AN EPIC bike ride through south-east Asia has been described as an ‘out-of-body experience’.
Tom Walters, 30, from Southsea, took time out from his job at Chichester College to cycle 2,100 miles for three weeks from Hanoi, in Vietnam, to Singapore.
“It’s incredibly strange being back,” said Tom, who completed the ride with his friend Morgan Calton to raise awareness and money for mental health charity Mind. He said it felt like they had been gone a lot longer than just three weeks.
“I keep saying the same thing. When you’re cycling it’s not like when you’re on holiday and you might snooze – when you’re cycling you’re living every single second.”
He described the challenge as ‘500 times harder than I thought it was going to be’.
“It was like an out-of-body experience most of the time,” he said. “You’re aware of your surroundings but you’re not at the same time and everything seems to be going in slow motion.”
Temperatures were over 45°C while the pair were riding and they started their challenge in March.
Arriving back in the UK last Friday, Tom said getting over the jetlag had been the hardest thing before he returned to work at the college on Tuesday.
Both Morgan and Tom have spoken previously about the bouts of anxiety and depression they have gone through as a result of family bereavements.
The pair believe the power of exercise can be a major force for good in tackling mental health issues and wanted to lead by example.
Along the way, they faced severe exhaustion, humidity, dehydration and were even chased by packs of wild dogs more than 60 times.
Go to www.mindovermatteruk.wordpress.com to read their blog of the journey.