Last fall, we spoke to Jade Beaulieu and Yanouk Paquette-Labonté while they were in Vietnam. Their goal: to cycle to Singapore.

After leaving Quebec in July 2021, they had already cycled more than 10,000 km from Paris and imagined that “the worst” was behind them, having crossed Central Asia and its extremes between mountains and desert, where they had cycled in temperatures approaching 50°C. But it was without knowing that the most difficult test of their journey awaited them.

“What we hadn’t calculated was that the further south we went in Asia, the more the humidity rose and the more the temperature also rose at night,” says Yanouk Paquette-Labonté.

For Jade Beaulieu, who had just turned 30, the journey began to get complicated from Vietnam. Dizziness and headaches were added to the great fatigue that never left her due to the oppressive heat. The discovery of this portion of Southeast Asia, which she was eager to visit, quickly took an unexpected turn.

Then came this incident in Laos. “I really wasn’t feeling well so we stopped at a gas station, hoping to hitch a ride for someone to take us to the nearest hospital,” the young woman recalled.

The attendant, to whom they explained the situation as best they could, ended up calling someone – a woman who arrived with a box full of medicine, syringes and a stethoscope.

“It happened super fast,” said Yanouk Paquette-Labonté. Jade is starting to not be there anymore and I have to make decisions…” The young woman received two injections and the couple finally managed to reach a hospital, where a doctor ordered her to rest for a week.

“In the end, we made the decision not to go to Cambodia, to cancel all our plans and to go directly to the international hospital in Bangkok,” says Yanouk Paquette-Labonté.

At that time, they were ready to return to Quebec – it was mid-December.

A few weeks of rest later, reassured by the results of Jade’s medical examinations and the fact that she no longer had any symptoms thanks to the medication she had been prescribed, the trip continued nevertheless – but at a quite a different rhythm and with a few compromises, like this coach trip to cross Malaysia and finally arrive in Singapore, from where they had to catch their plane back.

After nearly two years of roaming around, he admits that with the exhaustion, they had become less inclined to meet people and much less impressed by the landscapes they discovered. Like a marathon runner who hits a wall of fatigue, he illustrates.

Now that they’re back home, 13,500 km, 21 months (645 days) and 25 countries later, they take the time to land – “sometimes it feels like we’re on another planet “, intervenes the young man – and prepare some conferences on their adventure.

New bike trips? They are thinking about it, of course, but the next ones won’t be as long – that’s for sure. “The family reunions that we miss, the activities at Christmas… it’s difficult,” says Jade Beaulieu, who admits to having found the distance difficult at the end of their first year of travel.

“Now we’re going to select parts of the world that we want to see,” says Yanouk Paquette-Labonté. A route that will last two, three weeks, a month maximum, then we will come back. At 30, we also tell ourselves that it’s time to have a home… That’s not bad, our quest, at the moment! »

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