Race Across the World: ‘It was incredible’ say Haggerston pair who trekked to Singapore without phones or cards
- Credit: BBC2
Best friends and business partners from Haggerston are starring in a BBC2 documentary on Sunday, which sees them race against four other teams to reach Singapore from London – without taking a single flight, and with no mobile phone or credit cards.
Felix Mortimer and Josh Nawras, who work in events and the arts, both 32, were given only the cash equivalent of a one-way airfare to the Asian country – the furthest destination by land and rail from the UK – to test their skill, ingenuity and determination in the Race Across the World.
With £1,329 in their pockets they were expecting it to be a smooth ride. But after spending 12pc in the first week “mainly on beer and pizza”, they took a job at a German horse farm, which saw them “shovelling gravel and serving beers with large frothy heads”.
“The bizarre and the ridiculous occurred at every turn,” said Felix. “Our desperate attempts to communicate with people through sign boards and arm waving caused hilarity. We spent two days creating a new paddock at this horse farm and one of the horses dashed onto it when it was opened and urinated on it with vigour.”
Josh added: “We realised we were visiting places it was a privilege to travel, not only because people from the west didn’t travel there so often but because the people living there don’t travel out.”
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It took some adjustment to be without their phones and credit cards, and initially they were embarrassed to ask people for help – but found it to be “an incredible experience” when they finally did.
“People all over the world were so helpful and cared about us being fed and having somewhere to sleep and went so far out of their way – sometimes several thousand miles – to help us,” said Felix.
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The experience of travelling through rather than flying into countries gave an insight into vastness of the world.
“If you take the time to travel slowly, to journey through rather than fly over, you will see that the faces, cultures and people change slowly, shifting and merging as you go,” he added.
“There is a spectrum of humanity that shifts rather than is divided by borders or boundaries and we are just part of that spectrum.”
Race Across the World airs at 9pm on Sunday on BBC Two.