Rabat – Er Rihani, a 22-year French-Moroccan business student, has chosen to take an unconventional gap year. Rihani has challenged himself to cycle from Paris, where he studies at ESCE, all the way to Beijing.
He started the trip in June, and has already made it to Mongolia. Rihani, who has always had a taste for adventure, goes on a bicycle trip every year. In 2015, he rode from Nantes toIreland, then Paris to Copenhagen in 2016.
In 2017, he took a 44-day trip from Paris to Tangier, a 3,000 km distance. In 2018 he went even further, cycling from Aix-en-Provence to Istanbul, a 4,000 km trip.
But this trip is by far his most ambitious yet, adding up to 12,000km in total. He told HuffPost, he will pass a dozen countries along the way, making it a trip many can only dream of.
Rihini also told HuffPost that ESCE Paris offered to help fund the expensive trip, for which he is incredibly grateful. “It’s nice to see that a school supports the projects of its students and accompanies them in their achievements,” he said.
However, the dream trip is not without its challenges. Rihini said he has “never been more aware of the force of nature on man.”
He has faced heavy rains, which last all day long, “turning the countryside into mud hell and cities into wave pools, as well as violent winds coming from the front and sometimes draining sandstorms.”
When asked by HuffPost what is the best part of his trip, he answered quickly: people. “I have shared nights, meals and discussions with people from all backgrounds and stories of life just as beautiful, crazy and rewarding as each other,” he said.