(By Mikael Strandberg) "I started my dream, cycling around the world, in July 2007 in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. I crossed the Americas all the way down to Ushuaia in Argentina" , the Israeli long distance cyclist Roei Jinji Sadan tells ExWeb from China; "From Ushuaia, I took a flight to Cape Town and cycled all the way up to northern Ethiopia. Again, I flew to Spain and I have since, cycled to the sea of China. All together 5 continents and 56 000 kilometers."
Emuna and the reason to cycle the world
Three and half years on a bicycle named Emuna, which is the Hebrew word for faith. You´ve got to have faith when youre doing this kind of a journey. But why see the world on a bicycle? The answer is to be found on Roei´s blog:
"I think that in a life there are no shortcuts to a place thats worth going to. Cycling is the best way to see the world; you feel a part of the road. No noise of a machine. You can hear the locals shouting hello from the side of the road. there´s no glass separating me and the road. Cycling is not too fast for me to stop when you see some place that look interesting and not too slow too feel that Im always moving. Being alone but not feeling lonely, always making contact with the locals and learning from them. There are many things that we dont know about our neighbours in the world and some things that look normal to us (electricity, running water and more) are not so normal to others. I think that a bicycle is a good device or a tool to enter others and my heart."
Somali bandits and robbed at gun point
The most dangerous part of his trip, was crossing the northern part of Kenya, infested with Somali bandits, shifta, wild animals like lions, elephants and hyena.
"On a trip like this everything can happen" , Roei says; "But that is part of the adventure, isn´t it? The only problems I have really had was getting hit by a car twice. I was lucky to survive. And I got robbed at gun point in Mexico and had a bad type of malaria in Mozambique."
Crossing the Darien Gap
For Roei meeting people is the most important reason for travelling. Especially children. He has visited many schools along the road and the greatest reward of his journey, is the one he gets when he sees students getting inspired by his trip. And for this reason, he doesn´t want to take too big risks. When I asked him if he had crossed the infamous Darien Gap, a piece of virgin jungle and swamps, which separate Colombia and Panama, he answered:
"I took a boat from Panama City to Cartagena in Colombia. I don´t have a death wish. My life is too important to me and I have to set an example for future generations by showing that it is more important to live and not die."
An ambassador for Israel
His journey has changed his perspective not only on himself, but also being Israeli.
"I look at my country in a way I didn´t do before I set off 2007.Mainly by looking at Israel through other people´s eyes and their perception of my country. And it is a positive picture I get from them. I try to give people I meet another image than the one they get through media. I see myself as an ambassador and hopefully give people the idea that all Israelis are not either orthodox or have a gun. It is never to late to change people´s opinion about things."
When Roei has finished his journey he wants to write a book and lecture to inspire young children.
Roei Sadan is a young Israeli who has spent three years in the army and since 2007, he has cycled around the world. He has right now reached the Sea of China.
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