Oru Desi Drive !
How many countries have you visited???
This is the question that is asked each time I say travel is my passion. And I had this false notion that only if I travel abroad I can call myself a traveller. So, my first solo travel was to Bhutan.
That trip changed my perspective of travel forever. I realized travel is not about destinations but how you explore each place. Every place has a story to tell in terms of people, culture, lifestyle, food etc. The trips to Rajasthan, Nagaland, Manipur, Punjab , Delhi expanded my horizon.
I longed to see each state and experience the diverse culture, unique customs etc. It was during the lock down period that I came across an article about a 10 member team that travelled all over India in their SUV.
My immediate thoughts were if they can then why can’t I ?
There were so many hurdles. First and foremost was the fact that I had driven less than 100 km at a go. Thomas Uncle who had done an All India trip in Nano car at the age of 62 years gave me confidence. He told me to start driving long distance more often to see how comfortable I’m with long distance driving.
When the inter district borders opened I started doing 450 km/day trips. Three such trips and I wanted something more challenging. As soon as Karnataka opened its borders, off I went to Hampi from Cochin. It was followed by another trip to Nilgiris.
I was ready to take my next major step and did a road trip in true sense. I did a loop drive through Karnataka, changing destinations daily. The journey was thrilling and I knew I had to make the giant leap next. That’s how my All India trip planning started.
I approached HVK to prepare the route plan and he gave me an elaborate plan. But each day I came up with a new place to explore and I found it difficult to disturb him and ask for new route. So, I started preparing a route plan of my own keeping initial plan as base. In two months I had changed the entire route atleast 15 times !
The preparation period was stressful but I gained a lot of experience. Even though I have been driving various cars for 14 years I had never bothered even once to open the bonnet, change tyre , learn to repair a puncture. I did all that and more.
Before,I was totally dependent on google maps. I learned to work with road maps and it was an entirely different feel. I conversed with lot of travellers who had done long drives/rides and learned from their experience. I reached out to people in travel groups and had help pouring in. I made friends across all states and had lots of interesting conversations regarding culture, cuisines , life etc.
Finally I’m ready for the drive to explore rural life, unveil lesser known places and understand what unity in diversity really means.
I have named it ‘Oru Desi drive’. Oru in Malayalam means one and desi stands for the rural side of India that I’m seeking. This is going to be one drive in hunt of rustic treasure troves. I included my 10 year son to give him a snap shot of what life is.
Proposed route plan is South >>> East >>> North east >>> North>>> West>>> South and plan to start Mid March
I envisage lot of hurdles ahead. I always believe tough times don’t last but tough people will. Seeking your support in this humble travel attempt 😊
(Won’t be doing vlogs. Planning to update snaps in Insta daily. Windin_my_ hair is the insta id )