A 10 Year Old's Trek From Italy To England To Hug His Grandma
Nothing could stop 10-year-old Romeo Cox from visiting his grandmother and giving her a hug during the pandemic. With no available flights from his hometown of Sicily to her home in England, Romeo made an ambitious plan to make the 2800-kilometer trek to London by foot.
“I asked my parents and they said no more than 50 times,” he told The Daily Mail.
Eventually after lots of convincing and pleading, Romeo’s parents agreed to the trip, so long as it was COVID-19 safe and his father, a veteran war journalist, accompanied him.
“I hadn’t seen Granny for a year and a half, so [during lockdown] I planned in secret to go see her. I drew a map. I would walk and take boats and do it naturally to help the planet,” he told the Times. “And I’d take Dad. It would be handy to have an adult.”
Romeo and his father Phil set off on their journey in late June. The pair trekked across Italy, Switzerland, and France by foot and by boat. The father and son’s incredible adventure involved fighting off a pack of feral dogs, taming a donkey and sleeping under the stars, in churches, hostels and in the homes of generous strangers.
Romeo dedicated his journey not only to his grandma, but also to raise money for refugee children. Romeo’s best friend Randolph had shared stories about his family being forced to walk as they made their way from their home country of Ghana to seek refuge in Italy.
“He walked even further than I have on this trip, but without food and water and in fear. He was risking his life,” Romeo told Metro News. “He helped me when I came to Sicily, and so I wanted to help him and other vulnerable children in return.”
Romeo and his father took time to volunteer at a refugee camp in Northern France. He has since raised over 18,000 pounds for a refugee organization.
After three months, the pair arrived in London where they spent two weeks in mandatory isolation before finally reuniting with his grandmother. The heartfelt video of their reunion has since gone viral.
It was difficult at first for his grandmother to wrap her head around everything Romeo had accomplished.
“I didn’t believe my grandson’s incredible journey at first,” she admitted. “Children can inspire us and lift us all up.”