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Bermudian student plans to explore Spain — on a bicycle

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What do you do when you are a university student studying in Spain, with a desire to travel, but no spare cash to get you from point A to B?

If you're Bermudian Kris Furbert you come up with your own creative way to see the world — by cycling to different towns and cities near Madrid and documenting your journey through a film and blog called 'Onion on a bike, in Madrid'.

The 26-year-old is currently studying Business Administration and Finance at the European School of Economics.

He said travelling — in particular the people you meet and experiences you have while on the road — were extremely important to him and added to a more well-rounded education.

“The challenge is I came to Madrid with not too much money,” he told The Royal Gazette.

“I currently have three scholarships, with KPMG, ABIC (The Association for Bermuda International Companies) and BFIS (The Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies), so I am using those awards to fund myself through school.

“I don't have support from any other source. And because I am studying and not working this year, I have a lot less than I did last semester and can't really travel like I want to.”

After returning for his second year of study in Madrid, Mr Furbert started brainstorming about how he could still take in the sights and sounds around the country. As luck would have it he brought his roadbike with him from Bermuda and determined that would be a cheap way to travel.

Over the next few months he plans to visit some parts of Spain that are off the beaten track. On his list are places like: Alcala de Henares, Toledo, Segovia and Avila — the later of which will take approximately seven hours and 45 minutes and involve crossing 115km.

“I will be doing this on my long school breaks, possibly over Christmas and spring break and just before I have to go home for summer,” Mr Furbert said. “I started looking at the pictures of places I plan to visit and they look really beautiful. You see these old architectural structures and natural landscapes and that's when I said to myself 'I have to get this on camera'.”

He will be carrying a GoPro camera with him on his bike and has also enlisted help from award-winning local filmmaker Andrew Kirkpatrick — who will turn his raw footage into a mini documentary.

Since coming up with the travel plan, Mr Furbert said the idea continues to snowball into something bigger.

As a volunteer with Government's Mirrors Middle School Programme, the university student has pledged to volunteer an hour of his time in Bermuda for each 25 kms that he can cycle.

“With the six towns alone that I plan to visit, the distance combined is over 800km. So we are looking at a great bit of hours in total,” he said. “I am only going to be home for the summer and will be able to do it then.”

Although cycling is a cheaper mode of transport than planes, buses or trains, it doesn't eliminate all of his expenses like accommodation, food, equipment or repairs.

He is currently trying to raise money for his endeavour by asking people to sponsor him through the website: http://www.indiegogo.com./.

Those who sponsor him will receive different 'perks' depending on how much they give. A $25 donation awards you the chance to win a signed copy of the documentary; $500 or more can get you a bottle of Spanish wine and a signed copy of the DVD; while $1,500 will allow you the chance to pick one of Mr Furbert's upcoming travel destinations in Spain.

The young Bermudian said one of his goals was to encourage other people to think “a little more outside the box” when it comes to getting something accomplished.

He also hopes he can serve as an example to anyone struggling to overcome their fears in life.

“I am 26 years-old now and the oldest person in my university class in Madrid,” he said. “I started late because I kept putting it off, but I decided one day I had to get it done.

“That fear I had of trying it actually became my motivation to succeed. Every time I had exams I didn't know if I would pass or fail, but I always found a way to overcome the fear and used that to keep me going.”

He encouraged people to support his fundraising challenge and the fact he is doing something positive to put Bermuda on the map.

“In society, especially in Bermuda, you usually hear quite a lot about young Bermudians doing something negative and for something like that they are usually punished.

“So when someone is doing something positive people should support it. I am trying to educate, share and motivate people to travel and face their fears,” he said.

Mr Furbert is currently being sponsored by KPMG, which has donated cash towards camera equipment; as well as Winners Edge, which are donating cycling equipment to use for his trip.

He thanked his sponsors and the community for its support and said he was grateful to those who believe in what he's doing.

To follow his journey, you can visit his Facebook page: Onion on a bike, in Madrid.

Ready to go: Kris Furbert will be tackling a new journey by travelling to scenic towns and cities outside of Madrid, Spain. He is asking the community for support and aims to capture his experience on film and in a blog to inspire others.
Ready to go: Kris Furbert will be tackling a new journey by travelling to scenic towns and cities outside of Madrid, Spain. He is asking the community for support and aims to capture his experience on film and in a blog to inspire others.
Ready to go: Kris Furbert will be tackling a new journey by travelling to scenic towns and cities outside of Madrid, Spain. He is asking the community for support and aims to capture his experience on film and in a blog to inspire others.
<p>How you can help</p>

Avid traveller Kris Furbert is on a quest to raise money in support of his latest project: Onion on a bike, in Madrid.

To get the momentum going for donations, the 26-year-old Bermudian has today launched a friendly competition to see who can raise the most funds for his project through 'sharing' and telling others about it.

Throughout the next few months and beyond, Mr Furbert plans to travel by bike to scenic towns and cities outside of Madrid. He needs additional funds to help with accommodation costs, food, equipment and in case repairs are needed for his cycle.

His indiegogo website allows him to track how many people each individual shares his website with, and how much money is raised through their sharing.

The winner of the competition will be the person who can raise the most money through their sharing.

In order to play you must donate a minimum of $25. After payment is complete, copy that URL address and start sharing, he explained.

The only way he can track when you are sharing is through the URL address.

The winner of the competition will receive dinner for two, courtesy of Mad Hatters Restaurant.

The competition will end on Friday, November 8. A winner will be announced on his campaign page at a later date and the person will be e-mailed automatically if they are following his page.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published October 25, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 25, 2013 at 12:17 am)

Bermudian student plans to explore Spain — on a bicycle

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