As neither of us degenerates fancied the typical backpacking vacation that most young adults embark on nowadays, we decided to do something more radical instead. Why not participate in the 2016 Mongol Rally and drive a crappy old car halfway around the globe from London to Mongolia? We hatched the plan in some dingy bar, and haven’t looked back since! Naturally we have tried to socially justify this foolish adventure, which is why we will donate all of our excess donations to the Dutch-based Stichting MS Research Charity. Abel and Luca both have someone close to them that suffers from multiple sclerosis; an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system and disrupts the flow of information both within the brain and between the brain and the body, which results in a wide variety of symptoms that
The Mongol Rally
What on earth did we just get ourselves into?
gradually reduce the quality of life of those affected. Common symptoms include difficulties with mobility, overwhelming fatigue, visual disturbances and many more. Currently, there is no consensus on what causes MS, there is no known cure, and the long-term outcome of those affected is hard to predict. Metaphorically speaking, it’s not that different from driving an old car halfway around the globe: we will most likely encounter technical problems along the way, we cannot predict when these will occur nor can we predict their severity, and we cannot anticipate whether these issues will remit or whether they will become progressively worse. We just have to hope for the best, and with any luck we’ll experience just a handful of minor setbacks and a truckload of major comebacks!
Do you want to read up on all the project’s most recent developments? Make sure to regularly check our Blog section and follow us on Social Media. Just click the buttons at the top left of your screen and check them out!
So far we can introduce two out of three Cruisers to the world. The boys first met at the start of their International Relations Master’s program in Groningen in 2014, and they immediately bonded over their appreciation of off-color humor and their below average guitar-playing abilities. As neither team member has
ever looked beneath the hood of a car at any point in their lives, these youngsters look poised to get into trouble sooner rather than later. The identity of our third driver is still shrouded in mystery, but some say he may be Vin Diesel himself…
Even though he was born and raised in Rome and is a descendant of a fifteenth-century captain in the Pope’s Army (true story), Luca still manages to root for a football team from Turin. His general geographical unawareness will definitely come in handy during our cross-continental journey sans GPS technology! On a more positive note, if we ever get kidnapped in Russia, Luca’s connections amongst Putin’s inner circle are sure to keep us out of those cozy Siberian gulags!
Growing up in the aesthetically unimpressive countryside of the Netherlands, Abel would like to find out whether the entire planet is just as flat and full of meadows as his home province. Very prone to cult of personality tactics, he tends to sympathize with all the shady world leaders for all the wrong reasons. His childish sense of humor will undoubtedly piss off his team members within a matter of hours, and they'll likely have him detained at the first possible border-crossing.
Our third team member is all smoke and mirrors up until this point. Some say he is such a good chauffeur that he doesn't even need a car to drive to Mongolia. Some say he might not really be a he and may actually bring some well-needed diversity to our team. All we know is the Stig hasn't answered any of our texts and we feel played.
No chance you guys will make it to MongoliaWouter van der Schors
I'm pretty sure these guys have never even looked under the hood of a car beforeRob Eekhout
I hope you two at least make it to DoverAdil Mehboob-Khan
"Panda Rei"Raimondo Mantacheti
Good luck! But don't celebrate with fermented yak's milk when you get there!Mark Gentili
'Let's hope they don't get abducted' -- Our friends, hopefully
On July the 16th, 2016, the boys will embark on their epic journey starting in London. They’ll cross the channel and drive southeast towards the outskirts of Europe, enter into Asia as they cross the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, and then take an eastbound route that will take them all way to Tehran, Iran. From there,
it’s up through the Stans of Central Asia, into Russia, as they’ll enter the home stretch and blast full throttle (if that part of the car still works at this point) to the finish line in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, after which they’ll drop off our car in Ulan Ude, Russia. Take a peek at our tentative route below!
We'll be donating to two charities as part of this project. Find out more about them here!
