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Social Cycles Supports Local Projects Through Group Cycling Trips

Interview with founder Brett Seychell
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Meet Brett Seychell — founder of Social Cycles which supports local projects through group cycling holidays in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Samoa, Iran, Colombia and Mongolia.

Brett founded Social Cycles after an epic cycling adventure across the world from London to Melbourne. Social Cycles is a purpose-driven tour operation that aims to connect travellers with experts from local NGOs.

Read more about the story and inspiration behind Social Cycles.

How did you get into the travel industry?

My introduction to the travel industry was a two and a half year cycling adventure from London to Melbourne, Australia — this adventure changed my life and set me on a different career path.

I covered over 28,000 kilometres (17,000 miles) in the saddle and crossed 26 different countries. It wasn’t just a cycling journey. I also started a charity and raised £12,000. I had the autonomy to distribute the funds at my discretion, but this was much harder than I first thought.

Research led me to meet many local NGOs along the way and I gained an insight into the local culture and social impact more than I ever could have imagined.

Meeting local heroes working in community development gives a cultural perspective like no other. Being in the position to learn, then support was truly unique.

What is Social Cycles?

I wanted to give people the opportunity of meeting and learning from local people, working in the community development space.

Social Cycles ( hosts small group cycling adventures in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Samoa, Iran, Colombia and Mongolia. We engage with a variety of different NGOs and charities along the way to gain a broad perspective of local issues.

We ask for a A$200 ($140 USD) minimum commitment from all riders. The money is given directly to the NGOs that are chosen. All of it. No bank fees, no commissions.

The group from every tour engage in a ‘Donation Debate’ on our last night together. We’ll discuss what impressed us, confused us and inspired us, and decide as to how we’ll distribute our funds.

What makes Social Cycles stand out?

Many tour operators support local charities, but Social Cycles takes travellers behind the scenes to meet the inspirational people involved in making a difference to the community.

Our tours achieves two objectives:

1 — Support local charities by introducing a new revenue streams and raising awareness.

2 — Educate travellers by giving them the chance to ask questions and engage in conversation about local issues with local experts.

How is Social Cycles changing the future of travel?

At the heart of our business, we believe in responsible travel.

Giving people the chance to create connections and learn about community development whilst on vacation changes lives — not just those of the charity beneficiaries, but the traveller’s as well.

Having the opportunity to ask questions and create conversations moves travellers to a place of sympathy, to a place of empathy. This leads to long term connections, and often long term investment through continued awareness and financial support.

Social Cycles is a passion-based business. Although we need to make a profit to be sustainable, our core focus is the connection and support of culturally relevant and educational NGOs for travellers to engage with.

What’s another travel company you admire and why?

We admire all small group passion-based travel businesses with a similar focus. We work with Traverse Journeys on some collaborated projects.

— Thanks Brett, for sharing your story!

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