April 11, 2023

From Amsterdam to Cape Town: One step closer to regreening!

There are endless possibilities to dig in with us and help us in our mission to cool down the planet. Derek Beeftink (31) did it in one of the coolest ways we’ve heard of thus far: by riding his motorcycle all the way from rainy Amsterdam to sunny Cape Town while raising money and awareness for our projects! During this trip of a lifetime, he started his own bundraiser, where his friends, family and others donated money to Justdiggit. 

derek with his bike

We were super curious about his motivations to do this, his experiences on the road and the lessons learned along the way. We had a chat with Derek 3,5 months into his great adventure, just when he was stranded for a few days in Rwanda. Yuki – his trusted Honda CRF300 that carried him along his trip – had some issues and was being repaired right when we called.

Hi Derek! When did your journey begin and what is your (planned) route? 

“On the 15th of October, I stacked my Honda with whatever I thought I needed on the trip and began the journey from my hometown Amsterdam. I had a general route in my mind before the start of the trip, but for the most part, I kept things open and planned my route along the way. I rode through Europe and Israel, down to Saudi Arabia, from where I took a flight to Kenya, due to a practically closed border at Ethiopia unfortunately. I started to make my way down south from there!”

What motivated you to begin this motorcycle journey and start your own bundraiser?

“The adventure. But I also wanted to experience the true power and beauty of nature again. I’ve done similar, smaller trips before this one, and the sense of freedom and gratitude you get when you’re in nature for such a long period of time is incomparable. It always helps me to reflect deeply on my life and gives me insights into life’s biggest questions. I wanted to experience that again.”

“As for the bundraiser, I realised that I could combine this journey with doing something for our planet, to raise money with my adventure for a good cause. Personally, I’m sort of done worrying about our climate and other problems in the world and want to put my energy into solving them. That’s why I quickly thought of Justdiggit, so I contacted you guys and it kind of just started from there.”

How did you learn about Justdiggit and why did you decide to start your own bundraiser?

“I encountered your organisation already a couple of years ago through social media. I’ve always loved how Justdiggit makes a real and visible impact on the environment. I like the straightforward approach and how effective it is, it’s all already in the name: just dig it. Actually, when I was in Northern Kenya earlier in this trip I got the opportunity to see the scope of your projects and the impact from above, as I was on a flight above one of the bund sites. It was really impressive to see!”

Amazing! How many bunds did people donate with your bundraiser?

“I don’t know how much exactly, but it’s more than 250. [it’s 265!] I committed myself to donate 1 bund for every 100km of my journey. And for every bund that was donated on top of the target goal, I would travel another 100kms. This was quite a challenge, but thanks to the generosity of many of my friends and family I’ve managed to meet this goal!”

Any tips for people who would like to do something similar, helping out the planet with an adventure like this?

“Well, honestly: just do it! I’ve noticed that when you do something crazy like this and decide to help other people or the planet, the world almost sort of opens up for you. I mean, this process of finding a good cause and doing something with Justdiggit went super smoothly, and whenever I tell people I meet during my journey about my goals and that I want to reach South Africa on my motorcycle, they’re always super supportive and help me out however they can. No matter where people are from it seems that they want to help you out when you do something like this. Maybe they just think it’s an interesting story.”

Currently, Derek made it to Cape Town and finished his great motorcycle journey. You can find his pictures and experiences on his Instagram: @derek_travels. Derek, thanks once again for your incredible support and for showing in just how many ways you can contribute to our cause! Inspired by Derek’s story? Here’s how you can start your own bundraiser. Dig in!