New Zealander Rob Thomson says wanting to go outside his comfort zone was the motivation for a 12,000km unassisted skateboard journey across three continents.
Thomson’s journey through Europe, North America and China has ended in Shanghai after 462 days.
The 28-year-old from Christchurch said today that he hoped to have the feat recognised by Guinness World Records. Asked why he had undertaken the journey, Thomson said: “I struggle with that question sometimes as well.”
But the main reason was that he had wanted to push himself.
“I took a couple of years of my life to put myself outside of my comfort zone,” he told National Radio.
“I’ll take something away from that in my life to come to just keep trying to learn, to keep making sure I push myself past my comfort zone and continue to learn.”
Thomson said other long distance skateboading feats had involved support teams and he had wanted to do his unaided, carrying his own gear and being self-sufficient.
He said the scariest moment was in Texas when he was almost struck down by a fast truck carrying a house.
“It must have missed my by about 10 or 20cm,” he said.
“I was just left thinking, if that had been a foot closer to me, I would have been gone and what a terrible way to go”.
An arts graduate from Canterbury University, Thomson went to live in Japan in 2003, working first for a town council and then for the Asia Pacific University.
In July 2006, he left Japan on a recumbent bicycle and cycled across Asia and Europe to Switzerland, where he sent his bike home and began his skateboard adventure.
He said he intended to bike from Auckland to Christchurch when he arrived back in New Zealand.