A visit from adventurer Charlie Walker
Sixth Form pupils were inspired by Charlie Walker who motivated students to; “Get out there, and do what you want!” with his retelling of his 43,000 mile adventure across the world by bicycle.
Charlie began the adventure after finding himself unhappy in his job, and so decided to follow his childhood interest in maps and allow his curiosity of exploration to take the leap into beginning his four year adventure. He began by saving, and then purchasing a second hand bike off Ebay, along with some camping gear, with the intention of keeping costs low by cycling his way across the globe and wild camping off-road along the way.
Charlie’s perseverance to keep going (despite the blisters, a sickness with Malaria, only a small tent for shelter, and some gruelling weather conditions which included a -33 degree trek across the Tibetan Plateau) is an attitude he was evidently proud of and wanted to encourage students to have this same outlook. He emphasised that this very attitude even helped him out of a near-death-experience whereby he was lost and alone in a blizzard. It was Charlie’s resilience to keep pushing himself for another 30 minutes, at a time when all he wanted to do was give up, that led him to eventually find shelter.
Not only did Charlie learn the importance of perseverance, but he also learnt never to prejudge. He was continually humbled by the reoccurrence's of kindness and generosity shown to him throughout his trip from the many different countries and cultures he passed, particularly from his time in Iran where he was welcomed into family homes for the night, and offered food and dinner by drivers on the roadside.
The experiences on his epic journey have led Charlie not only to undertake more journeys, but to inspire generations like our very own QEH Sixth Formers to never give up, and the importance of taking things step by step.
Charlie kept his focus on his own happiness and his determination enabled what was just a journey he began on a whim to actually happen. He concluded the talk by advising the Sixth Formers to ask themselves what makes them happy and what do they care about, to begin them on a journey of their own.