Cycling from Europe to Asia for differently-abled children – Nón lá Project
Marriage is a journey of two people promising to spend their whole lives together. But here we have Khanh Nguyen and Thibault Clemenceau, who took this journey to a whole new level by Cycling from Europe to Asia.
The couple decided to cycle from Europe to Asia, 16,000km to raise funds for differently-abled children, supporting the NGO “Poussieres de Vie”. This NGO helps young kids from poor families to get education and skills, and have jobs when they are old and capable enough.
The Nón lá Project
Interesting name, isn’t it? They took it straight from the Vietnamese culture, where the farmers can be seen traditionally wearing conical hats, called nón lá! The couple says that “It symbolizes for us the end of our incredible journey: Vietnam. It also carries with it the values of Vietnamese farmers which will be our guides during our trip. The values are courage, endurance, and solidarity with others”. The project has become a highly inspirational campaign and is being recognized across the world, as the news is spreading rapidly.
Raising funds for “Poussieres de Vie”
The term “Poussieres de Vie” literally translates to the “dust of life” in English. The NGO promotes stability of change in the lives of differently-abled children of Vietnam. Their project is a great opportunity for them to organize a campaign for which they plan to raise 1$ for each kilometer they cycle. 100% of their raised funds will go directly to “Poussieres de Vie”! This charity drive using bicycles is going to be a great help.
From France to Vietnam with love!
The journey took a go from Thibault’s hometown Vendee, Western France on the 16th of April, 2019. Since then they have been cycling for more than three months to reach the destination: Ho Chi Minh City. Well, cycling from Europe to Asia in just three months is again commendable!
“This trip is not simply a walk; we hope that every kilometer of the journey will raise one USD to help the disadvantaged children in Ho Chi Minh City”, said Khanh Nguyen. To add more to their adventure, the couple took the roads of the mountains by bicycle with the utter joy of enjoying the scenic views on the go!
According to Thibault, mountain roads might be more tiresome. But they are safer as the fast-moving cars are almost nowhere to be found. The highest mountain they conquered by bicycle was 1,419m. The average the couple rides 50 km/ day, but if the day is supportive, it can reach 90-100 km. Crazy, right!
Not just this, the couple went through eight countries and more than 4,000 km on their bikes. The visa is done in the form of a “rolling book”, which is basically going where you please to avoid time pressure, applying for the visa as they go. If they face the dangers on terrain, they take the train. They are planning to finish their journey by next March.
Usually, they stay the night at locations known among the international cycling communities. However, sometimes they have to pitch their tent outdoors at the freezing cold temperatures of minus 3-4 degrees Celsius.
Where it all began
Thibault, 29 years old, was born in France. Being a super big bicycle fan, he has already done a 4,000km trip along with his younger brother in Europe. He met Nguyen in Saigon (Vietnam) where he was settled for work being a Business Development Manager in a French company.
Nguyen (born in Vietnam) had no experience in cycling before meeting Thibault, but here they are now! After meeting in 2015, the couple got married in 2018, in Vietnam as well as in France! The cross-cultural love story doesn’t only make us go “aww”, but inspire us to bring a change as well. The couple calls this whole journey their ‘Honeymoon Trip’, where they will try best to travel wearing, or at least carrying the “nón lá” hat for as much as they can to symbolize their campaign.
The couple has become pretty popular since then, by gaining many followers and supporters across the globe. You would definitely want to see someone working for a change, by doing it their own way. When asked what was the best part about the trip they said, “incredible people we have met all the way and especially in Iran. We have met so many incredible people who opened their houses for us, cooked incredible dinners, etc “
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