When Laura Morrison’s father, Neil Morrison, passed away two years ago from melanoma, dying unable to fulfill his life-long dream of driving from his birth city of Aberdeen through Europe and Africa all the way to Cape Town, she decided to take on his dream and complete the journey in his name.
In June last year Laura (35) packed her bags and headed out on a 20 000-kilometre journey in memory of her father and in aid of cancer research.
Laura is the proud owner of her late father’s much-loved 1958 Morris Minor, named “Charlie” after their grandmother, who had the same car. She couldn’t think of anything better to complete the journey in than trusty old Charlie.
Along her trip, she managed to raise R444 000 for the Cancer Society Research Division while experiencing the unique beauty of many places and people along the way.
“It’s a cause that’s close to my heart. There’s no one these days that you talk to that hasn’t been affected by cancer or had a loved one affected. It was my way of making a small difference,” Laura told CapeTalk.
From the pyramids of Egypt and the dunes of Namibia to the elephants of the Okavango Delta and the calm water of Lake Malawi, Laura travelled and learned many lessons.
“I had so many problems and broke down on the road so many times, but there was always somebody there to help me.” she said.
When she first set out on her journey she knew it would take a great deal of preparation and commitment but she never dreamed it would yield so many new friendships along the way.
She left from her home in the port of Picton, driving to Auckland and shipping Charlie from Auckland to Aberdeen, Scotland. From there, she drove through the UK and Europe, then through Africa and down to Cape Town. All the donations she gathered will go directly towards cancer research.
After roughly eight months of travelling, Laura arrived in Cape Town just two days ago where she was warmly welcomed by Table Mountain and a group of locals and family members who had followed her journey. She celebrated with a cold draught by the beach.
When she first set out she was aiming to raise $30 000, but by the time she reached the Mother City she had already raised $32 000.
Looking back on her journey, Laura reflects on the hard times and the good ones, remembering when she had to be towed eight times in one day while travelling through Ethiopia and experiencing the unbelievable hospitality of Sudan’s locals, along with seeing a surprising amount of pyramids there.
Overall, for Laura the journey was about the memory of her beloved father, the struggle of those affected by cancer, the wonderful people who helped along the way, and the power one person has to make a difference.
Donate to this worthy cause here and help Laura make a difference.
Pictures: Facebook/Morris 2 Africa