Mark Quattorocchi

11,000 KMs on cycle for charity | Interview with Mark Quattrocchi

While travelling, I meet many interesting people. Their stories inspire me to travel more and do something meaningful. One such traveller was Mark Quattrocchi. I met him in Jaipur and was inspired by his story.

Mark Quattrocchi is a Canadian cyclist who has cycled more than 11,000 KMs to meet a goal. The goal is to “Free the Children“. Mark wants to see a smile on children’s face, when they realize that they can also get educated and face the world with pride. He wants to  “free the children” from the shackles of financial problems and build schools for them where they can get free education.

Here is an interview with Mark Quattrocchi where he answers my curious questions.

1) What motivated you to cycle across the globe for charity?
The driving force behind my journey around the world was definitely a wanderlust for exploration of our great world. As I began this trip I knew that I could do something more with my ride. Raising money for charity is just one positive aspect of an all encompassing life experience. The goal is to help people see through my eyes the hardships that many people go through. To see the beautiful and hard places of our world. To educate the population that we are not that different from one another. I chose to cycle as it brings me so close to the people I meet on a daily basis. By rolling past on a bus or jetting around on airplanes, it is easy to miss the bigger picture. The stories, the struggles and the faces. This is what interests me.
Mark & his cycle

Mark & his cycle

2) Why did you choose education as a sector where you would like to contribute?
Education is something that is near and dear to me. As a teacher I know the importance of education and the hope it can give to young people for their futures. Not only does it help children break the cycle of poverty, but these children can then in turn educate their parents and others in their community circles. In a lot of the world we take education for granted. However, in many places it is not accessible for a large majority of the population. Building a school is just the first step of a much more complicated picture. However, having a building where children can learn in a safe and comfortable environment at least gives them a start.In India I had the unique opportunity to visit a small village called Verdara outside of Udaipur. At the moment I am raising funds to build a new school there. The old school is completely unsafe for learning, dark and uninviting. I saw firsthand the love and appreciation these people have for education. The goal with the charity is not to give handouts, but educate people how to take care of their own well-being and future. To help them live sustainable and powerful lives. The hope is $10,000 for the next school. Already I have helped build one school in rural China. I know working together we can meet this next goal. I would simply like to leave our world a little bit nicer than when I came. That is my hope.
3) What challenges/difficulties have you faced till date during your campaign?
As far as challenges go, there are a number which I encounter on a daily basis. When I started my ride in China, I was mainly getting used to life on the road. I knew little about bicycle repairs and what problems can come up all of the sudden. I was never an avid cyclist beforehand, so getting used to riding a bike all day long over mountains and through deserts was definitely challenging. Drinking enough water and eating enough food to replace the large amount of calories I burn each day was also a learning experience. In cold countries it is a constant struggle to stay warm while camping and keep clothes dry. My mind has really adapted to life on the road and I no longer feel the same fear when I walk up to a complete stranger and ask for a safe place to camp for the night. Traveling for over two years does not allow me to stay in hotels each night, so I camp a majority of the time. I have of course had a fair share of close calls with crazy drivers and I count myself more than lucky on a number of occasions. In some countries the challenges are more mental than physical. Knowing I have thousands of kilometres ahead of me to ride can sometimes be hard when looking at a map, but by taking things day-by-day I have learned a lot about overcoming these hurdles when they present themselves.
Mark with Kids

Mark with Kids

4) Tell us about your experience in India. How was it different from other countries?
My experiences in India were definitely unforgettable. I had the unique opportunity to see a side of India most people never see. I was welcomed into homes of Christians, Muslims and Hindus. I ate dinner with families and saw how home life takes place, from the southern tip of Kanniyakumari to New Delhi. I rode over 3,800km in India alone. I saw beautiful temples and experienced the warmth of hospitality. I swam in the ocean and ate amazing foods. India has the best vegetarian food in the world. Each place I travel to is decidedly different and India is no exception. People say that there is no other place in the world quite like India, and they are right. The chaos that is India can be addictive to an outsider. The regions from north to south are not only geographically different but the people are as well. I had an excellent time seeing it all.However, India was also my most mentally challenging country so far on the journey. The unending traffic, wild driving and curiosity of the people was quite tiring. I had more difficulty finding a private moment to myself than anywhere else so far. The amount of people struggling to get by on a daily basis was also eye-opening. Each country comes with its own set of challenges, but my experiences in India will live with me forever. I will return one day to explore more regions and attempt to understand a little bit more. It is a big, beautiful and vibrant country with a whole lot to offer the world. It is just a matter of taking the time to uncover its secrets.
Mark in India

Mark in India

5) How can somebody contribute to your charity fund?
Contributing to my charity fund is quite easy. Simply log onto my website at and see the blue icon on the left hand side marked ‘Free the Children’. Clicking this link will direct you to my donations page. No money goes to me personally and only a small percentage to administrative costs of the charity organization. They really try to make every dollar count. For more information on the charity please look up It is a Canadian based charity aimed at promoting sustainable living through education, sanitation, healthcare, agriculture and alternative income programs. They are about empowering young people to help others. Youth helping youth.
6) Any message you would like to give to the society?
The message I can send out is basically to follow your dreams. If you want something in life, then it is up to you to go for it. Dreams are not an easy business and no one can achieve them for you. They are hard work. For over two years I dreamed of cycling around the world. Now I am doing it. But, it didn’t happen overnight. I also encourage people to trust one another more. Most people you meet around the world are kind hearted. There is very bad publicity in the world about how dangerous other places are. If you go out and explore, I am sure you will find beauty wherever you go. You just have to be willing to accept it.Most of all though, don’t forget to take time and evaluate your life. Think about where you are going and would like to be in the future. Think for yourself. Outside influences shouldn’t be the guiding light of your life. I understand we all come from different backgrounds and cultural histories but don’t be a victim of circumstance. We are all our own person. Be who you want to be. I can now safely say I am doing exactly what I want to do. I hope more people can say that one day. If I even help one person achieve more than they thought possible, I can live happily. Enjoy these days, because they are few and short.
Mark with locals

Mark with locals


Interview with Mark Quattrocchi



Umang Trivedi

I started to share my travel stories around adventure, offbeat experiences & Budget travel in India & around the world. I also compile travel tips & ideas for you! Feel free to explore my website & leave comments!

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