to take on an epic 25,000-mile journey around the globe on his bike, in a bid to raise money for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s overseas work, and encourage others to follow their dream.

Two years after walking the length of Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats for Durrell, Patryk Kucza will embark on a whole new challenge across four continents in aid of the charity.

He will be visiting the 10 rewilding sites outlined in Durrell’s Rewild Our World conservation strategy. Starting from the coast of Jersey, his journey will take him across Europe, down to the tropical islands of Mauritius and Madagascar, then across the grasslands and rainforests of India and Sumatra. 

From there, Pat will travel down through Australia before catching a flight to South America to see Durrell’s work on Floreana in the Galapagos Islands. He will then travel to the forests of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean before visiting the rainforests of Brazil and then flying to Portugal to pedal his way back up to St. Malo.

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Pictured: Patryk walked the length of Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats for Durrell in 2017.

The 26-year-old cycling enthusiast is no stranger to challenging endeavours, having previously cycled 13,000 miles across the Northern Hemisphere in 2016 as well as 1,200 miles between St. Malo and Poland, his native country, a feat he says is much simpler than people realise. 

“I have always cycled. I grew up riding BMX bikes,” Pat says, adding that he soon combined his love for cycling with his passion for travelling.

After finishing uni, he planned on travelling in a van but, after seeing pictures of people cycling and camping, he was inspired to do the same. 

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Pictured: Patryk is a keen cyclist, having covered 13,000 miles across the Northern Hemisphere in 2016.

With his biggest and most exciting adventure to date, Pat hopes to raise money for Durrell, where he volunteers, as well as awareness for the work they do and their ‘Rewild our World’ strategy, which he described as a “pretty cool initiative.”

“Durrell wants to get 1 million people better connect with nature,” Pat said. “If you are connected to the environment around you, you start caring about it more, you relate to it.”

“I have always preferred animals to people,” Pat adds. “When camping, I feel much safer being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by animals, than I would in a big city surrounded by humans. Human is the animal you need to look out for.”

 

While he is self-funding most his trip, which will take 18 months to complete, Pat is looking for sponsors to help fund his flights to the remote islands of Mauritius, Madagascar and Saint Lucia. He is also encouraging people to donate money to Durrell, which celebrated its 60thanniversary this week, or to become a member.

“That’s the best way to help Durrell,” Pat says. “You can do so by donating as little as £5 a month.”

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Pictured: Patryk will take everything he needs for the trip on his bike.

With the departure date approaching - he will be leaving on 20 September, on the 500th anniversary of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan setting sail on the first full trip around the world – Pat is itching to go.

Having planned his route carefully, border to border, taking account current conflicts and possible travel restrictions, and with the experience accumulated in his previous trips, the young adventurer is not at all fazed by the scale of this new challenge. “It’s nothing I haven’t done before, only on a larger scale” Pat says.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

I was recently asked if I do any training, sensible question with a 20,000+ mile bike ride coming up. I don’t and I never have. Training sounds like a chore and normally comes with a whole bunch of nerdy stuff like paying attention to your cadence and all sorts of other shit that doesn’t really mean anything... // What I do instead is just cycle everywhere. I have done for so long it’s just the way I get to places now. To make it more enjoyable and to step up the weekly mileages I just find longer, more scenic routes to places. It turns commuting into the best part of my day and even a lazy day includes about an hour and a half on the bike. // If anyone’s considering any fitness related New Year’s resolutions, I’d recommend a similar approach rather than picking which gym you’ll pay for and never go to... // #cycling #commute #goprouk #hero7 #hypersmooth #jerseyci #newyear #fitness #training #ride

A post shared by PAT (@patjersey) onDec 27, 2018 at 10:30am PST

 

While his main goal is to raise funds and awareness of Durrell, Pat hopes his crazy journey will inspire more people to do what they dream of doing.

“So many people want to do so many things they never do. There’s a quote from T.E. Lawrence that I really like – ‘All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.’– I think it’s really cool. 

“I want to act out my dreams. Life is short. Tomorrow I will wake up and be 80 and be too old. There are not many better things to do with your life. I want to encourage people to go out there and do their own thing, it’s really simple.”  

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