“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”Jack Kerouac
Road trips. A group of young graduates out to seek thrill. A man on a journey to discover himself. A couple out to reignite the spark. Or, simply any man out to live life because that is what the essence of a “road trip” invariably speaks of. Some people refer to it as a “calling,” an unprecedented and eccentric feeling from within to pick up the battered ol’ Chevy and leave, leave without a destination, leave without a rationale, leave with no craving of ever returning and then within this myriad sphere of perplexity, discover. Discover the joy of travelling, discover a sense of purpose, discover the beauty of life, and, in this juggernaut of sentiment and sensation alike, you’ll discover from within the spark that had never fully doused.
Now, Ernesto “Che” Guevara would have never in his wildest dreams imagined of the kind of cult that he’ll inadvertently have inspired, but then again, as we look back upon the nonchalant lifestyle of this revolutionary man, one thing that stands out is the dogma, the sense of purpose that he had. He attained this doctrine only after as a 23 year old Medical student in January 1952 he, along with his friend Alberto Granado, left Buenos Aires on the back of a spluttering single cylinder 1939 Norton 500cc that they sardonically dubbed La Pedrosa (The mighty one) on a long-drawn-out journey of Latin America that he later chronicled in his memoir, “The Motorcycle Diaries.” So, here I am to assist and aid you in your version of an escapade to never land by pointing out the essentials.
Route: India being the mighty mass of land that it is has a plethora of possible routes for a once-in-a-lifetime drive. I divulge a few for you, below:
- Delhi-Manali-Leh: This route has for decades been the ultimate road-test for budding Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield ‘Bullet’ enthusiasts alike, and for good reason. All it requires is a foolproof itinerary that unknown contingencies and revelation shall wreck, but one thing that you are guaranteed throughout this arduous voyage is the sense of a hitherto unknown thrill and adventure.
- Shillong to Cherrapunjee: If you can have miles and miles of aesthetic scenic beauty packed into one route, this is it. Adding to this, the fact that this route is sparsely used and explored makes for a greater journey altogether.
- Dehradun to Nainital: The umpteen hills of Kumaon offer a multitude of options on the rider’s palette all along this route. One can discover serenity in Rishikesh, saccade the eyes to catch the sight of a Tiger at Corbett or take a ride over the sacred Nainital Lake. This route has it all.
Music: 3 essentials for the ideal road trip playlist:
- Cruise Night by John K. Samson: This song perfectly captures the nostalgia and riveting nature of discovering simply just how overwhelming merely rolling down the streets is, when done so with friends.
- Ticket to Ride by The Beatles: No trip can be complete without a groovy little number from George, Paul, John and Ringo, and this song is the perfect match for any trip you decide to go on.
- Fast Car by Tracy Chapman: My personal favorite, this song is about wanting change, and this tune perfectly encapsulates that feeling of wanting to get out and run.
- Motorcycle Diaries (Book): Need I reveal any further?
- Thelma and Louise (Movie-1991): This is a poignant account of two women who, being companions on a cross country chase, rediscover the strength of their friendship and surprising aspects of their own personalities.
- An Itinerary: No, I wasn’t about to forget the most essential aspect but further elucidation of this would make for another long tell-tale.
Until then, Happy Travelling!