Lin Ping-yi (林秉毅) and Wang Wei-tung (王衛東) departed on the journey of a lifetime on Sunday to raise awareness of Taiwan traveling by motorcycle across 24 European countries.
Yet the dream only became a reality because of 3,000 “envelopes of love,” donations from local supporters.
Faced with a limited budget, the pair had turned to Facebook to raise funds, asking for donations of NT$100 and messages of encouragement sealed in envelopes.
One of the messages read: “People are busy because they have dreams, but don’t ever be too busy to chase your dreams.”
Over the next 90 days, Lin and Wang plan to stop in 44 cities across 24 countries backed by 3,000 sponsors. The pair hope to raise awareness of Taiwan by wearing customized helmets painted with “Taiwan” and decorating their motorcycles with stickers bearing the national flag.
The duo set off from the Spire of Dublin, a popular tourist attraction in Ireland’s capital, on Sunday afternoon and attracted about 100 members of the Taiwanese community in Ireland and local residents who turned out to show their support.
Among those at the Spire to mark the beginning of their journey were Representative to Ireland Harry Tseng (曾厚仁) and director-general of Ireland’s naturalization and immigration service Noal Waters. Tseng praised the young men’s ambition and spirit and said that Lin’s participation in the Taiwan-Ireland Youth Working Holiday Program, which was launched at the beginning of the year, played a role in the duo’s project.
The program not only helps enhance cultural exchanges between the two countries, but also allows Taiwanese youths to explore Ireland, Tseng said.
He also said he hoped that the program will encourage Irish youths to explore Asia through Taiwan.
In May, Lin arrived in Ireland on the Working Holiday Program and found the country the perfect place to launch his grand plan. After leaving Dublin, the two young men plan to travel to Northern Ireland, take a boat to England, ride through the Channel Tunnel to Europe and proceed north until reaching the north of Scandinavia. They will then head toward Russia before riding back down, moving southwest toward Portugal and returning to Ireland to complete the journey.