In the third edition of our ‘ alumni spotlight’ we’re speaking to Chris, from our very first year of cycle tours with the Wild Wild West gang.
1. What tour did you go on?
Wild Wild West 2008, the first year Otesha began their cycle tours in the UK.
2. What were your tour highs and lows?
Ah. Tis too far away now to clearly remember. A low was that most of the cycle team became ill at some point on tour and had to struggle on even so. We also had only three days of sunshine over the whole five week tour which was also tough! A high was skinny dipping in the freezing sea somewhere off the Welsh coast.
3. Briefly, what have you been up to since the tour?
Since the tour I spent eight months in India mostly learning how to teach Yoga. I then returned to the UK and did my conventional classroom teacher training and then spent three years teaching Religious Studies in a secondary school in London. During the summer holidays I became involved in our UK festival culture and now run Upcycle and am involved in the production of Cloud Cuckoo Land festival.
4. Tell us a bit more about Upcycle.
Upcycle is the most exciting work for me. We provide the Eco-Rangers and a Free Shop to small, environmentally conscious festivals. Its creative, dynamic and energising work and the project thrives on the enthusiasm of teams of brilliant volunteers. Each summer we visit four or five carefully chosen festivals and we’re looking out for volunteers at the moment. If you’re interested to work then please see our website (www.up-cycle.org.uk) for more information or e-mail me (email@example.com) with any questions.
5. What impact has the Otesha tour had on you?
The tour gave me a huge sense of adventure and confidence to follow my dreams. Meeting the other cyclists and sharing so much passion and love for life has stayed with me since. I’ve also been on four or five cycle tours, having had the safe experience with Otesha. I felt well prepared to create my own adventures on a bicycle.
6. Are you still involved with Otesha and how?
7. What advice would you give to new tour members?
Dream big and share your passion with other tour members. So much can come out of the connections made on tour.