The road less taken

The road less taken

The road less taken
When Rohith Subramanian first heard the quote ‘If travelling was free, you’d never see me again’, he was impregnated with an idea that would slowly germinate in him and take him on roads less travelled. But with a brain pickled in reality, he decided to give it his own twist.

Come December, he will hit the roads on his bike and head to about 45 countries, all without spending a rupee from his pocket!

“This quote, along with an article I read about a man who regrets not living his dream when he was younger, transformed my life. They made me think a lot because I don’t want to be 40 and filled with regrets about not enjoying my 20s. I don’t want to be sitting in the same place when I’m older, doing the same thing, and still trying to settle my life. Instead, I want to travel the world and meet new people. I realised that it’s not possible to travel for free but that didn’t mean I have to spend from my pocket!” he says.

This is when he combined his job with his passion for travelling and biking and made a concoction as potent as the one by Professor Utonium.

The 21-year-old is the founder of a crowdfunding start-up called ‘Fundmydreams’ and he’s putting to use his own creation to fuel his dreams.

Calling it an “alternative way of thinking”, he elaborates on his trip, “There are three legs to this solo cross country bike ride. On the first one, I’ll travel across India, to all the states and union territories, and do odd jobs. I have a list of 30 jobs that I want to do, including farming, working as a waiter and at a petrol bunk. This will last three months.

The next leg is to Europe, where I’ll travel across 32 countries, starting from Finland and ending at United Kingdom. The third leg, which is still in the process of ideation, is to 12 countries in South-East Asia. This includes visits to Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Bhutan and Nepal.”

Probably the youngest to head on such a route, Rohith says that he has always enjoyed a nomadic life and hasn’t thought about what he will do after the year. “I’ve always liked such a life. I like to just get up in the morning, head to a bus stand and flip a coin on my destination. Sometimes I might get food, sometimes I might not, but I love it. I don’t have plans past this year of travelling. I might take a walk to Antarctica, who knows!”

Calling it the ‘25 million metre ride’, he doesn’t fail to catch attention. “The entire ride of India and Europe is about 75,000 kms but we called it the ‘25 million metre ride’ because it makes people stop and think. And that’s how this started!”

On how bikes found their way on to this trip, he adds, “When I was a kid, my dad had a Rajdoot and I’d sit on it and rev the engine, without knowing what it is. Then, when I got my first bike (an RX), I wanted to do something with it. And since I’ve always been a random traveller, this made sense.” He’ll ride a Royal Enfield for the first leg and a Cafe Racer for the second. And what if his crowdfunding dream doesn’t come true? “It has to, I don’t have a choice,” he firmly says.

Having quietly changed the definition of ‘stability’, he explains, “I can’t stay in a place for more than two or three years. I’ve always dreamt about this so I thought I’d make it a reality.” As ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes said, ‘Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up’.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox