It’s been a little while since I posted on here. Since the euphoria of being awarded the Bill Wallace Grant died down I’ve been busy settling into a routine of firing proposals to various companies, sending out press releases, promoting the circumnavigation on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, talking to other explorers, and in between improving both my fitness and knowledge of long-distance cycling.
Results have been mixed. Most organisations have declined to participate and getting sponsors on board has not been straightforward. I was under no illusion that this wouldn’t be the case but I had hoped for a little more success.
But not all is doom and gloom. Many people I’ve spoken to report that they have secured funding for their expeditions after they’ve set off. In some ways it makes sense; sponsors know that they’ve got the real deal and that it’s worth their time and money to get involved. Obviously that doesn’t help people from low-income backgrounds but that’s how it seems to be.
Another opportunity has also come my way. I’ve been offered a job which doubles my current salary, and I’ve decided to take it. This will let me raise the money I need initially to set off and then I’ll be able to advertise for sponsorship sans South America.
This means the Cycling South America project is temporarily on hold. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be doing any work on it; on the contrary, I’ll still be researching potential sources of funding whether that be via private sponsorship or expedition awards. I’ve returned the money given to me by the John Muir Trust but I’ll look to reapply in future.
Similarly, I’ll continue to welcome any ideas, comments and feedback that you might have – you can contact me by clicking the relevant heading above. I’m also going to set up a small travel blog which will hopefully make for interesting reading, although as I’m still busy typing up the report for the recent trip to the Baltic States I undertook earlier this year as part of the Peter Kirk European Travel Scholarship it might take a little while to get off the ground. All I can say is watch this space!
And to all those people who’ve voiced their support over the last few months I’d like to say thank you, it really is appreciated. I’m already looking forward to returning to Cycling South America soon.