But 21 year-old George Placidi has stepped it up another level and is embarking on a gap year adventure with a difference.
After a year working in Oz, George has decided to ditch 21st century transport to get back home and put foot to pedal, cycling 25,000 kilometres to raise money for us.
Yes you did hear us right. George is going to CYCLE back to England…
It will be a trip like no other for George as he cycles across mountain ranges, deserts and through some of the toughest terrains in the world to get here.
He has already begun this epic journey, jumping on his bike in Auckland, New Zealand, which will be his main form of transport for the next year. He made his way to the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island, before flying to Hong Kong. As we speak he is riding through China to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and India.
He will then hop on a plane to Turkey and cycle through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, France before finally ending his trip back in the UK.
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just thinking about it!
“I've spent the last year working and travelling in Australia. My visa had come to an end, meaning I had to return to England, so I decided to do what any sane 21 year old would do...make my way home using the good old fashioned bicycle!”
“This is going to be a trip of a lifetime and I am going to experience countries in a way that you just can't do by public transport.”
Meningitis Now is George's chosen charity following his best friend, and one of our Young Ambassadors, Mat Johnstone's experience with meningococcal group Y in November 2010.
“I'm choosing to raise money for Meningitis Now as the charity supported Mat and his family though every stage of his illness. Also to raise the profile of meningitis and its symptoms - Mat's illness could have been spotted much earlier with raised awareness amongst the public and health care professionals.”
When we spoke to Mat about Georges plans he took the words right out of our mouth - “I can't believe he is doing it!! He is crazy isn't he!!”
But what can we say? George’s plan is incredible and we can’t wait to hear more of his updates along the way, along with some snaps and video's of his challenge. It will be both emotionally and physically tough, taking a lot of strength, grit and determination, so good luck George!!!
If you’d like to sponsor George, visit his Just Giving Page at www.justgiving.com/George-Placidi
Mat was unable to move or feel anything from the waist down after contracting meningitis and required intensive physio therapy to get sensation and movement back in his lower limbs. Mat has improved significantly and is now able to walk and do the things he loves, such as play sports, once again.