Going the extra mile is not just a motivational phrase for Elred Lawrence from Kisternhof, who recently made this phrase a reality. He literally took on a 12 000km cycle through South East Asia to fulfil his desire to travel.Having started his journey in Singapore and cycling to Hong Kong, Lawrence says he wanted to challenge himself physically, mentally and emotionally.So he decided to combine his two passions – cycling and travelling – in one package, seeing him take on this adventure of a “I am proud of my achievement and all of the adventure and fun I had along the way, but I am humbled by the kindness, generosity, compassion, friendliness and amazing human spirit I encountered from all sorts of people in each and every country. I have cycled all my life; I have competed 16 cycle tours in Cape Town, and since 2000 I have cycled the Camino in Northern Spain and the Via Francigena from Canterbury in England through France, Switzerland and Italy to Rome.”He says it is through the support he received that he managed to keep going and complete the journey as planned. Lawrence says it took him two years of intense research and planning to put together an “itinerary” covering all eight “I spent hours on the internet reading other cyclists’ blogs, looking at maps for roads and routes and deciding what I would like to do and see while there. It included finding and sourcing the best equipment, including a new bicycle, that would see me through the journey in the best way possible.”He landed in Cape Town, reuniting with his wife eight months later, on Tuesday 13 November, in good health and with massive excitement to meet all his family and friends.Maureen Lawrence, his wife, says that as he embarked on his journey, she also looked forward to the challenge of living alone for the duration.“I felt that he needed to do this journey and I fully supported this endeavour. Although I missed him, we communicated regularly, and the experience was not as difficult as I thought it may be,” she says.