15 000 kilometers, 12 countries, and... one black cat
In the midst of a pandemic, Ola Mae had embarked on the biggest adventure of her life. Over the span of 13 months, she visited 12 European countries and cycled a total of 15 000 kilometers. In Italy she stumbled upon the most valuable souvenir of her trip - black cat Frederick who traveled through 6 countries with her.
A traveler by chance, cat momma by choice - Ola's story inspires and touches hearts, teaching us a lesson of perseverance, faith, friendship, and courage.
The Origin Story
'What makes me happy?' - that is a question that I asked myself standing at the life's crossroads in 2018. Before I could think of the answer, in my mind's eye I saw a bicycle. Shortly after, I came up with the idea of crossing Europe on it.
I left two years later when the world stopped due to the pandemic. It was then, while living in London, that I found out that I had been laid off. An initial distress was quickly replaced with a strange feeling of calmness. I knew what I had to do, even thought it was insane...
Two weeks later, I embarked on the biggest adventure of my life.
My decision was met with a wave of disbelief and disregard.
- You can't travel in a pandemic! Women shouldn't go on such trips alone! You have no idea what you're doing! - I heard, but my intuition was pounding on the walls of my consciousness so loudly that it deafened everything, including the voice of reason. Despite all odds, I packed my panniers, and left my prestigious, big city life, to morph into a full-time vagabond.
It was August 19, 2020.
I did not train, I left during one of the biggest world's crises, I bought a bicycle a week before the trip and rode it once, and I did not take any tools nor a helmet. When asked where I was actually going, I didn't have an answer.
I covered 15,000 kilometers, although I did not always ride alone. At the end of the trip, my one-woman crew was joined by an illegal immigrant - Frederick - a cat I found on the side of a busy road, somewhere in the south of Italy. The creature was on the brink of death, when I stumbled upon it. Sitting in the basket installed at the front of the bike, together we traveled through 6 countries.