‘Sustainability is the real sexy’ says Teresie Hommersand, who is about to go on a journey that will take her across the continents of Africa and Europe on her bicycle.
Today’s crowdfunding adventurers are thinking up completely new ways to be inspired. They intertwine their passions with their everyday lives. They work with their community to achieve big goals. And, they don’t stop until they create the change they want to see.
We met with one of May’s crowdufnding moneyboxes, created by the inspirational Teresie Hommersand, to find out what has driven her to lose her car and live life in the fast lane, only on her bicycle.
Why did you move to South Africa?
Because of Devil’s Peak! For my Bachelor’s Degree’s semester study abroad, I was torn between going to Ghana, Uganda and South Africa. The only ‘research’ I did to get clarity in terms of where to go was looking up UCT online. The first picture I saw on their website was of Jameson Hall and of an impressive and alluring mountain in the background – Devil’s Peak! I was sold. And once I got here, it was difficult to leave. The original 6 months have now turned into 6 years in the Mother City.
How far and how long is your cycling trip going to be?
According to Google Maps, it’s about 17,400 km. However, I am sure I can easily add a few hundred ks as I won’t always take the highway and there must be some turns on my route that Google does not know of. I’ve worked out that I will spend about a year cycling from Cape Point to the North Cape in Norway, averaging 50-60 km per day. Luckily, I have no obligations back in Norway, so there are no time constraints. I do not know if that is a good or a bad thing. I’ll have to find a balance between making progress on the road, but also just enjoying the journey as this is after all a once in a lifetime experience.
What do you expect to see and experience along the way?
I am expecting to have the best time of my life! And the worst. Haha. A friend of mine that cycled from Cairo to Cape Town said he had his ‘highest highs’ and ‘lowest lows’ on his trip, sometimes during the course of a day. So I’m likely to have moments of bursting happiness and moments of wishing myself far away from what I’m doing. But overall, I know this will be an incredible experience. I am so looking forward to random, spontaneous meetings with people. Ending up in the most unlikely places. Being completely open. Enjoying and being grateful for the small things. I might be scared from time to time. Maybe in meeting wild animals!
What do you want the people who are crowdfunding your adventure to know about supporting you?
This whole thing started with me wanting to reduce my carbon footprint by cutting back on my activities that pollutes the most. I found that flying was my single most pollutive activity. I therefore decided to try to the best of my ability not to fly. This was back in 2012 and I have not flown on an airplane since.
I’m originally from Norway, and now that I have decided to cycle instead of flying back home, I would also like to contribute to a sustainable planet en route. I’m doing two super cool things!! First, I am screening films for people I meet along the way, using a solar cinema! A solar panel powered projector! The screenings will be a mix of fun movies to entertain, and entertaining movies about locally relevant environmental and climate change issues to exchange knowledge, raise further awareness and inspire people to take action. Central to this are the ways everyone can contribute to solving these challenges in their contexts.Secondly, I am raising funds for two projects close to my heart. Pssst! See next question for the juicy deets!
I would love the help of the Candystick community, to finance key parts of this project, hence making this dream and incredible project possible! Donations will help me get a bicycle between my legs, a tent above my head, a sleeping bag to keep me warm, a Wilderness First Aid Course in my back pocket, the solar cinema parts and money for the boarder crossings. This is my dream and in making it happen I hope to also inspire other people on my journey to care for and take action for our greatest asset, our environment, and to realize that sustainability is the real sexy.
As a token of my appreciation, I will engrave the name, of all those who helped me crowdfund, on The Wall of Fame on my website! It details an unique club of men and women who are making this project possible. What more is, I am taking everyone with me on my journey – in the form of a tree! For each donation, I am planting a tree.
What organisation/s are you riding for? Where can we find out more about these charities?
I’m raising funds for two awesome projects along the way, run by MyClimate, Eco2librium and TakaTaka Solutions! Key words i) curbing of deforestation and conserving biodiversity by fuel efficient cooking stoves and preventing and reducing dumping of household waste in nature and Nairobi city by recycling. Both projects chosen because they mitigate climate change (yay!) and have economic and health benefits for families and communities.
Learn more and donate to the formidable work these guys are doing here: http://cape-to-kapp.com/pick-one-take-part/
What tips do you have for people who want to change their habits and lifestyle to become more environmentally friendly?
Look at your lifestyle. Which of your activities pollutes the most? Is it your diet? Your flights? Your car? Choose one thing (at a time) that you want to change. Challenge yourself in making your choice. Changing a habit is usually challenging at first, regardless of what the change is. Once the new habit is established, there’s no more extra effort required. It becomes a breeze. Also, see the opportunities that comes with your choice!
‘Now I’m reducing my number of flights. I get to go on a once in a lifetime cycle adventure!’ or ‘Now I am cutting down on my red meat. I get to do a vegetarian cooking course, impressing the guy next door I’m crushing on, ending up eating my veg lasagne off his stomach’. Caring for the environment is fun – be creative!
Find out more about Teresie’s journey to crowdfund her trip from South African to Norway here: https://candystick.co.za/c/cycling-south-africa-to-norway