Introducing The Janapar Grant, A Travel Grant For Adventurous Young British Cyclists

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Today I’m excited to announce one of the big new projects I’m starting this year: the Janapar Grant.

This is a brand new venture aiming to help young people begin a rite-of-passage journey at a time in their lives when it will benefit them most, with the fewest possible strings attached.

Check it out here.

The structure of the grant is pretty simple, and has been informed by looking back on my own experience of preparing for a big ride, drawing on the experiences of others I know who’ve made similar journeys, and seeing what patterns emerge.

It seems that the single most helpful thing in terms of encouragement, motivation and practical advice is talking to people who’ve been there before.

And the single biggest obstacle (particularly for a young person) is covering the costs of getting all the equipment together. Once on the road, costs can be as low as nothing.

I’ve designed the Janapar Grant to hit both of these points dead-on.

The successful applicant will get unlimited on-demand mentorship from me and four other experienced bicycle-traveller-bloggers whose names you will no doubt know.

They’ll also receive every major piece of equipment for making such a journey. While the details of where the gear is coming from are still being confirmed, the single most expensive and important item – the bicycle – is already pledged. (It’s a really nice bike, too.)

There seems little doubt that making a long and personal journey as a young adult can be a hugely formative experience. That’s where the philosophy behind the grant is coming from. Cultures past and present have formalised the rite-of-passage journey in many ways – from the Aboriginal Australian ‘walkabout’ and the Native American ‘vision quest’, right up to the German ‘Walz’ – a ritual still alive today. Our modern equivalent seems to be the unstructured gap-year, and even that’s dying a death in the face of mounting student debt.

Fascinating traditions aside, it would be wonderful to see a small renaissance in British culture of a true rite-of-passage journey as an important part of a young person’s transition to adulthood – the missing piece in our educations that formal institutions will never provide.

And that, really, is what the Janapar Grant is all about.

Please take the time to visit the Janapar Grant website and share news of its launch. I’ll bet that each and every one of us knows someone who fits the criteria and would benefit from having their attention drawn to it.

Comments (skip to respond)

6 responses to “Introducing The Janapar Grant, A Travel Grant For Adventurous Young British Cyclists”

  1. Hi
    I’m 23 I cyclè everywhere your bursary sounds amazing … is there one for 2017 ?

  2. […] The Janapar grant eligibility requirements: […]

  3. our congratulations for the work, I’m expecting more adventures saw, thank you even

  4. john Metcalfe avatar
    john Metcalfe

    Hi Tom
    Sorry for previous test tried yesterday and feedback was disabled.

    OK — Janapur Grant — Fantastic. As a person who spends his life making funding applications for business grants its refreshing to see a process which isn’t going to need weighty tomes of justification and match funding.

    Ahh but, I’m going to play devil’s advocate anyway!

    Much of what you and other adventurers advocate when discussing the philosophy of travel is the need to make mistakes. Is there a danger that mentoring will water the experience down? I’ve never done anything as adventurous as you or people like Alistair H, but I did a fair amount of hitch hiking in the 60s and 70s (everybody did then). The uncertainty of that kind of travel, where planning is a not required or even useful, is incredibly liberating. Some of my most memorable encounters were sleeping in Greyhound bus stations and shop doorways. Not all positive but through the rose tinted haze of advancing years I still think better than the protected gap year experiences with parents available on the mobile.

    I’m not knocking the grant, anything to allow a person to experience the true education of travel is brilliant. Just wanting to open the debate.

    Keep on inspiring.


    1. Hi John

      Thanks for your comment. You make a really good point. We’ve envisioned the mentoring element first and foremost as a helping hand to the starting line, aiming to help make the journey happen – but once the recipient hits the road, as well you know, anything can happen, which is all part of the fun. While the mentors will be available to give advice while the trip is in progress, problems on the road are usually more readily solved by direct action, so we’re hoping it won’t be needed.

      It’d certainly be interesting to hear others’ opinions on this.

      Thanks again!


      1. ohn Metcalfe avatar
        ohn Metcalfe

        I’m looking forward to seeing the successful recipient Tom. Fantastic stuff you’re doing here.


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