Meet the Welwyn Garden City man driving 10,000 miles to Mongolia in a Fiat Panda
PUBLISHED: 06:56 03 July 2019
A Welwyn Garden City man is planning to drive 10,000 miles solo to Mongolia in a second-hand car after the death of a close friend made him question the way he was living his life.
Mike Fitch is going to set off on his epic journey, covering a quater of the world's circumference, from just outside Prague on July 21.
The Mongol rally is a 'semi' organised event, by a group called 'The Adventurists', who organise the start and the end of the rally.
Everything in between will be down to Mike, who will be making the trip on his own without any support,
Mike said: "Timescale wise, I've still got a lot to prepare, but launch day - from the UK - is July 19.
"Thanks to team issues I'm now driving the 10,500ish miles to Mongolia through 19 countries on my own! The team backed out, but I was so set on the idea that I'm doing it regardless."
The 39-year-old has recently taken a self-described 'mid-life retirement'.
You may also want to watch:
"I had a wake-up call not too long ago when one of my close friends, who was suffering from mental health issues, took her own life," Mike told the WHT.
"It made me realise that I'd been living my life the wrong way, stuck behind a desk every day chasing the pennies - it just wasn't working for me anymore.
"Having had that realisation I figured it was time to tear up the rule book society wants us play by and do something daft! So, I resigned from my position as a design engineer, gathered up the savings and now it's Mongolia here I come!"
There are a number of rules that must be abided to take part in the Mongol Rally, the offical guide states: "You can take any car, as long as it's crap and with an engine of 1.2 litre or less. Ideally under 1 litre."
Mike's vehicle of choice is a 1200cc Fiat Panda, which he says "will have the power to take me through deserts and over mountains, or breakdown in Germany!"
Mike's route will take him through over a dozen countries including Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Mongolia. The finish line in Ulan-Ude is open from August 14 until September 16.
Mike is raising money for two charities, mental health charity Mind and Cool Earth, the not-for-profit organisation which seeks to halt deforestation and climate change.