The Mongol Rally is the adventure of a lifetime. When the team from the Adventourists approached Lenovo to power their expedition for charity, we gladly agreed. The true spirit of “For those who DO” is about giving individuals the tools to go and DO. Now that the Mongol Rally has come to an end we caught up with Michael and Freddy of the Adventourists to find out their experiences from the rally and how Lenovo helped them live the DO spirit.. They are settling back into reality but have the “For those who DO” spirit ignited for more adventure…
Lenovo: What inspired you to DO the Mongol Rally?
Initially, it didn't take long to sign up for the Rally. When we first heard about it, we were all over the idea. But at that point it was probably still a holiday in a year’s time with lots of planning. Half a year later, when we started all the necessary route planning and visa applications, we understood how much more time we would need to spend on preparing to make this trip a successful and enjoyable experience. For us it was an amazing opportunity to step out of corporate life for a bit, experience the world, religions and other cultures while doing something amazing for our charities, The Lotus Foundation & Redkite. Simply put and how Freddy sees it, "The idea of going somewhere remote and dangerous, going away and potentially die - I just signed up straight away." This was also captured in the Official Mongol Rally trailer for the start in Goodwood Motor Circuit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGSLXvw0f9I.
Lenovo: How did Lenovo help you live the DO spirit?
The Mongol Rally was an amazing journey and experience, not only from the actual experience but it was also learning about yourself and others. We believe that human nature always goes back to instincts and reflexes when in dangerous or stressful situations. So no surprises that this is exactly what we were doing. When we came across challenging situations and we just did it! No epic drama, fights or whining - we had a closer look at the situation, discussed and evaluated the options and went for it. And kept going and going. We were relaxed and sometimes almost chilled when crossing run-down bridges or had to cross deep rivers with strong currents because we had the equipment that we could trust in. And I think this is what this rally is all about. Stop thinking - You just gotta DO it!
Lenovo: Why did you choose to partner with Lenovo on this epic journey?
We knew from the get go that we can't do this rally on our own; preparation and support were key. So we ventured out to identify who we can work with and who can help us while still believing in our vision and the charity aspect of the rally. Lenovo with their "For those who do" mentality immediately connected with us and we loved the attention and care that we received through our engagement. With the equipment we received, it was so much easier to do even the planning of the trip as this took us about two months and therefore we are very thankful.
Lenovo: How did the ThinkPad X1, ThinkPad Tablet and ThinkPad X220 help you on your adventure?
We used all products quite heavily, even more than we thought we would because with all the driving and exploring, we didn't think we would need them so desperately. But the ThinkPad Tablet proved to be of enormous value as it saved our lives many times. We were using the GPS functionality quite a bit and uploaded a few other apps and bits and pieces onto it to make our live easier. It was amazing how easily we could just pull it out and show to locals, policemen and pretty much everyone and get directions or help, whatever we may be inquiring about. And they could simply interact with the device which was amazing. The other amazing thing was that it was so robust and solid. We drove over some amazing terrain - everything from dusty deserts to breathtaking mountain ranges and the Thinkpad Tablet and laptops still worked without any harm. While driving we also used the ThinkPad X1 to upload our images, sort them, enhance them and blog. Although we didn't have much WiFi along the way, we tried to prepare everything while we were on the go and at night in the tent, and then as soon as we hit a WiFi Zone, upload our content for friends, families and our sponsors. The smaller ThinkPad X220 was very helpful as well as we saved all of our important docs on it, especially when we did border crossings we could simply pull out certain information for customs and immigration and proceed rather quickly. On both laptops, we were impressed by the battery life and how quickly they can be charged which was an enormous advantage because we only had one power source in the car for all the electronic equipment that we carried with us on this trip.
Lenovo: What were the most memorable moments during the rally?
I believe it's very hard to pick out specific memories as the trip was an overall experience. We followed the route of the old Silk Road along so many scenic landscapes, deserts, mountain ranges and drove through three different areas of religious belief. If we would have to pick a specific memory, it will be the ferry crossing over the Caspian Sea, the gas crater in Turkmenistan called "Gate to Hell", the art museum in Nukus and the beautiful old city of Bhukara & Samarkand, the countless border crossings and the excitement when we arrived at the Finish Line in Ulaanbataar.
Lenovo: What’s next for you both?
Freddy flew back to France for two weddings and another road trip through the south of France. Michael is just preparing for the marathon in Sydney and New York City. As for adventures - there seems to be a lot of excitement about the Pan-American-Highway amongst all the Rally participants due to the lack of adventure everybody experienced when we all settled back home and back to the routine of going to work all dressed up in suits.