Daryl and Deborah, two Maltese 26-year-olds, first met in the summer of 2016. One year later, the couple is embarking on an adventure of epic proportions; travelling from Malta all the way to Australia… by bike.
“This idea was actually born at a local pub over a few beers with a good friend of mine back in 2015,” explained Daryl, a photographer who’s been riding bikes since the age of 18. Soon after meeting Deborah at a party last year (which was the first time she ever got on a bike), he started talking about this dream of his more often. “I remember texting him the day after he first told me about it,” Deborah said. “I told him that if he had to ask me to leave with him on that trip, I would pack and do it there and then.”
The couple started planning their grand adventure less than two months after having first met, and they recently started Wild Feathers, a blog where they’ve been sharing preparations for their journey and on which they’ll be detailing the entire trip when they leave later this year.
The young couple will be leaving on their 16-country adventure this September, and will be biking 30,000 kilometres across three continents. The entire journey will take them anywhere between 8 to 12 months, and will see them visiting Sicily, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and finally Australia.
“I finally chose to let go of what I believed to be my ‘secure life’ and decided to take a leap out of my comfort zone and go on an adventure,” Daryl continued, explaining how he wanted to turn his “dreams into memories”.
It’s not all about ultimate #CoupleGoals though, as the young lovers are also combining their journey with voluntary work. “Apart from traveling and experiencing the diverse cultures, we wanted to volunteer with kids,” the couple said. “We chose Right2Smile, an NGO founded in our own little island because we believe in their projects and their approach towards bettering environments; both in Malta and abroad. Their projects work on three pillars – Education, Health and Sustainability. Our route will allow us to volunteer at their schools in both India and Cambodia.” Daryl and Deborah will be raising funds for new uniforms, with every €10 providing a student with one full uniform at a school in India.
Besides fundraising for Right2Smile, the couple are also planning to visit schools from the different countries along their route (starting with Malta). “We want to get an insight and raise awareness on how education looks like in different countries and environments,” they said. “We would like to promote the idea that every child around the world has the right to smile and to learn in a world without prejudice towards different cultures or beliefs”. Their first stop was the primary school at St. Paul’s Bay, where they met the first 120 of what they’ve adorably dubbed The Young Feathers.
Even though a bike ride across half the world sounds like it could be a logistics nightmare, Daryl and Deborah seem to have planned this out to a tee. They’ve shared their entire packing list (which includes everything from medical prescriptions to “fake wedding rings”!) and the full specifications of the bike they’ll be using (a 2012 Suzuki V-Strom) on their blog, just in case anyone would be interested in following in their footsteps.