I believe that travel is the greatest way to learn — about other countries, about other cultures and most importantly, about yourself.
I was born and bred in Melbourne, Australia but have lived in London and Dubai throughout a successful and expansive career in hospitality. However, from my late 30's, I decided to see the world from the perspective of a bicycle. So I started an epic journey from London to Melbourne, which took two and a half years, covered 28,000 km and crossed 26 countries. It's fair to say that life was never going to be the same!
Cycling across the world inspired me to raise money for a charity. Not content with the transparency of the some of the bigger international aid organisations, I started my own. After raising over £12K, I set off full of great intentions and no idea!
Engaging with and learning from local NGOs gave me insight into culture and community that no museum or monument ever could. It truly took travel to new depths and gave so much richness to the experience. Being in a position to support such noble, local social impact projects was truly humbling.
After arriving back to Melbourne, I started Social Cycles. A two-week snapshot of my two-year adventure. We give everybody the chance to discover a country by bicycle, learn through local NGOs about today and what tomorrow looks like, and learn about themselves throughout an epic adventure that challenges both physically and mentally.
Brett's Travel Expertise
Via Social Cycles, I conduct fully guided and supported rides in Mongolia, Iran, Samoa, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. All the rides range from 7 to 17 days.
Every country has a different focus. We engage with local NGOs in every country to learn more about specific issues that are culturally relevant. In Iran, we connect with a refuge for women. In Cambodia, we learn more about the orphanage crisis and what we can do to assist.
All tours are based on cycling, but the pace is relaxed and casual. We don't cycle every day and we always have time to stop for photos, coffee and a rest! The support van is always on hand should people want to take a break for a bit.
Brett's best travel experience
I've had so many unique travel experiences in my time, but my favourite, and potentially most relevant to this piece is not about me. It's about Judy, one of my clients.
Judy is from New Zealand. She is 81 years old and joined me on our last Cycle Iran adventure. Some of the riding can be quite challenging but Judy was a tough lady! Iran is such a beautiful place that is mentally closed off to so many people for all the wrong reasons. The people are very friendly and welcoming, maybe even more than any other place in the world that I have been.
One of my proudest moment as the founder of Social Cycles was when we were cycling down a mountain, some 15km of winding road, and I could hear Judy having the time of her life. "Woooooo!!!!!!" she roared as the wind gushed through her hair. An 81-year-old great-grandmother hurling down a mountain in Iran on a bicycle. So inspiring! I was so proud that I could make that happen for this beautiful lady.
Why is Brett the right travel expert
I'm passionate about the places we visit and the reasons we go there. I personally join every Social Cycles trip, although they're conducted by local experts and guides. There are not many tour operators out there where the founder of the company is there with you on location to make sure that everything is just perfect.
I believe that as travellers, we should make a positive difference in the places we go. Not by imposing our ways and beliefs, but just by travelling with an open mind and embracing the differences between us in this crazy, big beautiful world.