Hailemelekot Negussie decided to bike (almost) all the way from Turin to Umeå University. ”I only planned on a daily basis”, he says.

In Umeå he is now studying his master in IT Management – a program that he was very specific about when choosing university. The idea to bike to his new school, in total 2100 kilometers, was a spontaneous one and he decided early on to handle things day by day, rather than planning the whole trip from start to end. He frequently used websites like couchsurfing, sleeping in unknown places and getting a lot of help from strangers.
Can you tell a bit about your journey?
– I started in Turin. I have friends in different places, and some of them were in Turin. I had to spend a few days there just to get used to things and also to buy things, a bicycle, and meet some people. The whole idea was actually to experience different cultures, to meet new people and to put myself in challenging situations. It was nice for the most part. It took me about 32–33 days, I started in July.
Why did you do it?
– If you think about it, usually people have things in their minds, things they want to do. But they don’t do them, they just create ideas in their heads and kill them right there. That’s why I never planned the whole trip from start to end. I only planned on a daily basis.

Text and photo: Viktoria Ottosson

Read the full interview in the next issue of Vertex, the student magazine, which appears 30 September 2014.