It’s 2016, and the international highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand is operational, but we are far from making this trip happen. One thing I can promise you guys is we won’t give up on this dream. We are definitely going to make it one way or the other. It’s kind of difficult for me to write this post because I am very disappointed that we are not on this amazing road trip already, but we owe it to the people who follow our journey closely the update on our plan and stuff.
There is actually only one reason we can’t make this trip happen right now, and it’s about the money. We underestimated the cost of this trip in the beginning because it’s not only about gas, economy hotels and street food, but car permits and official paperwork are what allow us to actually drive on this trip.
But first, before I get into the headache, I want to show you guys our plan.
Starting Point: Pune, Maharashtra, India
We live here so we will start this trip from here. We have a few groups of people who want to join us in this trip, but they live in Bangalore and Delhi so we will decide the meeting points later.
We have been back and forth about the route because Sadik actually wants to add Nepal and Bhutan in this trip. I think that will be too much. Also I want this trip to be about celebrating this new international highway so it should be all about this route at the moment.
And here is our route. This trip is about 6,000 km and 100 hours of driving. We will talk about this in detail in the coming post.
Pune > AhmadNagar > Shirdi > Manmad > Malegaon > Dhule > Indore > Bhopal > Jhansi > Kanpur > Lucknow > Faizabad > Ghorakhpur > Muzaffarpur > Siliguri > Dhupguri > Alipurduar > Guwahati > Nagaon > Dimapur > Kohima > Imphal > Moreh
Khampat>Mawlaik>Kalewa>Monywa> Mandalay>Meiktila>Naypayitaw>Bago (Hpayar Gyi) > Waw >Kyaikto >Bilin> Theinzeik> Thaton >Hpa-An> Kawkareik >Myawaddy
Mae Sot > TAK > Pistanulok > Nam Nao > Khon Kaen > Bangkok
*** We may change the route as per your feedback and further information. We will make sure you’re informed about this 🙂
We are starting this trip on October 29th 2016, Saturday. 3 Weeks drive for one way trip. We are shipping the car back to India while we are going to take a flight home.
What to Look Forward to
This is going to be one of the most important road trips of our life. We’re not only going to enjoy it, but we want to spread the messages about nature, adventure, food and cultures of the land we will pass through. We will visit the key cities where we can, hopefully, stop for a few days to absorb the vibrant cultures and make new friends. We are definitely going to be vlogging and blogging the entire journey. I want to take a lot of pictures as well so I can share with you guys and also use them to inspire myself in the future.
We are open for suggestions, contribution and collaboration and whatever going to make this trip happens and better. I think we can come up with a little coffee table book after this as well.
What Do We Need
Like I said, we still don’t have enough budget to make this trip happen. I don’t mind driving my little car across the mountains and the ocean because I believe in us. We need car permit with a bank guarantee that costs as much as thrice the valuation of our car. I was like “Should we do this on auto rickshaw?” when I heard about this rule for the first time. Well, you will get the money back later when the car returns to India, but it’s still a huge amount for common people.
As for the paperwork, we have to work on it ourselves because we can’t afford the agent who asked USD 7,000 to just process it. It’s a very big challenge so we decided to give ourselves some more time to plan better and source some fund, hence aimed this trip during Diwali vacation this year.
How Do We Work It
Sadik and I have been thinking a lot about our budget and the way to make extra cash for this trip. We come up with random ideas, but we really do consider some of them very seriously. We are thinking of publicize my book, Lavender Blood, not only online, but hard copy as well. We think of selling our book while traveling, like at night markets and stuff. We also think of selling homemade products like curry paste and cookies and hope that we would make enough profit to help us. Our friends also suggest crowd funding and sponsorship programs to support our journey for which we might offer them something meaningful in returns.
How I feel
To be honest, I am disappointed in myself quite a lot because I had so much time when I first envisioned this trip. Now that the road is actually ready to drive, we are stuck here. I should work harder, so by November, it can actually happen. But hey, look on the bright side, in November, the weather is going to be nice and chilly, and it’s going to be perfect for a cozy trip we’ve dreamt of. And how cool we will be celebrating holidays on the highways? It sounds good to me.
I will write about the key cities we wanted to explore in this trip in the coming post 🙂