Explorers Connect

Somerset to Jerusalem

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

The explorer Mark Beaumont commented on our expedition: From Somerset to Jerusalem has the making of a wonderful pilgrimage and a brilliant adventure.

I wish William tailwinds and open doors as he pedals his way across Europe, always remembering when things get tough that the best memories are made in the journey and not the destination This summer a friend and I are hoping to cycle from our Catholic School in Somerset to Jerusalem. In this expedition we hope to cycle across 14 countries, 2 continents covering some 4000 miles from Europe across into Asia and the Middle East. This trip will the youngest modern pilgrimage made to Jerusalem from Britain. We aim to live the life of a pilgrim, by living the most simplistic lifestyle raising money for our chosen charity Mary's Meals.

The trip will be exploratory; we hope to prove the notion of a modern pilgrimage by a modern generation, being only 18 years of age. After such a trip we are hoping to inspire other young people to complete their own challenges. Mary's Meals is a charity with a simple idea, they give children a meal at school, thus prevent starvation while achieving educating the children as well. I have supported this charity on numerous occasions; I raised 3000 pounds for them when becoming the youngest person to cross Iceland. See link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XHO5-2-dK8.

Two years ago at the young age of 16 my friend, William Stevenson and I walked 800 km to Santiago de Compostella raising 1200 pounds for Mary meals. During this adventure I found my love of exploration. I have walked around the Isle of Wight at the age of 14 raising 1764 pounds for water aid. As well as completing the national three peak challenge in 17.34 hours, D of E and Ten Tors. Last year as training for the youngest crossing of Iceland I ran endurance life's hardest marathon along the Exmoor coast. At the age of 17 I became the youngest person to walk across Iceland, this expedition was a huge success, and we walked 600km in 24 days to become the youngest people to ever cross Iceland by foot. During which we achieved sponsorship from Expedition foods, Lowe alpine, Terra Nova equipment and Robens. As well as being awarded the Everest Award by Young Explorers Trust. See our blog: http://www.expeditionfoods.com/blog/youngest-crossing-of-iceland-2013-by-william-white We had numerous interesting articles written on us one being by the Telegraph:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10185496/Schoolboys-aim-to-set-new-record-with-crossing-of-Iceland.html.

The 'Dream' from me is experience adventure at ground level where you are at the mercy of the local hospitality. Cycling a pilgrimage, you are travelling slowly at ground level therefore living amongst the local cultures and people, as well as having a goal and challenge to achieve. I love the simplicity of walking and cycling, when I was 16 I walked 800km to Santiago de Compostella and at 17 became the youngest person to walk across Iceland. By cycling to Jerusalem I want to expand my experiences by living the most simple life possible, sleeping rough and eating as cheaply as possible. This for me is a real pilgrimage. I want to spread this message by inspiring others to conquer their own challenges and inspire other young people to adventure. Tom Allen commented:Simple, minimal and timeless this will be a rite of passage and inspiration to others.

At such a young age this expedition will be truly inspiring and challenging. It is the start of progressive, more imaginative and challenging expeditions to come. This expedition captivates the imagination and ethos of adventure. It is not organised by an organisation but by two teenagers who want adventure and fun in a wild and captivating countries. I would like to thank our sponsors, their interest and support has been greatly appreciated. They include, Thule, Tubus, Endura, Answer products, Ultimate Sports Engineering, Abus, Fi'zi:k and Seal Skinz. I will be posting pictures, videos and written reviews of their equipment after the adventure.