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August 2008 Issue 34:
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What Women Want - With Abby Crawford

It’s been an extraordinary month
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Walk the walk, talk the talk

05 Feb 2018

Walk the walk, talk the talk Image

By Meg Hill

It took Arjun Bhogal five years to walk around the world from Cardiff in southern Wales to Cardiff, NSW.

On Sunday, February 11, Arjun is coming to the Library at the Dock as part of the 2018 Sustainable Living Festival.

Arjun walked from the UK to Australia to raise money for WaterAid and awareness around clean water access and sanitation.

The idea came after Arjun and his friend Kieren read about a family who had to walk 10 km each day for water.

When Arjun heard about a couple who cycled around the world, he made the connection between the walking family and an around-the-world journey.

Five years after setting out with no training, Arjun arrived at his destination convinced that you don’t have to be somebody special to achieve something great.

Cardiff to Cardiff is 10,000 miles in a straight line. Arjun’s route added an estimated 5000 miles on top of that, making his total journey a ridiculous 24,000 km. Along the way, he was jailed, kidnapped and robbed.

While in Kyrgyzstan, Arjun and his initial walking partner, Kieren, were arrested by corrupt cops and thrown into a three-metre squared cell with 18 other men.

Kieren left after the jail incident and Arjun continued. Then, alone in Afghanistan, Arjun was kidnapped by shouting men pointing AK47s in his face.

After much confusion, Arjun was finally told that the men were from the Afghanistan Army and were intervening because the Taliban were looking for him.

“Afghanistan was much scarier. It was the point where I was newly alone,” Arjun said, comparing the two incidents.

“In jail I was still with my friend, sitting with each other laughing at how crazy it was. Then I was alone, with guns in my face, thinking ‘they told you not to go to Afghanistan’.”

Now, Arjun is spending his time in Melbourne writing a book, putting together a documentary and giving talks. After ending his trip by walking across the Nullarbor, Melbourne his life has needed adjustment.

“It took me a while to adapt to city life,” Arjun said. “But I was born in London and grew up in the city. I’m not the most ‘outdoorish’ person.”

This just adds to his unlikely success story.

To book a space to meet him on February 11 see https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/borderwalk-arjun-bhogals-5-year-walk-to-australia-tickets-41810570542?aff=es2

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