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Student Cycled For 48 Days To Make It Back To His Family After Flights Were Cancelled

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 14 Jul 2020 10:18
Student Cycled For 48 Days To Make It Back To His Family After Flights Were Cancelledkleon.vs.lockdown/Instagram

Flight cancellations left thousands of people across the world completely stranded, but one international student didn’t let it stop him going home.

In light of the ongoing health crisis, flights ground to a halt, which left 20-year-old student Kleon Papadimitriou stuck in Scotland where he studies at the University of Aberdeen.

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Kleon was supposed to be flying back to Greece but found his three attempts of booking a flight were cancelled.

Determined to still make it home, he decided to embark on the 2,175-mile route by bike instead – can you imagine the saddle sore?

The trip took Kleon 48 days to complete, which he started on May 10 equipped with canned sardines, peanut butter and bread, a sleeping bag, a tent and equipment for his bike.

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Speaking about the journey that he initially dubbed a ‘pipe dream’, Kleon said to CNN:

It’s just now dawning on me how big of an achievement this was and I did learn a lot of things about myself, about my limits, about my strengths and my weaknesses. And I’d say I really hope that the trip inspired at least one more person to go out of their comfort zone and try something new, something big.

[…] As a relatively introverted person, I was forced to kind of get out of my comfort zone in the sense that if I did not do some things, I would not have a place to stay, I would not have water. It forced me to kind of have those interactions and reach out.

His father gave him one condition for the trip which was to set up an app that would allow the family to track Kleon’s progress. He also documented his journey on Instagram.

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The 20-year-old cycled anything from 35 to 75 miles a day, firstly crossing through England and then through the Netherlands. Kleon then passed through Germany, Austria and Italy before he took a boat to the Greek port of Patras where he then cycled home to Athens.

Kleon safely arrived home June 27 where we was welcomed by family and dozens of friends, as well as total strangers who had been tracking his progress.

View this post on Instagram

Wishing I had one of those sea bikes… 🤪

A post shared by Kleon (@kleon.vs.lockdown) on

Speaking about finally making it home, he said:

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It was very emotional. Coming from a family from two parents that were very adventurous in their younger years, seeing me kind of follow in their footsteps, I think is very emotional to them and obviously gives me a lot of meaning. But I think if anything, they felt relief.

I’m sure his parents weren’t the only ones to be relieved he’d finished his 2,000+ mile ride. Happy resting, Kleon!

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Greece, lockdown, Now, Student

Credits

CNN
  1. CNN

    This Greek college student biked 48 days to make it back home to his family when flights were canceled