Dreams are not made of all things stardust and illusion, but of zeal and passion. Anuj Khurana and Ishant Kumar Singh Jadaun are living their dream in the most Bollywood way.
So, far the travel bugs have covered Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmadabad, Pune, Goa, Bangalore, Lucknow and Nainital. This 500-day national adventure was given a trial run on a trip from Gurgaon to Jaipur to test their endurance and coordination levels. Once confident, the two of them took the plunge to get wild on the road.
“Simply put, my plan was to travel across the length and breadth of this nation without money or, the constraints that it brings. I hitchhiked, borrowed, or did whatever it took to get me through another day. In the process, I aspired to spread smiles and share laughter,” says Anuj
What started as a thrilling adventure, turned out to be much more. Cultural diversity, human interaction and an unbelievable bunch of kind and compassionate people, have left these hitchhikers with a beautiful insight and more amazing stories.
“I just can’t express how much fun it is to chat with truck drivers. We would have never had such beautiful conversations and experiences if we had our wallets to distract us. Although, tolerating Kumar Sanu is humiliating, since that is what every truck driver plays,” says Anuj.
It was in Goa that they decided to upload their traveling stories on social media through MOVE.
“A lot of random Facebook people started hosting us, and in exchange all they wanted was to hear our crazy travel stories,” explained Anuj.
The response was overwhelming to the point that they ended up staying in Bangalore for 25 days. They received close to 300 invites for meet-ups, meals and stays. In fact, an international school invited them to host a program for kids sharing their thoughts behind the journey.
Be it pitching tents on the outskirts of a city or stealing a nap on a garbage dump, food has been the least cause of their worry.
“We have delicious langar at the gurdwaras and prasad at the temples. Sometimes we eat the leftovers random food courts, and sometimes we enjoy gatecrashing weddings and dancing on the roads for food. Sometimes, we stay hungry for a day or two if we don’t get any food,” Anuj says, adding, “But really, it’s okay to starve at times!”
They maintain however, that they have never begged for food. They have only earned it through busking or bartering. It was only through dancing in the trains that they recovered Rs. 1,300 they had borrowed from Anuj’s cousin in Gurgaon.
In fact, when they picked up their journey from Mumbai, the duo were arrested by an anti-terror squad. The police was skeptic about two well-dressed guys sleeping on the roadside and eating leftovers from a restaurant. Eventually however, they ended up enjoying vada pav
at the station, alongside an offer of accommodation from their guesthouse!
Sans tour itinerary, guides, budgeting or planning, Anuj and Ishant have explored places they wouldn’t have with a smartphone navigation. Truck drivers and locals, from whom the usual tourists stay away, have become their best friends.
They have become an amazing source of inspiration for any wannabe traveler having second thoughts about fulfilling their dream. And even while these two Super-Tramps have us asking for travelling advice, they have only one thing to say: “Just get on the road, wander randomly with no smartphone to navigate.”