I am at the toll booth on the Agra Expressway, all set for a thrilling adventure. The toll booth guy, intrigued, asks me, ‘Sardarji, where are you going?’ With a grin, I reply, ‘I am going to London.’ He looks at me like I have cracked a joke, ‘Stop joking with me. Have you gone mad?
I could not help but chuckle and motioned for him to check out my car’s map. The look on his face when he saw the plotted route was priceless! These kinds of interactions on the road? They are what fuel my journeys!
For me, travel is synonymous with happiness. It is not just a hobby; it’s an essential part of my life that keeps me happy and lets me spread that joy wherever I go. When I am out exploring, tasting the local flavors, and connecting with nature, that’s when I feel truly alive.
It’s the journey that’s the real deal, not the destination. There’s this sense of freedom when you are on the road, ready for a long drive. I cherish counting the miles and sharing smiles along the way.
My journey with Adventures Overland began in 2016 when I bumped into Sanjay and Tushar. Little did I know it was the start of a remarkable bond. Our first escapade together was to Bangkok, and since then, it has been an exhilarating journey. They’ve helped me fulfill my dreams of being a true explorer.
But among all the trips, the Road to London Drive in 2017 was the pinnacle of excitement. A convoy of 13 cars and 27 adventure junkies, embarking on a 20,000 km drive spanning 55 days and 18 countries. Every day was a revelation—new roads, exciting stops, weather changes. We would gather over breakfast, planning our day’s route, pit stops, and fuel breaks. Our daily drives ranged from 400 to 600 km, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the terrain.
Yet, nothing compared to the awe-inspiring journey through Central Asian countries—Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. We battled snowfall on precarious mountain passes, ventured through the Gobi Desert, and drove through rainforests. It was an epic adventure through and through. And after seemingly endless drives across Russia and Europe, we finally put our cars on the Calais to Dover Ferry, heading towards our final destination—the UK.
As London approached, a part of me didn’t want the drive to end. I finally got what Albert Einstein meant by, ‘I love to travel, but hate to arrive.’
Traveling is humbling; it’s an education in itself. Those long solo drives teach you the beauty of your own company. On the flip side, engaging with fellow travelers, meeting people from diverse cultures, and witnessing the majesty of Mother Earth—these experiences make you appreciate your place in this vast world.
And then, there’s the food—a significant part of my travel. They say people in the hospitality industry have a knack for fine dining, but it was during my solo road trip a decade ago that I realized food binds our adventures. It’s not just about fine wines or fancy things; it’s about the power of food to shape a journey and etch memories. I’m a firm believer that to truly understand a place, you need to taste its soul. So, during my travels, I make it a point to engage with locals and dine with them. It’s an immersive experience that offers a deeper understanding of the region.
So, this is me—living, loving, and exploring. I am following my life’s mantra—tasting my way around the world. Because, to me, it’s the most genuine way to understand and connect with a place’s essence.As told to Adventures Overland by Dilpreet Singh Bindra.
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