Teacher encourages pupils to pursue vision

A MESSAGE of perseverance was yesterday shared with East Launceston Primary School pupils as travelling American teacher Melissa Pritchard rolled into town.

Ms Pritchard, of Oregon, has been cycling across the globe for more than 200 days - a journey that so far clocked almost 20,000 kilometres.

She said her talks at various schools through her travels were based on encouraging young people to work hard and pursue their own vision of life.

"It's kind of my way of giving," Ms Pritchard said.

"I don't have much to give to charity but I can donate my time."

A tight budget, mustered through intensive saving, has so far seen the cycling educator travel through more than 20 countries in four continents during her 14-month exodus.

"From here I'll be going to Bridport, then maybe Scottsdale and down through the East Coast to Hobart," Ms Pritchard said.

"I'm going to pull up to my parents' house in Oregon for my birthday on October 14.

"I want to spend some time being an aunt with my niece and nephews before I go back to somewhere like Barcelona to continue teaching."

She said the generosity of others had been of great assistance, although fatigue, long hill climbs and weather were all challenges along the way.

"I tell myself `there's a town only 10 minutes away' where I might be able to get a treat, or get clean clothes or have a shower," she said.

"I'm making a list of places where I'd like to live and work as I go along, I would love to get a visa for Australia."

A regularly updated website listing Ms Pritchards' travels and adventures can be found at www.theloongwayhome.com

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