In 2018, 31-year-old Dean Nicolson from Dunbar, Scotland said goodbye to his day job as a welder and departed on a solo bicycle trip across the world.
Traveling south, Nicholson passed through eight different countries on his bicycle and shared his incredible adventures online through his Instagram handle, 1bike1world.
Three months into his travels, Nicholson had to change his plans after an unexpected companion joined him on his journey.
As Nicholson was crossing the Bosnian border into Montenegro one day, he was riding up a hill when he heard a ‘desperate meow’ behind him. When he turned around, Nicholson saw a tiny kitten and decided to stop to pet her. Although he had originally planned to move on, the kitten had other plans as she proceeded to stay by his side.
Since they were in the middle of nowhere and the kitten was desperately crying for food, Nicholson knew that her previous owner had abandoned her. Soon, Nicholson fell in love with the little kitten and decided to bring her along on his journey across the world.
The kitten—which Nicholson named ‘Nala’ after a character in his favorite movie, ‘The Lion King’—quickly opened up her loving personality and adventurous spirit to Nicholson as she joined him exploring new destinations, stumbling upon abandoned villas, and strolling along beaches.
At the end of 2018, Nicholson decided that he wanted to continue his journey, so he traveled with Nala through the cold and rain. Unfortunately, this caused Nala to develop a chest infection, which put Nicholson’s travels on hold as he realized how much he had grown attached to the little kitten.
After three weeks of staying in a hostel, Nala got better and the duo was able to continue on with their journey. This time around, Nicholson prepared a waterproof setup for Nala to prevent her from contracting another cold.
Although Nicholson started his journey with the goal of traveling the world solo in mind, his encounter with Nala made him appreciate the growth rather than the journey. Today, Nicholson and Nala’s bond is closer than ever as they continue their journey across the world!