Ultimate Drive From France To India . . – By Sri Divya Kocherlakota
Edited By – Akash Goel
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
– Saint Augustine
Does the above quote appeal to you? Well, then you are a true traveler!
A little bit of a traveler myself, the headline “Now THAT’S the ultimate road trip: Adventurous family-of-four drove across 11 countries from India to France over 111 days “, caught my attention.
It is something I have never heard of, and being a bit curious, I decided to peep in and get more information regarding this road-trip. The article just blew my mind!
The Baid family from Bengaluru set out on a 22,780 km journey and followed a route broadly modeled on the ancient Silk Route, going from India to Nepal, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, and finally finished in France. The whole journey was completed in 111 days. Anand Baid quit his job, Punita Baid took a two-month sabbatical, and the two kids were allowed an extended leave from their school to go on this adventure trip.
Previously completing a similar road trip from Bengaluru to Rajasthan, The Baid family decided to utilize their free time and kickstarted their journey on April 8, 2015, after raising money from 14 different companies and well-wishers. “My wife saw the benefit of this trip and the immense exposure our kids will get. In her, I have found a wonderful travel partner, and we have done our fair share of traveling. This time around we wanted to push the envelope and see where it takes us” Anand said. They christened themselves ‘Little Family of Indian Explorers’ or L.I.F.E, and set out on their journey in their Fiat Linea.
The journey’s highlights included climbing the massive dunes in Western China, Door to Hell in Turkmenistan, Himalayan mountain range in Tibet, Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia, Turkey and much more. In China, some dunes were easily over 20 floors high. “One of those pictures where the actual scale does little justice here. And these ran for a few kilometers at least. Unbelievable sight!” the family posted on a Facebook page that they created to share their experience.
But such exciting journeys do not come without their own share of problems. Lack of vegetarian food, sleeping in the car for straight five days during an earthquake in Nepal, where some of the major problems they faced. The family was stuck at the Nepal-China border for five days, waiting for the catastrophe to end. “We could feel the aftershocks every day and we just waited it out patiently,” he says. Stranded inside their car, they only cautiously stepped out to use the washroom and stretch once in a while. These hurdles could not dampen their spirits from continuing their amazing journey.
They met people who were very warm and hospitable and who extended their hand whenever support was needed. The one that really took their breath away was a woman in Uzbekistan, “who paid for our entire meal without us even knowing. All because she loved India and the Taj Mahal”, said Mrs. Baid. The children of the Baid family received many tokens of goodies and a lot of love and pampering from everyone, despite the language, culture, and other differences.
They completed their journey in Paris, visiting Palace of Versailles and Eiffel Tower. They decided to fly back home from Paris and get their beloved car transported back. The family is planning to go on a trip towards the East on their next road trip.
Reading the above story made me realize that nothing is impossible when you decide to do it. The trouble and the hardships look minuscule and nothing seems to be challenging when you love what you do. The family loved traveling and decided to embark this fabulous journey. Their hardships and challenges did not bother them, in fact, they had a once in a lifetime experience. The above story also makes me jealous because there are so many times I wanted to go on a trip in my life but always stopped due to various reasons, but this family stood by its decision and completed their journey successfully, which is commendable considering they are a family of 4. But it also motivates me to do what I want to do fearlessly in future, without worrying much and just going with the flow.
A journey teaches us many things in life. So, keep traveling, keep exploring, keep experimenting and keep learning. Never fear to do what you want to do and travel where you want to travel, as it is rightly said in the below quote-
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”
<Image Courtesy: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/11/17/11/2E862B3A00000578-3321875-image-a-1_1447758268910.jpg