Born in Brussels, Belgium, I’m currently 29 years old. Having graduated as an economist in 2015, I decided to dedicate myself into combining two passions: exploring the world and achieving sport and human challenges. “The Manneken Trip” journey will be one accomplishment of these goals. Passionate by sports and in dire need of discoveries, I travelled for 9 months on a bicycle during the year 2011-2012, from Brussels to Australia, allowing to cycle 13.000 km through 16 countries in Europe, Middle-East, Asia and Oceania. The part of this trip with my friend Sebastien, 5 months from Brussels to Bangkok, it’s stories (in french) and photos can be seen at the following adress. When returning to Belgium, in order to obtain my degree, I brought one certainty home that inflame me since then: I’ll explore again… “The Manneken Trip” is the outcome of years of reflexion, combining my thirst for discoveries and challenges but also a profound desire to promote ethical and environmental actions.
As far as I can remember, sport has always been a part of my life! I started judo at only six which had a huge impact on my education. It taught me respect, hard work, humbleness and many other essential values. After reaching national competition (Belgium), in 2004 and 2005, injuries made me level competition down. Nonetheless, Judo is still a school of life and a passion today, my grade is currently black belt 2th Dan, looking forward to progress.
That is, I always combined judo with other sports, discovering myself many passions and learning various complementary skills. Indeed, my father was kind enough to introduce my brother and I to rock climbing at our very early walking age and to alpinism at only 11 years old. Those sports, as well as 18 years of scoutisme, led us to the outside world, the backcountry and the unknown. The same call of the unknown led me years later, at 21, to decide to travel on a bike. Discovering through sports was a perfect match, but a bicycle which is an awesome traveling mean has its limits as well. Questions aroused: What if I went out of these roads? What if I went where there are no roads at all? How is it to travel on the water? How is it to bond with an animal that becomes your travel partner? Today I feel the call of the wild, which has driven and shaped this project: a unique opportunity to discover new practices, passions, and skills.
Education and personal experiences made me sensitive to the environment as well as the inequalities and the disparities of life existing in our world. This non-motorized project is an opportunity to help make a change by combining my passion for traveling with the values of environmental preservation and corporate social responsibility. This is why I will promote, through “the manneken trip”, environmentally friendly initiatives during the whole journey.