Thank God it's Friday

6th May 2005 at 01:00

It's the last week of my degree and my final project is due in two days.

But my mind is on other things. My hare-brained idea of travelling around the world in six weeks using 80 methods of transport has turned into an organisational nightmare.

I'm a psychology student at University College London and I spend two evenings a week tutoring a child with autism, a job I got through my department. He's one of the reasons I'm circumnavigating the globe. I want to raise money for the TreeHouse Trust, a London-based specialist school for children with autism, which relies on charitable donations.


I spend the day in front of a computer screen, but can't focus. Instead I check my email every five minutes for offers of sponsorship for my trip.

There are 24 hours until my university project has to be finished, but instead I'm responding to an email suggesting that I travel through Peru on a reindeer. The seriousness of my situation sinks in after dinner; I stop thinking about my trip and work late into the night.


Five hours later I'm back in the department. All is going well until the college network goes down. Thankfully it coincides with lunchtime and gives me a good excuse to get on with some more organising for the trip. The network is back up by the time I get back and I hand in my project only five minutes late.


I was up until 4.30am again, but my throbbing head reminds me that work is not to blame this time. I put on my teaching hat this afternoon and visit Elliot, my little student with autism. He attends a mainstream school and I help him to keep up. He is easily as good at maths as the other children, but that doesn't stop his protestations at another line of algebra.


More planning for the trip today. I send out dozens of press releases and get a call from one journalist about an interview. I also contact yet more companies about sponsorship. Elliot is excitable today and his handwriting practice soon deteriorates into hide and seek. This week's been hectic; thank God I'm not travelling around the world for another few months yet.

Tim Moss lives in London. Find out more about his trip at

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