16:25 Tuesday, 07 July 2020
From London via Liverpool, Belfast, Antrim, Portglenone, Limavady and Derry.
Anyone who’s ever lived abroad would know the feeling of homesickness that can strike at any minute.
However due to the coronavirus, it’s clearly not so easy to travel home at the moment…which is why one Donegal student took matters into his own hands.
Starting out from his flat in London on June 13th, Matthew Carlin from Letterkenny, embarked on an epic 482.8km journey.
A speedy 48 hours later he arrived home in Leterkenny having passed through Liverpool, Belfast (via ferry), Antrim, Portglenone, Limavady and Derry. Some effort.
Speaking to Belfast Live, Matthew explained how his journey went:
“I was studying for exams and completing coursework during lockdown which was incredibly stressful and was taking a big toll on my mental health”, he said.
”The only thing I had to keep me sane was my daily cycle. I work part time as a delivery cyclist to fund my studies.
”I finished up all my university work and wanted to head home to see my family as I hadn’t seen them in six months.
”I kept an eye on the weather forecast and found a block of two good days in a row.
”One sunny day to cycle up the UK and one to cycle across Northern Ireland. I parcelled up my clothes and posted them to (Republic of) Ireland a few days ahead of my journey and then headed off around 5am on Saturday the 13th.
”I stopped for food and water every couple of hours and made it to Liverpool for 8:30pm, the ferry boarded at 9pm.
”I was lucky enough to have a room on the ferry where I could shower and sleep for the entire eight hour journey.”
After the ferry trip, he arrived in Belfast at around 7am and got straight going again eventually getting into Donegal around 2pm.
”It was a surreal experience and a great way to get to know your inner demons.
”When your rear end is on fire and every part of your body is begging you to quit but you never give in, it gives a real sense of achievement and what we are all capable of we put our mind to it and keep going”.
Fair play! What a serious effort.