We were wandering the streets of Kuala Lumpur, when we looked across the road and spotted a motorbike. No ordinary motorbike – this one was decorated with stickers, flags and photographs and a big sign that advertised its owner’s hopes to go around the world.
Of course we couldn’t resist investigating further and a few minutes later we were shaking hands with Vladimir Yarets.
Vladimir turned out to be one of the most inspiring characters we’ve met in quite some time. Both deaf and mute, he’s riding around the world to mark his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. What was most amazing was how he could convey details of his trip, using only a few posters as props and a multitude of hand gestures.
We don’t speak a word of sign language but Vladimir told us all kinds of stories about his trip, just with his hands and facial expressions.
If only we’d been so creative and capable when staying with so many good samaritans in places like the Middle East, Central Asia and Morocco, where we were separated by language! We spent a good half hour talking to Vladimir and came away very much impressed by his determination and joyful personality. An inspiration to us all.