Manas Dewan put a pause to his corporate career to live his dream. With his wife Anuradha, the couple travelled on motorcycle across 18 countries and 20,000 kilometres over four months
The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. For me that first step was to give up a perfectly good life and trade it for a hundred days of living my dream. Well it was almost as dramatic as that. We lived in Muscat, Oman and I had an interesting corporate job as head of Marketing for a large conglomerate - the money was decent, the work was smooth and we lived a great life. But often, life offers a golden cage, stay there long enough and you will forget the voice of your inner aspiration.
Anu (my wife) and I, we did not want that to happen to us because we had a long cherished dream to travel distant lands, to make new friends and truly experience humanity. Sometimes the first step calls for tough decisions and so it was with us. We decided to quit the job, put a pause to career and follow the call of the road.
We left Oman and flew into Mumbai, it was the middle of March. I had quit my perfectly satisfying job, our life in Oman and reached India. Our plan was to travel Europe on a motorbike. Summer months offer the only window for travel on motorbike and that left us really little time to prepare. But prepare we did, burning the midnight oil, researching, working on the motorbike modifications and readying ourselves for the dream ride.
Project “Dosti On Wheels”
Our ride was to be a celebration of friendship and we decided to call it Dosti On Wheels. It was a celebration of our 18 years of togetherness. The trip was also a celebration of friendships yet to be fostered… when strangers will turn into friends. We were convinced that they were around and we were going to step out of the four walls of our home and office to meet them. Our wheels would guide us to our new friends and with that conviction, we planned out our ambitious trip.
We planned to travel from Spain and Portugal to Czechoslovakia in the north, and from Italy in the south, till the Balkan countries of Eastern Europe and then finally conclude our ride in Turkey, the gateway to Asia. Our route was nearly 20,000 kilometres and it passed through most varied climates, land forms and terrain; it was not going to be easy. We had little in terms of experience of previous travellers to seek advice from… even the various Automobile Associations were unaware of people who had planned a trip of this magnitude and over this geography. “This is going to be a real adventure,” Anu grinned at me.
By end April, our Ducati Scrambler was packed off on board the ship bound for Valencia, Spain. A month down the road, we followed suit, flying to Valencia where our bike awaited us at the port. “Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Valencia,” the pilot announced. We stepped out to a beautiful sunny day and Dosti on Wheels was on the roll. Or so we thought.
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