When life is a highway

When life is a highway

On the road

When life is a highway

What started as a simple conversation among four friends — Rohit Prasad, Bramesh Puttanaiah, Harish Garg and Bharath Devanathan — not only turned into a reality but rather, a journey of a lifetime.

For these  software professionals, the idea of a road trip from Bengaluru to London seemed like the best way to beat stress at work and satiate their yearning for adventure. In an interview with Nina C George, Bharath Devanathan shares their experiences.

Was it easy to translate a simple conversation into reality?

It was not difficult. We have been thinking about this journey for six years now and when we were finally ready, we checked if we could manage our schedules (work/family) around it. And we found that we were all able to find the time to do it this year. Our research involved checking out the feasibility of the route and determining what visas are necessary to make this trip happen. We also had to do some work to find a suitable vehicle for the trip.

You say the trip has been a self-discovery of sorts.

Being on the road for two months, meant learning a lot about yourself — learning to be patient and to view the world from different perspectives. We discovered that the world is indeed made of ‘one race’ because we have received so much unconditional love from people all over. We also realise that there is so much more to life than working on a day job.

What makes your trip different?

It’s a road trip. With no back up team. None of us are trained in the mechanics of a car. Our trip is also to promote the message of ‘one world, one race’.

Memorable experiences...

Meeting a Russian family in Slovenia and being invited to their farmhouse was
interesting. They were such loving hosts and treated us to an amazing vegetarian dinner with a lot of warmth and hospitality. We cannot forget skydiving in Klaipeda, Lithuania. A few people who we met like Chris who is walking from Beijing to Germany and a French couple who cycled around the world made us realise that there are a lot more crazier adventures to embark upon.

Any dreadful moments?

We woke up one morning, to find that the windshield of our car was destroyed by a stone. A random act of hooliganism in Troitsk, Russia

Some of the  lessons learnt...

We discovered that people  around the world are extremely helpful. There is so much love. We also learnt that we should pack light and nothing is too big when broken down into chunks.

What are the must-see places?

Plitvice Lake in Croatia which has over 60 lakes and countless waterfalls. The Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow known for its unique and beautiful architecure. It draws its design from different styles from different regions. The Metro stations looked like palaces because the rulers believed that the common man should also have a royal experience when travelling. The landscape in Tibet with clear blue skies, crisp clouds, miles of mountains and lakes and winding roads was an unbelievable experience.

What was it like to drive across 20 countries?

It was safe, comfortable and adventurous. We were moved by the places we saw and the people we met. We had an opportunity to experience the different cultures from close quarters.

What is the one thing that you need when travelling like this?

Time, money, friends and an adventurous spirit.

How did this trip help you unwind?

Our minds are less busy and shoulder muscles are more relaxed since we are not sitting in front of a computer. Not thinking about work is a luxury we want to experience more often.

Your advice to those wanting to venture out on similar trips?

Just do it. Don’t let anybody tell you that something is crazy and that it can’t be done.

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