Furtemba Sherpa is a Nepali cyclist who is on a world cycle tour since 2003 with the cause of World Peace and Environmental Protection. Originally from Sankhuasabha Mr. Sherpa likes to call himself a Global Citizen.
“After realizing money is not everything I decided to look for alternatives to do something for the country and to the whole world and decided to create public awarness promoting world peace and environmental protection via cycle tour”, says Furtemba when we asked him how he decided to on world cycle tour.
Born in a remote viallge in eastern Nepal Furtemba’s childhood days remained isolated from the outside world. He barely went to school. He describes the situation of his village by saying “only things we saw from our village were airplanes in the skies”. He came to Kathmandu when he was around nine years old with a dream of seeing vehicles and earning money.
He lived on the streets of Kathmandu for at least six months feeding on whatever people gave him. He struggled hard to earn living. He was able to make enough money to live well but never felt happy. He realized money was not everything. Looking at alternatives he thought about around 2001 started his cycle.
After deciding to go on world cycle tour he started the tour in 2003 with Bhutan as his first country. However he likes to count Nepal as first country of tour because he had to go to Bhutan via India and Indian press reported him as an Indian cyclist. He plans to end his world cycle tour by the 2020 with Tibet as his last destination on the way back to Nepal.
At the time of this interview in March 2011 Furtemba had toured 71 countries around the world. He is very grateful to Nepalis living around the world for helping him with his tour. He remembers Mexico as one of the best place he toured where he got extensive media coverage and encouragement for the cause of his cycle tour.
During his tour he had taught himself many languages. He takes recorder, camcorder with him and tries to learn important words before visiting any country. He plans his tour beforehand but buys a local map whereever he goes to be on the safe side. In case of roadside emergency he tries to contact local authorities but knows how to do simple cycle maintenance like flat tire. In terms of spending nights he usually tries to camp with the tent he carries with him all the time. If not able to camp he tries to stay at guest rooms or motels. Sometimes he spends nights at friends’ houses.
“Leaving Nepal’s border taught me the imprtance of a fellow Nepali”, says Furtemba when he asked him about how he is managing his tour financially. Most of his expenditure has come from Nepalis living around the world.
He is planning to open a foundation to support his tour. People interested to support him are encouraged to visit his official website at furtemba.org and send him words or encouragement along with monetary donation.
We wish him Good luck with his world tour and thank him for the time he set aside to talk with us.
Full Name: Furtemba Sherpa
Birth Place : Sankhuasaba, Nepal