Vedangi Kulkarni recently became the youngest woman to have circumnavigated the world on bicycle. It took her 160 days to pedal 29000km, across 14 countries. She was 19 when she started, and 20 when she finished, celebrating her 20th birthday around the halfway point in Canada. Most of her journey was solo and unsupported.
Vedangi in her own words:
My childhood was a lot about my parents and I travelling out and about through every summer/winter break. I used to write poems and short stories. My father encouraged me to explore the outdoors- mountains and sea, from his own travel experiences. From tying a rope between the safety door and gymnastic rod, experimenting with valley crossing in our own house to creating an Everest out of the high end of a wall, and mountains in the vicinity, my father has been a rockstar in my adventurous upbringing.
Of course, my school played a major role too. Although I didn’t have many friends as a kid, I definitely had an outdoorsy spirit and schools’s extra-curricular activities made sure that I spent more time with the like-minded, doing things that I really loved.
But when, as a 17 year old, I decided to cycle across the Himalayan passes, my perspective towards the world really changed. It was truly exciting, and I felt the most confident when putting myself through tough situations or getting better at pushing my previous limits. The harder it got, the better I felt, and the better I felt, the more I wanted to push myself further into any challenge.
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How her journey into cycling and adventure started
Moving to the UK at 18
Finding it hard to make friends
Being inspired by Juliana Buhring
Deciding to cycle around the world
How the adventures went wrong
Planning expeditions for others
Her passion for the outdoors and getting inspired by her father
Being inspired to dream bigger
Cycling 800 km across the Himalayas at 17
Falling in love with the outdoors
Female role models growing up
Wanting to become text book worthy
Getting exposed to bike packing in the UK
The planing and preparation for her round the world cycle ride
Wanting to film the expedition
The biggest issue with getting visa’s
Having to start in Australia due to visa issues
Canada and the grizzly bear
The end of her record challenge for time in Spain
Dealing with concussion
Losing her confidence
Getting her performance back
What’s happening with the film/documentary
Thinking about cycling around the world again…
Launching an adventure planning crash course
Wanting to make adventure accessible
Starting a youtube channel
Final words of advice and top tips
Website - www.theadventureshed.com - making adventure accessible
Adventure Planning Crash Course - www.theadventureshed.com/adventure-planning-crash-course
Website - www.vedangikulkarni.com
Youtube - www.youtube.com/channel/UCnohHVFDnoPLXexfNDaNzNg
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