As this is our first post it makes sense to explain what this is all about. In short, we’re taking part in a cycle ride through Vietnam and Cambodia in February 2015 in aid of CARE International UK.

I first came across this charity when I stumbled upon their Lendwithcare website last year. It struck me as a really innovative way of giving to charity, firstly because you loan rather than give which means the same amount of money can do so much more in the longer term, but secondly because you get much a better understanding of your money will enable than can ever be possible by simply dropping coins in a bucket.

The step up from being a Lendwithcare lender to doing a cycle ride across two countries was one of those things that came out of the blue. We’d been thinking about places to go on holiday next year but couldn’t really decide on a destination. We’re very fortunate to have already travelled to some amazing places and like to get off the beaten track a bit if we can. I think that’s one of the best ways to get to know a country, and it’s enabled us to meet some wonderful people along the way.

In recent years Michelle has become a keen runner, swimmer, and cyclist, and regularly takes part in middle-distance runs as well as triathlons. In fact it can be difficult to find a suitable slot for a holiday during the summer in between the various events, which is why we’d decided to think about next year uncharacteristically early.

Whilst Michelle has fully embraced an active lifestyle, I’ve admired her dedication from the comfort of the sofa. I was a keen cyclist in my youth, but once I had a driving license my preferred mode of transport became four wheels rather than two.

In late June a Lendwithcare newsletter arrived in my inbox that mentioned the Vietnam to Cambodia cycle ride and it was a light bulb moment. An opportunity to visit an part of the world we haven’t been to, meet some interesting people, travel under our own steam, and hopefully do some good for a great cause at the same time. A winner all round.

In order to take part in an event like this the charity naturally expects you to raise a target amount in sponsorship both to cover the costs of the event as well generating funds. Reflecting on our personal circumstances we chose to self-fund our participation by using our savings rather than ask family, friends, or generous strangers to contribute to what we expect will be an amazing experience for us.

Choosing this path also allows us to focus on raising awareness of Lendwithcare rather than simply asking for money. We do of course have a Just Giving page if anyone does just want to donate to the charity, but what we’d really love is people to consider become lenders themselves.

We’ll be updating this site both in advance of, as well as during the trip (time and technology permitting), and sharing our experiences with you. It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this so we don’t really know what to expect. In the meantime, you can find out a bit about where we’re going via our itinerary.

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