Update: The Cat and the Round-The-World Cyclist

Adventure Travel

WARNING: Cuteness overload, part deux.

Nala the cat has seen a lot of interesting sights since we last covered her journey with 31-year-old Dean Nicholson eight months ago. And Nicholson’s summary headline has evolved from “Man quits job to cycle around the world” and into “Stray animals beware: We will take care of you”. A theme has emerged.

Now in his 14th country, Nicholson has collected two puppies and three more cats along the way. None of them has become a permanent companion like Nala, though.

Nala typically rides up front. Photo: Dean Nicholson

In Santorini, Nicholson took two stray kittens to the vet for deworming and then found them permanent homes in Germany. He arranged for the kittens to travel between Greece and Germany as soon as they were old enough.

In Batumi (Georgia), our heartstrings were pulled when just 10 minutes into Nicholson’s ride for the day, he came across a tiny, petrified kitten curled up on the side of a motorway. The poor kitten’s image on Instagram showed a creature seemingly void of experiencing love in its short life, so when we read that another pair of cyclists had taken it to a vet, we can only hope that it has found a new, safe home too.

In Azerbaijan, Nicholson adopted a blonde puppy affectionately named Ghost. Ghost died from parvovirus around six weeks later. Although I suspect Dean’s following are more cat lovers than dog lovers, the story can’t help but pull a few tears.

Ghost tragically didn’t survive parvovirus. Photo: @1bike1world

Nala is clearly the crowd favorite, though, raising Nicholson’s Instagram following to 726,000 — macro-influencer levels. Nicholson has set up a donations page via PayPal and has a subscription-based YouTube account which currently has more than 50,000 subscribers. Draw your own conclusions, but we are all ready to shut shop, find a stray animal and have the world fund our adventure. What a life Nala and Nicholson live!

Although the actual travel has taken a back seat to the animal-loving part of the journey, the pair has seen some beautiful scenery and met plenty of interesting people, too.

In Cappadocia, Turkey, they took in sunrise views of hot air balloons — a trademark of this part of Turkey and a scene that coincided with one year on the road for Nicholson. A little later, Selge showed them a pastoral region of Turkey as they lounged on the banks of a slow-moving river edged by green trees; not a person in sight.

Nala and Nicholson enjoy a spot of tea and tranquillity overlooking a Turkish river. Photo: Dean Nicholson

On International Cat Day, Nicholson and Nala shared a sunny Mediterranean view. In Santorini, they traded their usual tent for sunset views from the balcony of their hotel room.

Nala has tried several modes of transportation too. In Greece, she traded her position at the front of Nicholson’s bike for the bow position on a kayak. Donning her very own tiny lifejacket obtained thousands of Instagram likes prompted by the cuteness overload. Nala has even tried her paw at paddleboarding.

Nala temporarily trades her position on Nicholson’s bicycle for bow position on a kayak.

It’s been a year since fate united Nala and Nicholson, and there’s no sign of them slowing their partnership. As long as YouTube and Instagram remain in business, these two can continue pulling at the heartstrings of animal lovers while adventuring their way through Europe.


About the Author

Chasing Dreams Travel

Alex Myall

After 22 years in the exercise industry, offset by long-haul adventures around the world, Alex Myall found a better option a few years ago and has never looked back. She took a diploma in travel journalism, backed it up with travel industry certificates, then launched Chasing Dreams Travel NZ, her own travel agency.

Now she combines her love of writing and world travel with running her business from her home on the spectacular South Coast of Wellington, New Zealand, while simultaneously being mum to a gorgeous baby girl. She maintains a “life’s too short to do things by halves” attitude.

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Eddy De Wilde
Eddy De Wilde
11 months ago

We need more stories like this