I was working with the Carnival Cruise Line as a service operator, but due to COVID, the cruise industry had come to a complete halt, and I had to come back. I was back at home in June 2020 and stayed home for five months. I was getting bored and did not want to stay in one place. So, when the first wave subsided, I decided that this was the best time for me to explore India, and I was checking all the flights and train tickets. My brother came and reminded me that I could go around on the bike I had bought for myself years ago.
My parents never stopped me from doing anything in life, so I just went to my father to discuss the possibility of a bike trip. My father asked me if I was sure, and when I told him that I was, he agreed to let me go. So, within four days, we bought the essential items for the bike trip, and then I left for my trip. Initially, I never thought that it would turn out to be an India trip. I thought I would go to my native place in Kalimpong from Kharagpur, which was around 800 kilometres. On the way, I thought of exploring more places.
Travelled 28 States, 6 UTs
When I reached Kalimpong, I decided that the India tour was happening for me. Once it started, it just went on and on. Nobody sponsored my trip; everything from food to shelter and petrol for the bike was out of my savings. A few years ago, I had bought the bike from my savings. After my 12th, I never asked my parents for any money. I would give tuitions to students, and then I moved to the United States after my graduation. Today, I have travelled to 28 states and 6 Union Territories.
Before this trip, I would go around in local places like the vegetable market and come back. This was the first time I took the bike out, and for ten months, those two wheels were my companion. I fell sick when I was en route to Ladakh from Himachal. Most people suffer from altitude sickness on the way. I was facing breathing difficulties and nausea. This one night, I did not sleep because of the discomfort. Another time, I was riding on a completely muddy Kacha road, and there was a water crossing, and my bike just slipped, and I fell. This was my first fall on the bike.
Life Is Not A Smooth Highway
Life is similar to a road trip in many ways. I have seen both challenging mountainous terrains and long plain roads. There is one thing that this tour taught me, that life would never be a long plain road; we will have speed brakes, flat tyres and potholes, but what matters the most is how we navigate through them.
Apart from this India tour, I have travelled to 45 countries. I don't know what my next plan is, but I know for sure that I am not going back to the sea anytime soon. I have realized that I would be happier right now. I might want to begin some tours and travels for girls, where I could organize group road trips for girls because often, people are not comfortable letting their daughters go alone.
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