Flight cancellations left thousands of people across the world completely stranded, but one international student didn’t let it stop him going home.
In light of the ongoing health crisis, flights ground to a halt, which left 20-year-old student Kleon Papadimitriou stuck in Scotland where he studies at the University of Aberdeen.
Kleon was supposed to be flying back to Greece but found his three attempts of booking a flight were cancelled.
Determined to still make it home, he decided to embark on the 2,175-mile route by bike instead – can you imagine the saddle sore?
The trip took Kleon 48 days to complete, which he started on May 10 equipped with canned sardines, peanut butter and bread, a sleeping bag, a tent and equipment for his bike.
Speaking about the journey that he initially dubbed a ‘pipe dream’, Kleon said to CNN:
It’s just now dawning on me how big of an achievement this was and I did learn a lot of things about myself, about my limits, about my strengths and my weaknesses. And I’d say I really hope that the trip inspired at least one more person to go out of their comfort zone and try something new, something big.
[…] As a relatively introverted person, I was forced to kind of get out of my comfort zone in the sense that if I did not do some things, I would not have a place to stay, I would not have water. It forced me to kind of have those interactions and reach out.
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A 4.100kms trip needs a light packing🎒 My goal is to travel from Aberdeen🇬🇧 to Athens🇬🇷 by #bike 🚲 during #lockdown as a ray of hope to all of you! Follow my trip and #staytuned for my adventures… . . . #kleonbike #worldbycycling #biketour #biketravel #bikepacker #bikewander #worldbybike #cyclingboy #pedaljourneys #biketouring #bikepacking #roadslikethese #bikeeurope #cyclingeurope #bikelife #bikepacking #bikepackinglife
His father gave him one condition for the trip which was to set up an app that would allow the family to track Kleon’s progress. He also documented his journey on Instagram.
The 20-year-old cycled anything from 35 to 75 miles a day, firstly crossing through England and then through the Netherlands. Kleon then passed through Germany, Austria and Italy before he took a boat to the Greek port of Patras where he then cycled home to Athens.
Kleon safely arrived home June 27 where we was welcomed by family and dozens of friends, as well as total strangers who had been tracking his progress.
Speaking about finally making it home, he said:
It was very emotional. Coming from a family from two parents that were very adventurous in their younger years, seeing me kind of follow in their footsteps, I think is very emotional to them and obviously gives me a lot of meaning. But I think if anything, they felt relief.
I’m sure his parents weren’t the only ones to be relieved he’d finished his 2,000+ mile ride. Happy resting, Kleon!
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