Chapter 2: The making of travelers
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
The first step was a success! So much so, it filled us with lots of enthusiasm to take our traveling experience to the next level. Now we didn't want to take small steps. We were ready for a giant leap… a leap of faith (or that's what we thought).
We set our target: next trip would be a motorcycle trip! We were now considering ourselves to become a serious traveler.
Time: April 2014 (A target without a timeline is just a dream or simply "someday")
With this target, I wanted to cross a few more things from my bucket list. As I had mentioned that I always wanted to become an adventure traveler, but I never did anything which can fall into the category of exciting, let alone adventure. So, I wanted to face one of my biggest fears… going beyond 2 feet of water level.
We explicitly defined our target: During Good Friday weekend (another long weekend, so no worries about leaves), we will travel to Rishikesh on our newly purchased motorcycle and do river rafting in the Ganges.
Once you have decided your destination, the logistics become simple stuff. All we had to do was:
buy a motorcycle,
learn how to ride it (with a pillion heavier than me :D),
buy a few essential kinds of stuff like saddlebags to carry luggage on the bike,
protection gears to avoid injuries during the fall.
All within 3 months!
Apparently, simple things are never easy.
Just to give a little background, I am the only male child in my maternal family in two generations. My mother has been extra-protective about my well-being. The downside of this: I was prohibited from riding any form of two-wheelers, as it is considered unsafe. This overprotectiveness also inculcated the habit of staying in my own comfort zone and not to explore unknown horizons. I did not want to do things which may make my parents uncomfortable.
So, until that year, I did not know how to ride a motorcycle. The other obvious problem was money to buy a bike. We had zeroed down to Bajaj Avenger, which was little shy of INR 1 lac at that time. Why Bajaj Avenger, and why not Royal Enfield (RE), the popular choice for all enthusiastic motorcycle travelers?
I wanted to buy a cruiser model
I had no riding experience, so I was not sure if I can handle the big bikes and
I did not have enough money to buy Avenger, RE was even costlier.
Another significant step which I took was listening to my heart.
Our dream of becoming a motorcycle traveler looked unachievable by all logic, but I did not pay heed and kept my hopes and thoughts focused on the goal. And it is strange that when you put your mind to the task, it will find a solution for you. That solution may not be perfect, but it is the best you can get.
I was inspired, and the Universe conspired.
We found the required money for our ride!
By the time we have figured out the money problem, it was already March. And by the time the motorcycle got delivered (yes, I had requested one of the staff members of the showroom to drop the bike to my home as I did not know how to ride it), we had less than a month to prepare ourselves for our first ride.
So, what do we do when we have a resource crunch? We improvise and make the best use of available resources.
We had effectively 3 weekends (6 days) to practice and prepare ourselves. Within this time, we did practice rides and shop for necessary items…
Week 1: we practiced within our locality in Dwarka, Delhi. Kilometers covered: around 20
Week 2: we went to Gurgaon-Faridabad road. Kilometers covered: Approx. 80
Week 3: A trip to Murthal. Kilometers did: 200
The distance of Rishikesh from our house: 210 km
Wow! Our target was looking within our reach. We were confident that with this trend, Rishikesh wouldn't be a challenge. Were we right? Only time will tell…
I was feeling like that I was rediscovering myself. I never had this confidence in my entire life. The feeling was scary but exhilarating.
Lesson learned: Situation will never be perfect and you will never be ready. You have to fool your logical mind and take that leap of faith. You have to get out of your comfort zone if you really need to explore the possibilities. You have to see it by yourself; otherwise, you will never know. And with all this, you will be making a few people really unhappy, especially the closed ones. But hey!
"There is no formula for success, but there is for failure: try to make everyone happy."