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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Travel
  
  
  
 
The Worlds Most Intrepid Traveller? by gwdaley on 24 October 2006 9:51pm
 
I have recently met and been helping a man who I think deserves far more attention. Hence my writing.

A quick profile - his name is Choi Chang-hyun, he is a 41 year old South Korean who has severe cerebral palsy and has very limited use of his limbs and is confined to a mouth operated wheel chair. He also suffers from very itchy feet! So despite his disabilities he travels - a lot! And he does so just with a young friend driving with him in a van who has to tend to all of his needs and the logistics of the trip. What is more he has very little money (typical backpacker) and sleeps where he can, in churches, fire stations, police stations or in kind local peoples homes, failing that he sleeps in the back of his van. He flies very little seeing the countries he travels through from the ground (which I think Mr Palin will appreciate a great deal), actually travelling from one place to the next in his wheelchair.

In the last few years he has crossed the USA, coast to coast. He has travelled the Korean Peninsular north to south and made his way through the Japanese Islands. A total of 11,000km all whilst sat in his wheelchair piloting it at a tidy speed with his mouth. He is currently attempting a World Record 22,000km journey through Europe - which I hope the Guinness Book of Records will ratify but which I fear they wont (Anyone who can help here please do!)

I met him after his arrival into the UK near Dover and helped him over the last few days with as much help and advice as I could for travel here in England. When I met him he was around half way through his trip having begun in Athens, Greece and over the following five months he had made his way through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Northern France. (Perhaps you saw him?)

He will now pass through the UK and Ireland before returning to finish off the rest of Europe - a total of 30 countries by May next year. I know it may not sound so impressive but look out for him if you live in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Ireland - if you meet him you will appreciate just how determined and courageous he is. Despite the rain, the cold nights, the many problems he faces he is full of enthusiasm and joy. Despite the dangers he faces and the lack of resources that he has, I gave him a raincoat for travel in England since he didnt have one - a real oversight when travelling in England in October, and the fact that tonight undoubtedly he is sleeping on the floor in the back of his van (not really easy for someone with CP) after a hard days travel he will wake tomorrow full of enthusiasm and happiness.

Surely the World's most intrepid traveller!

If you see him give him a wave, have a chat with him if you can and support him anyway that you can. He needs as much help as we can give. All through his recent travels in Europe he has received much help and encouragement and I hope that this will continue in the UK and later in Southern Europe.

He has a website www.brightfutureman.com worth a visit especially if you read Korean (Wish I could!) which he uses to raise awareness of the potential of disabled people and looks only to meet people and continue eating up those miles.

One more thing to the webmaster or Mr Palin himself (I wonder if you crossed paths in Eastern Europe this summer?) he fosters an ambition to get on the world famous BBC. So any strings that can be pulled...

If you see him lend him some help and also post a message it will be great if we can get behind him during his trip.

And if anyone else knows of other similar forums where I could post this message to raise awareness for him please let me know.
 
Re: The Worlds Most Intrepid Traveller? by suzulu on 25 October 2006 5:26pm
 
What an amazing and courageous man! I wish him luck and if I see him on his travels, I will certainly lend him a hand.
 
Re: The Worlds Most Intrepid Traveller? by tucsonmike on 26 October 2006 7:54am
 
What an amazing gentleman. I would help him any way I could.
 



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