Cool Earth: The first charity we’ll be raising money for is the official charity partner of the 2016 Mongol Rally: Cool Earth. As half the rainforest has been destroyed in the last 40 years, Cool Earth works alongside indigenous villages to halt rain forest destruction. All their partnerships are community-owned and led, and Cool Earth works on the frontline of deforestation in an attempt to make the neighboring forest inaccessible to loggers – savings millions of acres of further forest.
The Mongol Rally stipulates that teams raise at least £1.000 (~€1.400) for charitable organizations, of which at least £500 has to be donated to its official parter. At the end of our project, we will donate said £500 to Cool Earth, and we would like to grant the remaining donations to a charity of our choosing, namely….
Stichting MS Research – is a Dutch-based nonprofit organization that finances scientific research for multiple sclerosis, raises awareness for the disease, and provides health care benefits to those affected. As mentioned in the Our Mission section, there is no consensus on what causes MS and there currently is no available cure. The progression of the disease is very hard to predict and the current medication used for treatment often has several adverse side effects. We would love to raise as much funds as possible to help Stichting MS Research in their quest to improve the quality of life of all those affected.
Let us help you feel good about yourself!
Driving a car to Mongolia isn’t exactly a low-priced endeavor. Therefore, aside from our own measly contributions as unemployed students, we are trying to crowdfund as much of our project as possible! Currently, we expect our entire project to cost about €10.000, incl. visas, fuel, airfare back etc. As mentioned, we’ll also be making an initial donation of £1000 (1400€) split between Cool Earth and MS Research, and hope to be able to donate significantly more once our expenses are covered. Other than this set donation to charity, we will initially try to cover our own expenses for the journey both through donations and through sponsoring. Once we’ve raised our estimated expenditures, all our excess donations will be directly donated to MS Research.
You’re probably asking yourself why you would donate to this ludicrous adventure. Well, while you’re tanning in a rather lame touristy location sometime this summer devoid of any excitement other than what you’ll be having for dinner that day, you can vicariously live through us instead! We promise that we won’t bombard you with exceptionally long travel blogs laden with descriptive terms. In addition, we’ve created some unique perks for donors that’ll undoubtedly convince you!
If your current state of mind is as follows, please proceed to our Donate options!
The "Dutch" Donation
€ 15One-Time Donation
For all you greedy Dutchies out there.
Perks: Your name on our Thank-you page and a shoutout on Facebook.
Any Other Nationality
€ 25One-Time Donation
For all those without the Dutch greedy gene.
Perks: The previous ones & your quote about our project below The Team section for a couple of days!
The Ever so Generous
€ 50One-Time Donation
You’re starting to lose your mind.
Perks: The previous ones & a post-card from an obscure place you’ve probably never been to!
Our New Best Friend
€ 100One-Time Donation
We can be bought. Buy us. Buy Friendship.
Perks: The previous ones & and a photo of us holding a photo of you at an awesome location!
Make it Rain
€ 250One-Time Donation
Pretend that we’re at a club in Vegas and you’re Fat Joe.
Perks: The previous ones & both a personalized gift with little-to-no use-value and thank-you video.
Parents & New Foster-Parents
€ 500One-Time Donation
You may now legally claim us as your sons. Priceless.
Perks: The previous ones & a photo book with the best pictures from the trip!
Donate to a Cruise of Qings:
You can donate to us by using our Paypal tool, or you can help us out through a good ol’ fashioned bank transfer!
Donate via Paypal:
A Cruise of Qings Bank transfer information:
IBAN: NL37 ASNB 0707 9927 29
Recipient: A Spithost
Purpose: Mongol Rally Donation + [Your Name]* + [Your E-mail]*
Optional: Please specify your name and your e-mail so we can thank you accordingly!
Please feel free to share your donation to our project on Facebook or Twitter by simply clicking one of the buttons below and describing how generous you are! You’ll come off as a saint and it will greatly improve the reach of our project; a win-win!
