Roei saddled himself with being a true inspiration

By Zoe Cohen

ISRAELI adventurer Roei 'Jinji' Sadan has been an inspiration for many as he has chased his fears and accomplished his biggest life dream - cycling around the world.

He is now sharing his experiences worldwide, and will be wowing the Jewish community with his story at Manchester Maccabi on Tuesday (7.30pm).

Roei spent almost five years on his biggest journey to date, cycling across 42 countries.

The 32-year-old told me: "I have had some crazy experiences from travelling the world.

"One of the most terrifying moments was in Mexico where I was robbed with a gun held to my head. I was also caught up in a hit and run in Bolivia."

Roei explained that when he is cycling, every kind of feeling comes into his mind, whether that is love or sadness.

He said: "I know not to be too low when I'm at my lowest point or too high when at my highest point.

"I try to find a balance as I know everything in this life is only temporary."

He continued: "Every country I have travelled to has been amazing in its own way.

"I have learned about many different cultures and met some interesting people along the way.

"I came with one bicycle, without any limitations. I felt alone, but was never lonely.

"A person really has to know themselves and be well prepared mentally and physically.

"Alaska was probably one of my favourite places to be in, but the first two weeks were the most difficult because of the remote roads I had taken."

Roei was born in Oranit, a village in central Israel, which he described as "small but great".

He said: "I still have childhood friends and hold a great relationship with my secondary school teacher."

Roei has been back to the school since to speak to children on fulfilling their dreams.

He said: "It was important for me to go back there and share my experiences.

"After four years of travelling, it is great to be taking a break and sharing my story with people around the world.

"I am glad that I am able to give talks to inspire people. It proves that if I can conquer my dreams, anyone can.

"My parents taught me to always give to others while doing something."

Raised in a religious home, his parents instilled him with strong values.

He said: "They taught me to be a good friend, respect elders and to be the best I can be.

"When I told my parents I wanted to be an adventurer, my mum was always afraid of what I would be doing.

"I always sent her messages to let her know where I was. Their initial response was 'you must be crazy'.

"But it is the Israeli mentality to do something like this."

Before he decided to embark on an adventurous lifestyle, he spent four years serving in the Israeli army.

"I was a combat soldier at 18," he said. "Being in the army really helped me to learn discipline and to be self-sufficient.

"It was very hard, but that's life. It was an honour to serve my country."

After the army he was unsure of which path to take in life, so decided to start seeing the world.

He said: "My first adventure was a five-day walk from the north to the south of Israel.

"From there, I attempted mountain climbing in the Himalayas.

"On the last day of the cross-Israel train, I ended at the Western Wall with 500 people supporting me.

"This was such an incredible feeling, knowing that these people, who I had never met, had heard about me and wanted to support me."

Roei then decided what the most challenging adventure would be for him.

His first cycle adventure was a worldwide journey, which started in 2007 in Alaska and travelled 66,000km.

He said: "I had never cycled as a child, but I am not one to back out of a challenge, so I started training immediately.

"During the first 10 days of my travels, I lost 15 kilos. My backpack alone without any food or drink weighed 40 kilos.

"I had to pack extra bike parts, a sleeping bag and spare winter clothes for the cold weather.

"During winter, it was tougher because whenever it rained, I had to push my heavy bike through the conditions along with everything I packed."

While in Africa he caught malaria and was hospitalised for three weeks, but he went through all his travels with a smile.

His worldwide journey was documented through blog posts, videos and pictures, growing a fanbase over the years.

He said: "I never even imagined I would have an audience watching and commenting on my journey.

"I received emails from fans and I am so surprised by the response. They couldn't stop smiling and I felt as if they were travelling with me.

"I started this off as a challenge for myself wanting to accomplish my dream.

"I can't believe I am giving people inspiration. I hope that people learn to run towards their fears."

Roei is currently training for a new adventure - kayaking from Alaska to Mexico.

He said: "I started training more than a year ago, and plan to start the adventure in May.

"While I have been in London, I have been training for the kayak journey in Cornwall.

"I can train in Israel, but the water in England is different.

"My next adventure shows that even though I reached my last goal, I am starting from scratch again.

"I have no experience with kayaking. It is important to learn from the beginning in order to achieve goals."

© 2014 Jewish Telegraph