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One Bike, One Cat, One World

By: Yaunna Sommersby

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photos courtesy of Dean Nicholson

When Dean Nicholson left Dunbar, Scotland in September 2018 and began his global cycling journey, he was not expecting a kitten to change the course of his trip–and his life. But that’s exactly what happened. Three months into his journey, Dean found a kitten lost along the remote Bosnia-Montenegro border. Despite being in the midst of a gruelling, gargantuan cycling trip, he ended up taking her in, nursing her back to health, and naming her Nala. Since then, the unlikely duo has gained a huge following on social media and their story has travelled the world with them.

“From the minute I found her, she trusted me completely. She jumped up on my shoulder straight away and nuzzled into my neck while I was cycling,” Dean told Modern Cat.

After travelling to 17 countries (and counting) together, they have learned a lot about each other and formed a unique bond along the way. “She gives me companionship; I am never lonely on the road. She’s also taught me to take things slow and enjoy the journey more,” he shared.

photos courtesy of Dean Nicholson

Dean was inspired to start his cycling trip after travelling to Thailand. “I wanted to experience more of the world and felt the best way to do this would be through cycling as I could really experience life in different countries by going off the tourist trail,” he said.

While travelling with a cat isn’t always easy, Dean and Nala find a way to make it work. They have also managed to use their platform to raise money for charities, animals, and people in need.

“It’s not at all a challenge. We both took time to understand each other and reading her body language is important to make sure she is always happy,” he said. “When the weather drastically changes, I have to be prepared for the scorching sun with a parasol, a waterproof cover for her basket when the heavens open, and blankets for when it’s cold.”

Dean’s book, Nala’s World, available on September 29, 2020, details their journey together and their remarkable adventures thus far. You can learn more about their story and follow their journey at 1bike1world.com.

photos courtesy of Dean Nicholson

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