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  • Writer's pictureAzera Rahman

Chroniclers of wanderlust

When you look for work off the beaten track, you can find yourself on a six-month round-the-world trip documenting the lives of non-resident Indians. Two men are doing just that

Living as a non-resident Indian in a foreign land is a unique way of life, a blend of two cultures — that of the land of one’s origin as well as of the one adopted. Although glimpses of the NRI life have been written about and shown in several movies, two travel enthusiasts are busy preparing for a grand journey to document the non-resident Indian’s life like never before — by taking a road trip around the world, covering six continents and 50 countries, which will ultimately be recorded in the form of a travel series.

Tushar Agarwal and Sanjay Madan of Adventures Overland, a self-drive expedition company, have led many a road journey before, through difficult terrains and little-explored places. And although they have made it to the Limca Book of Records six times with their incredible travel, this journey of 70,000 km is nothing like what they have ever attempted before.

“The Great Indian World Trip is a journey that has never been done before and was born out of our love for driving and exploring. As an NRI who has lived in Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. for 10 years, I can relate to how Indian people feel living abroad. This journey aims to go and connect with Indians in different corners of the world and document their lifestyle, how they feel about India and what they are up to,” Tushar says, adding that they will mostly be staying at NRIs’ homes to get the real feel of their day-to-day life.

“We have carefully designed our route and included those countries where there is a presence of the Indian community. Countries like the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Kenya, Canada, Thailand and Singapore have a huge presence of people of Indian origin,” he added.

Scheduled to start in September, the journey will first take the duo to the Far East, till they reach Singapore via Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia. Moving on to Australia, they will then drive through the continent before turning west towards Africa. Driving south from Kenya, they will cross Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana and carry on till they reach Cape Town in South Africa. Hopping on to South America, they will drive through Argentina to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.

“After that we plan to take a U-turn and drive up the Pan American highway — the longest highway in the world that will take us through Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia to Central American countries like Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico before entering North America. Instead of simply turning east and driving to New York, we are going to take the long and lonely road to Deadhorse, the northernmost point of the American continent,” Tushar explains.

After experiencing the chill of Alaska, they will cross Canada, hit New York and go east to London. “Hard part done, we will then drive through Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Iran and finally make the final crossing to reach Mumbai and back home to Delhi”. The entire journey will take six months.

“We are still getting our visas (for all the countries) and are in talks with the Union Ministry of External Affairs for support from the Indian embassies in the countries that we will be visiting,” Tushar says.

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