Laura Bingham is an English adventurer. She is best known for completing a cross continent cycle of South America in July 2016, covering 7,000 kilometres over a period of 6 months with no money.
Laura Bingham was born and brought up in the English countryside and is the youngest of four sisters. While growing up, she enjoyed numerous family holidays including to South Africa, exploring the different cultures of indigenous, tribal groups. Bingham also attended a South African boarding school for a term, strengthening her passion for travel and exploring other cultures. Bingham wrote a list of everything that she wanted to do in her life. She left home at the age of 18 to travel the world and made it her mission to complete as many of these goals as possible.
In 2011 Bingham made her first solo journey from Britain to Greece. Without any former planning, she arrived in the tourist hub of Corfu, jobless and with nowhere to sleep. Within two days of her arrival she found an apartment and began working as a cocktail waitress. Over a period of two months Laura immersed herself in the Greek lifestyle and culture.
From Greece she travelled to Belgium, where she worked in a pub in central Brussels. Here Bingham extended her stay to four months, once more integrating herself into a new way of life and adapting to "French" society. She then journeyed further afield to South Africa, where she lived with a local family, helping out with daily chores on their farm.
Returning to Britain for a brief period in 2012, Bingham spent 2 months working in Windsor, alongside a friend, who trained young polo ponies. She then continued working in the polo industry and travelled to Sotogrande, Spain and Florida, United States.
Between trips abroad, to places such as Bali and Singapore in Southeast Asia, Bingham moved to London to pursue a modelling career. After six months she returned to Spain in March 2013, this time to gain experience in au pairing and childcare.
In 2014 Bingham travelled to Mexico where she taught English with her TEFL qualification. Whilst in Mexico she also became involved with jaguar conservation work with the government. Throughout these four months Laura learnt Spanish to an intermediate level.
Having then earned enough money to return to Britain, in May 2014 Bingham opted out of flying home and instead chose to sail the Atlantic as part of a crew for a 38 ft Trimaran which took a duration of 2 months.
In January, 2016 Bingham began her latest and most challenging adventure, a journey travelling from west to east across the South American continent by bike. With only the equipment she could carry with her, she cycled 7,000 km over 164 days, from Manta on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, through Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay, to arrive at her final destination in Buenos Aires, on Argentina's Atlantic coast, on 1 July 2016. Bingham journeyed across South America with no money, relying on human kindness and generosity, whilst raising awareness for the UK based charity Operation South America.
With reference to her latest accomplishment, Sir Ranulph Fiennes has commented that ‘Laura is a very brave person, this is a risky undertaking.’
Bingham lives in Leicestershire, England with her husband, fellow explorer and World Records holder, Ed Stafford.