It all started when one fine day I took a test ride of an H-D on a busy street. Amid all the chaos and blaring horns, somehow i felt an inner peace. It was nothing to do with the H-D but more to do with the feeling of freedom and joy of being on two wheels all by yourself. Instantly I fell in love with the concept of solo riding.
I started doing small day trips in and around my city first. I recall my first inter-city ride was from Ahmedabad to Pune and clocked 747 kms (took a slightlylonger route) in one day. That’s how I got the confidence. Next solo ride was to the 8 beautiful states in the west and south of India covering a distanceof 10051 kms in 50 days.
My most recent solo trip started from Ahmedabad crossing the state of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal, West Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur,Myanmar, Mizoram, Tripura,Bangladesh, Bihar, MadhyaPradesh and back to Gujarat. 50 days, 10233 kms. | 14+ States | 200+ towns | 4 Countries | Countless Stories
NEPAL BHUTAN MYANMAR
I am an explorer and usually love to the take the road less travelled – in life, in business and certainly in travel. Every new destination is a new territory to be ‘unpacked’ and every strangeris about to become part of my extended family. I usually inspire people to travel more (preferably solo), lead a healthy lifestyle (quit smoking) and listen more to heart than mind.
Reaching the highest altitude golf course in the world in Sikkim and entering Tawang’s extremely challenging snow-capped roads were quite fascinating. Staying with the Monks in a Monastery at Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh was an awe-inspiring experience and equally humbling encounter was when I got stuck in a situation enroute to Tripura, where it's almost dark (sun sets around 5.30 pm in the North East) and the next town with some reasonable lodging is 100+ kms away, not to mention the hill roads ahead.
Listened to my gut feeling, and knocked on a door where the sign says MC hotel in a small village of less than 2000 population. To my utter surprise was provided with a cup of tea, and a warm meal (dal, rice, and mixed veg.) together with a makeshift bed to crash in the night. All that for just Rs.130, all-inclusive. They don't know how big their gesture was.
That's the challenging road (en route from Mizoram to Tripura) and they are the ones who work hard every single day to make it smooth. Gave them a well-deserved break! Immensely thankful to them and many more like them whom I didn't get a chance to meet. One of the highlights of my trip was when I met two souls who are 90 years apart but have the same definition of Happiness - Live in the Now and enjoy simple things.
I found that sleeping early, eating light, drinking water, taking breaks, regular checks (body & bike) and strong riding discipline are the keys to having a stress-free ride. I live a minimalistic lifestyle and choose to spend my money on ‘experiences’ rather than ‘things’.Earn. Spend. Save. Travel. Repeat.
More than GPS I follow my instinct and listen deeply to the locals as they help me plan my itinerary along the way. I mostly do my hotel/motel/Dhaba bookings as and when I reach the said destination. In short, I loosely plan my trip and go with the flow.
I found that I became more self-aware, my five senses are very sharp, my reflexes are getting better, I love my solitude more than ever,I feel grateful every single day (just had 1 puncture in the entire trip), found my calling, became more grounded and started enjoying simple things in life. And yes, I can live on 3 backpacks and 2 wheels for the rest of my life, that much I have simplified my lifestyle.
In 2021, I completed the Char Dham Yatra on 2 wheels (solo ride). Did Jaganath Puri in Jan., Dwarkaji in Feb, Badrinath in June and Rameshwaram in Nov. So far clocked 50000 km in a span of 24 months covering 27 states of India and 4 neighboring countries.