About the Trip
After graduation this spring, Luther College seniors Jonathan, Kai, and Ben will embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Freshman year, Jon and Ben shared a dream of traveling to the Patagonia region in South America, and finally they have found a way to make their dream a reality. Instead of jumping straight into careers or grad school, they plan to depart on September 9, 2015 to ride bicycles for five and a half months. From the northern border of Mexico to “the end of the earth” in Ushuaia, Argentina, their trip will span 5000 miles, cover two continents, and encounter 15 countries. Worried that Jon’s good looks would not be enough to catch the eye of Latin American women, the two chose to invite their buddy Kai along for the adventure.
The prospect of travel was exciting, and the trio agreed they should make the most of the opportunity. Bicycling was the chosen method of travel because it fit their economic standards, and they believe riding across the countryside will force them to truly appreciate every hill, surface, and town that is encountered. Although they’re all passionate about the outdoors, adventure, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, the three decided to turn this ride into something that would soar above their own personal expeditions.
To ensure Jonathan, Kai, and Ben were creating an impact larger than their own travels, they agreed to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. With Kai’s experience and commitment to the program, they have each spent time volunteering with the construction of a house. Habitat was chosen because they felt it reflected their own trip: giving to an organization that can pay it forward through action, provide support for their local community, and make an international impact.
They are asking for trip sponsorship from businesses, friends, family, and anyone else who has an itch for adventure, where 40% raised goes directly to help fund the trip expenditures (food, return airfare, equipment, visas, etc.) and the remaining 60% is given to Habitat. Jonathan, Kai and Ben want to enable persons who are excited for the expedition to support this endeavor while still raising money for something bigger than themselves. In total, they have a goal to raise $20,000. This would contribute $8,000 to the expedition, covering around 35% of their estimated total group trip costs, and $12,000 for Habitat.
The group feels that they have the experience necessary to pull off such an adventure. Jonathan is a certified Wilderness EMT and will provide medical support in addition to extensive outdoor travel knowledge, accentuated by his living and breathing the outdoors every summer as a rafting guide. Backpacking Colorado with Ben has allowed them to understand their group dynamic, and made them confident that spending months together will not result with the need to intentionally crash each other's bikes. Ben also has a strong business background, helping to create carefully crafted pre-trip planning, fundraising, and networking. Kai has an unmatched determination and clear taste for adventure, as demonstrated by his Alaskan fishing position. Combined with a demeanor that constantly looks to make the most of every situation, he is an incredible asset to the team. Each of their abilities coupled with a priority for service, makes the three confident their travels will live up to all expectations.
Jon, Ben and Kai are extremely thankful for what life has given them. During the voyage, they hope to make friends, be exposed to new cultures, learn from their surroundings, and maybe find time to have a bit of fun. Support can be a quick monetary donation to our cause, a prayer for good weather during the trip, or even a glass raised from back home acknowledging what we hope to accomplish.
For all of them, experience is of the utmost importance. Ushuaia may be the ending place, but the journey is the destination.