Keiichi Iwasaki left his Japanese home in 2001 with just 160 Yen ($2) in his pocket after becoming bored with his job at his dad’s air-conditioning company. He set out on a Raleigh Shopper bicycle in 2001 to go on a tour of Japan.
But he enjoyed himself so much he caught a ferry to South Korea and since then has cycled through 37 countries without returning home. Keiichi supports himself by doing magic tricks. He has been robbed by pirates and arrested in India, almost died when he was attacked by a rabid dog in Tibet and nearly married in Nepal. In total Mr Iwasaki has cycled over 45,000km (27,961 miles) on his favourite Raleigh shopper bikes but two have been stolen and two have broken so he now rides his fifth. In May 2005, he became the first Japanese man to climb Mount Everest from sea level without using any transportation.
Following that venture he rowed from the source of the Ganges river in India to the sea, a journey of 1,300km which took him 35 days. And he rowed across He also rowed across the Caspian Sea, the biggest lake in the world. In his own words: “When I passed Iran I was wondering: How big is the Caspian Sea actually? To find out, I crossed it, using a hand rowing boat again. It took me 25 days.”
Mr Iwasaki, originally from Maebashi, Japan, told the British newspaper The Telegraph that only his ”strong will” has kept him going. He said: ”Most travellers and adventurers need money but instead of giving up an opportunity to travel the world I want to clarify that dreams can come true if you have a strong will. ”I have been travelling for eight years and I continue to do so from money I receive from performing tricks. I do not carry a credit card or traveller’s cheque.” ”My strong will is very important and I hope this trip will prove that. I wanted to travel the world in my early twenties, but I have not been able to do so until I was 28. ”I thought to myself that ‘My life will soon be over before I do what I want to do!’, so I decided to start this trip. ”I didn’t want to use aeroplanes because I wanted to see and feel everything with my own skin. With my bicycle, I can always feel the air and atmosphere of the place.”
Keiichi plans to travel to Africa, across to South America and then make his way back to Japan for the first time in over a decade via North America. He believes this will take him five years before he begins to write a book about his trip. Check out his website ‘feel the earth’ to follow him for his next 5 years of traveling adventures.