I read a quote once, it said, “Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventure.” Surely, it was a nice quote but I didn’t take much notice of it at the time however I must have liked it more than I thought because that was the first thing that popped up in my head when I heard about this totally awesome (albeit slightly-crazy) road trip by one Tushar Agarwal.
Tushar along with his friend Sanjay happens to be the founder of a company called Adventures Overland. But back in 2009 he was just a very curious person plagued by a very crazy yet thrilling idea of making a road trip from London all the way to Delhi. He himself admits that the whole thing felt like something you would hear about on News Channels or read about in Newspapers or see a documentary about on Discovery, well he was absolutely right to think that because that is what exactly happened once he became the first Indian to drive all the way from London to Delhi on 6th June 2010. His journey snagged a place in The Limca Book of Records as the first expedition from London to Delhi done by an Indian.
His journey, famously known as London Delhi by Road, inspired a lot of people to attempt some version of this journey for themselves. Apart from this Tushar along with his friend Sanjay Madan has created 14 Limca Book of Records and a Guinness World Record all in the name of long-distance road expeditions. They have written two books, done a show solely on traveling for Discovery Channel and covered 50 countries in 6 continents in a single trip. Through their company they have actively been arranging road trips for travel hungry souls that pan across various nations, Indian, Iceland, Jordan, Alaska to name a few. Recently Tushar opened up about his planning process during the early legs of his epic journey and explained how he managed to accomplish what no one had ever thought of before.
For any of you travel enamored souls out there who would like to take up something this epic anytime in future he has a few pointers:
He very reasonably advises people planning on making a trip from India to London to take a route out of China instead of Pakistan because we all know an Indian passport is really not going to bode well for your journey if you choose Pakistan. The suggested route would be from Myanmar to China followed by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France.
The Time And Timing:
You need to have at least six weeks in your hand to make this happen, you can have more but six is the least of what you’ll need.
It would be advisable to start around the month of April if you are setting from any region of India, that way by the time you reach Kyrgyzstan winter would have already passed and you’ll be spared the snow.
What To Absolutely Have:
There is so much that would be mandatory but the top contenders would be a passport with at least one year left to expire and lots and lots of empty pages, Tourist Visas for all the beautiful countries you would be passing through (the details for acquiring the same can easily be found on the respective embassy websites) and lastly an International Driver’s permit which you can get issued by Automobile Association of India.
Carnet And Motor Insurance:
A carnet would translate as passport for your vehicle and is issued by Automobile Association of India. Plus you have to have your vehicle Insured for cross country journey from India to UK.
There’s a lot more of course that would need to be kept in mind like additional documents, medicines, currencies, arrangements for vehicle shipment, availability of spare parts during the journey etc.
It would naturally be nothing short of a feat of meticulous planning but a rather enjoyable one.
“The key is that you focus on travelling safe and travelling well, talk to as many people as you can and glean as much info as possible from any source you can get your hands on.”
Once you set out you will truly be grateful for all the convenience this before-hand planning will beget you.
It is understandable that a lot of work and effort is what this journey or any journey of this magnitude will require, however rest assured it will not just be an experience of a lifetime but also a lifetime squeezed in one single experience.