Most people in their 20s would choose to fly around the world, but Alexander Campbell is taking a different approach.
The 27-year-old Sydneysider will embark on a four-year journey to circumnavigate the world on foot.
Beginning at the steps of the Sydney Opera House on February 12, Mr Campbell will hike 40,000km, through 30 countries and across four continents – all while raising funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation.
Mr Campbell said he wanted to support The Foundation because of its impact restoring sight in the countries he would be hiking through.
“The Foundation operates in more than 25 countries, including many that I’ll pass through on my walk including Indonesia, Thailand and Nepal,” Mr Campbell said.
“By supporting the Foundation, I hope to give back to the people and communities I’ll meet on my journey and repay the kindness and hospitality I’m sure I’ll encounter.”
There are currently 43 million people in the world living with blindness but more than 90 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.
Asia, where Mr Campbell’s journey will cross, has the largest number of people with blindness in the world. Vision loss costs East Asia $116 billion AUD in lost productivity each year, and South Asia $90 billion AUD.
Photo credit: Alexander Campbell
Eye diseases like cataract, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy often lead to blindness, but can be addressed using highly cost-effective interventions.
Mr Campbell is a passionate long-distance hiker who has already completed trails including the 800km Colorado Trail, 1600km Great Himalaya Trail and a 3750km hike from the Flinders Ranges to Sydney.
In the lead up to his big walk, Mr Campbell has already raised $3000 for The Foundation.
"Alexander's mission to hike 40,000km around the world is an incredible undertaking," The Foundation’s Director of Brand and Communications Alison Hill said.
"I am inspired by his vision and grateful that he has chosen to raise donations for The Fred Hollows Foundation along the way."
If you would like to donate to his cause, you can do so here.