When he was 19, Ed Wade-Martins spent a few years living in Africa. That experience has led him back on numerous occasions. Recently he started feeling like he was living his life in a little bubble. He craved some adventure, although his job as creative arts facilitator in schools and communities was quite interesting. And so in September 2011, he set out on a 10,000 km ride on his bicycle. The objective was to raise funds for the Fresh Start Foundation in Gambia.
For Ed, our consumerist society has turned us into disempowered beings. He sees cycling as a very empowering activity and that’s the reason why he chose to hop on his bike and cycle all the way from England to Mali. His journey included cycling through France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and other countries.
The route he chose was musically enticing and he planned on learning from this diversity.
Ed’s company Movingsounds is all about creativity and empowerment through music. In fact, there was one school whose students tracked his entire journey. Ed kept them updated by posting pictures in a blog where he answered students’ questions about his trip.
The journey required a lot of faith because most of the time Ed had no idea where he would sleep, what the weather would be like, or what he could encounter along the way. The entire trip took four months to complete but Ed saw it as an opportunity to grow because he believes that travel changes people.
Ed made sure to take his guitar along to keep himself entertained as he enjoyed the views. Well, that was until his epic crash.
Ironically, people kept warning him about the next country, telling him to be careful. But according to Ed, people just kept getting nicer and nicer the farther he went. He met people who willingly taught him what they knew and even offered him a place to sleep.
Before heading into the desert by himself, Ed took a few days off to enjoy the beach and relax