The Journey Of Thomas Kellenberger

Thomas Kellenberger travelled all the way from Switzerland to Nepal, on foot

16, Dec 2022 |

He had to come out of the pain of losing his mother, and on the other hand, he had to get involved in some work. In such a situation, he wanted to travel a long way so he started travelling and reached Nepal.

Thomas Kellenberger is a 40 years old man from Switzerland, who travelled all the way from Switzerland to Nepal on foot.

He has a charity organization called Phil Island Kids International Foundation in the Philippines that advocates on issues such as poverty, human trafficking, safe housing, education, and rights for children and adolescents exposed to domestic and sexual violence. Kellenberger established this organisation when he was only 25 years old in 2007. He was happily serving the mission of the organisation until his mother was diagnosed with cancer. He had to leave his organisation behind and return to Switzerland to take care of her.

He switched entirely from founding the organisation to returning to the service of his sick mother in Switzerland. After he moved to Switzerland, the co-founder took over the leadership of the organisation in the Philippines.

After his mother's death, Kellenberger lived in Switzerland for a while. Then, he felt he had to go back to the Philippines. He also thought about what he could do when he went back there. He didn't think it was appropriate to go to the foundation and work again as the leader of the organisation. He thought that the organisation was running well and he did not think it was appropriate to be actively involved in it, thinking that he would be interfering with the smooth running of the organisation. He also wanted to stay in the same organisation and run a second project, but again he did not want to do so as it would take many years to establish a new project there.

On the one hand, Kellenberger had to come out of the pain of losing his mother, and on the other hand, he had to get involved in some work. In such a situation, he wanted to travel a long way. Thinking that this is the best time to fulfil his dream of a long journey, which was put on hold after opening an NGO at a young age. He decided to go on this journey.

At first, he made up his mind to go on a pilgrimage to the famous pilgrimage site in Spain, which is considered a symbol of the struggle of Spanish Christians against Islam. But he thought about what to do when he went to Spain, because he knew he would eventually return to the Philippines. Then, he decided to walk to the Philippines. Although the journey was long, he decided to walk from Switzerland to Vietnam. From Vietnam, he wanted to go to the northern Philippines.

During this time, he decided to connect his journey not only with dreams but with responsibilities. He wanted to combine the trip with charity work to raise funds for the Phil Island Kids International Foundation, which he had founded. Financial and other support to the organisation was decreasing due to Covid. So in such a situation, he had to combine his personal journey with the interests of the organisation.

He started his journey from Interlaken in Switzerland on August 25, 2021 and arrived in Asia via Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Greece and Turkey. Now he is in Nepal. He entered Nepal from Sunauli on November 7th and reached Pokhara. He came from Pokhara to Kathmandu via Gorkha. Currently in Kathmandu, he is inspecting and observing colleges and NGOs. He is busy meeting with organisations that work with children that are connected to the purpose of his trip

During the journey, he will visit 22 countries. Kellenberger has so far crossed 17 countries on foot. He will go through India to Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and back to the Philippines.

He has gathered many kinds of experiences during his travels. He has experience of going through mountains, hills, deserts, plains, rivers, villages, forests, and cities. He has walked from the deserts of Kazakhstan and Pakistan to the 5,000-metre high mountains of Nepal.

Thomas Kellenberger says, “I survived dangerous places such as mountains, jungles, deserts, and I almost died when a stone fell from above while walking on a normal road. Even though I had to face various dangers during the journey, I believed in myself and continued to move forward, so here I reached Nepal.”

Compiled By: Rebika Bishokarma

Photos From Thomas Kellenberger's social media

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