When Dean Nicholson left his hometown of Dunbar, Scotland he planned on biking around the world as a solo trip. He started his journey in September of 2018 alone, just him and his bike. Little did he know, a kitten was about to hitch a ride.
All was going as planned leading up to Christmas. Then Nicholson’s life was about to change. He biked town to Newcastle and then got a ferry to Amsterdam. He then went through Europe, stopped in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Bosnia. As he entered the border from Bosnia into Montenegro, Nicholson’s trip and life were about to change.
As Nicholson biked up a steep hill in Montenegro, he blasted music from his speakers. Even with the speakers up high, he heard a cat cry. Nicholson stopped and looked in the direction where the meowing was coming from over the side of the road. That’s when he saw a tiny lost kitten looking up at him.
“She was a wee, scrappy little thing and so far away from anywhere,” Nicholson recalled. “I wasn’t going to take her with me at first, but I soon fell in love with her and I couldn’t bring myself to leave her there alone.”
Nicholson named the kitten Nala. He made room for her in his front basket on his bike. Nala wasted no time in falling asleep. At that moment, Nicholson knew he was going to keep the little kitten.
First Nicholson took Nala to a veterinarian before continuing on his trip. Nala was given a rabies shot and a vaccination. Then Nicholson got Nala a pet passport. Finally, the duo took off on their journey together.
Nala was born to be a traveler. She was so relaxed, napping along the way. Sometimes she even would ride up on Nicholson’s shoulders to get a better view. The two continued their journey through Albania and Greece. Then in Albania, Nicholson rescued a puppy that he named Balou. The puppy was more than Nicholson could handle on the trip, so he took the puppy to a local vet who helped find the dog a forever family in London.
Nicholson and Nala draw a lot of attention wherever they go. “Everybody loves her when they see her popping out of the carrier on the front of my bike and always ask for pictures of her,” Nicholson said. “It’s pretty crazy; I’ve had people pull over in their cars and get out to come see her as well.”
If you’ve enjoyed this story of Nicholson and Nala, you may want to follow their adventures together on Facebook by clicking here. The duo continues to live life to the fullest by exploring together.