Mike from Potters Bar, who became the youngest person to sail around the world single-handedly in 2009, arrived in Singapore yesterday where he reached the half-way point of his epic drive.
The 20 year old Guinness World Record holder has driven across Europe, through Russia, the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, cross country in China and through Laos towards Singapore. Mike, a TV production student at Southampton Solent University, said: “Before I set off I bought all the maps I would need to get me around the world and drew a big thick line on the route. Since getting on the road, my biggest problem has been understanding the signs because I usually haven’t a clue what they are saying.”
Mike is travelling roughly 24,000 miles alone in a Spaceships Campervan – a specially adapted Toyota Previa – with no support vehicles.
He said: “The most terrifying driving experience so far was driving on the narrow, cliff-edge roads in southern China's Yunnan province. There are no crash barriers or even bushes to protect you should you have to swerve – it's just a long long drop down to the river below. Added to this are the numerous continuous landslides which are happening and it's a pretty hairy experience.” He added: “In Russia, the drivers were crazy, in Mongolia they were reckless and pushy. In China, it seems the motorists are plain stupid.”
Mike, who hopes to raise £1 for every mile for international disaster relief charity ShelterBox, has stopped off at two of the charity's previous deployment zones in Chengdu, China where 80,000 people lost their lives in a devastating earthquake in 2008 and in Thailand where flooding wiped out villages in 2011.
Mike still has to drive across Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada before returning to the UK. He will be pick up his original Spaceship in Lisbon, Portugal, to drive it home at the end of November.
Mike, who was the subject of a 90 minute Channel 4 documentary “The schoolboy who sailed the world”, explained: “My adventure started when I was 14 and I sailed across the Atlantic, then I sailed around the worlds when I was 17. I hope to become the only person to have sailed, driven and flown around the world.”