DISCLAIMER: If you want to donate to either of the two charities directly, you can do so either via Cool Earth’s website, or donate to Stiching MS Research via bank transfer:*
Stichting MS Research Bank Transfer Information:
IBAN: NL 36 INGB 0004941716
Recipient: Stichting MS Research, the Netherlands
Purpose: Mongol Rally Donation + [Your Name]** + [Your e-mail]**
*Although you can donate directly on the Stichting MS Research website, it is entirely in Dutch and uses a Dutch online donation tool, which is why both parties consider it more prudent to offer bank transfer information instead.
** Optional: Please specify your name and your e-mail so we can thank you accordingly!
Your company's golden ticket to international fame!
Do you want your firm to receive extensive exposure in a unique fashion, support two charitable causes, and to help two youngsters to realize their journey of a lifetime? If so, sponsoring Team A Cruise of Qings represents a golden opportunity for your business!
A shoutout to all our sponsors and donors
TomTom Bandit Action Cam – Edit & Share your action in minutes (not hours)! Easy editing in minutes, built-in action sensors & waterproof to 40 meters.
Team A Cruise of Qings will shoot most of its Mongol Rally video footage with these action cams, so be sure to regularly check our videos and YouTube channel for video from before, during, and after the rally!
Visit the TomTom Bandit Action Cam webpage here!
Short and long-term flats for rent: Italian style in a peaceful surrounding. Only steps away from the amazing nature of Villa Pamphili and close to the most beautiful city sites. All you need to enjoy your Roman holidays, family getaways and business trips! Special arrangements and discounts are available for both short and long term stays.
Visit their website here!
Ciak is the notebook for travelers, writers, poets, students, professionals and businessmen who search for a good balance between simplicity and personality.
Thanks to its handiness and to the constant research for new shapes and materials, Ciak adapts itself to today’s trends and creates new ones ensuring quality and excellence. Being 100% Italian made is an added value and not just a matter of prestige.
In the era of global standardized production, Ciak chooses the quality of craft tradition and its place of origin. This is how a top quality and environmentally friendly product is made.
Visit their website here!
Renowned Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery in Rome. Since 1974 a meeting point for art lovers and experts who find a wide selection of old and new visual art trends in this space located at the centre of Rome.
Visit their website here!
Budesign is a brand of t-shirts ideated and created personally by Giulia. On the linked webpage you can check out some of her creations. Other color combinations and other designs can be ordered custom according to your own preferences.
Contact Giulia on her Facebook page!
Core International School in Rome was founded in 1983 and is staffed by qualified, experienced British teachers. The school – nursery and primary – began in a small way and although it has grown over the last thirty years we have been able to maintain the original familiar atmosphere where children of many nationalities, cultures and religious backgrounds, learn to live and work together in harmony.
For more information visit their website here!
“Panella, L’Arte del Pane” is your traditional bakery in the centre of Rome. As it has done for the past 100 years, its traditionally made bakery products still wake up the surrounding neighbourhood on the tune of its perfumes, loyal to the most antique memories and to the skill of the early 1900s artisans.
Check out their website here!
We owe some special thanks to the following people:
Martijn Moedt: for all the advice on how to set up our website, and for helping us out whenever we couldn’t understand what computer code was trying to tell us.
Hanna Spithost: for letting us use her awesome camera to take some team photos.
And thank you so much to all our donors! We’d probably be hanging out at some dull camping in France this summer if it wasn’t for all of you!
Henriette van Aken
Geert van den Berg
Alessandra De Cesare
Lydia van Dalen
Valerie Hughes – Core International School
Daniela Lo Castro
Gabriella Lo Castro
Isabella Lo Castro
Nino Lo Castro
Arianna de Marco
Maria Grazia Sanpaolo
Erik van der Scheer
Anouk van der Schors
Chris van der Schors
Wouter van der Schors
Harm Jan Spithost
M de Vries
Thijs van de Woestijne
A C van Zanten
Questions, comments, advice.. we're open to anything. Let us know!