Georgetown couple Lauren Geoghegan and Jay Austin were killed Sunday in Tajikistan in a cycling trip around the world by ISIS in a vicious attack. Geoghegan and Austin were a year into a trip of a lifetime documented in their blog and on their Instagram page Simply Cycling when they were run over and then stabbed by a faction of the terrorist group. Both were 29-years-old.
CBS News reported that the couple, who had already made their way across Europe and were cycling with a group from all over the world when the attack took place in Tajikistan. A car rammed into the group which also included at least one Dutch and Swiss citizen, and then a group of men jumped out and stabbed the bicyclists with knives.
Lauren’s parents, Robert and Elvira Geoghegan, said that their daughter had an “openness to new people and places” and a desire “for a better understanding of the world.”
The Geoghegans explain that at this time they are trying to concentrate on Lauren’s life rather than her death.
“We are focused at this difficult time on the joy that Lauren brought to us, to her sisters, and to everyone she encountered. The yearlong bicycle adventure Lauren and her partner, Jay Austin, were enjoying was typical of her enthusiastic embrace of life’s opportunities, her openness to new people and places, and her quest for a better understanding of the world.”
The couple left the Washington, D.C., area last July and started their trek around the world in South Africa, telling their story through pictures on their Instagram page.
NPR reported that the couple was aware that evil existed in the world, but they went on their adventure believing that it was the minority of people who meant others ill. Austin recently shared that sentiment in his blog he shared with friends, family, and cycling enthusiasts.
“Badness exists, sure, but even that’s quite rare. By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this.”
Austin and Geoghegan had cashed in their possessions and were living off their savings as they decided to live frugally and see the world from the view of a bicycle. When asked why, Austin stated that they might never get another chance.
“Life is short and the world is big and we want to make the most out of our youth and good health before they’re gone.”