WORLD’S LONGEST ROAD TRIP is my most ambitious project to date. I say that about all my expeditions, but this one truly lives up to it. An attempt at bettering the existing Guinness World Record of the Longest Journey by Car in a Single Country. A journey targeted at 100,000 km, spanning almost all the districts in mainland India.
This will be one incredible feat. Driving for more than 200 days, averaging more than 600 km every day, this trip is going to test both man and machine. And to make things a bit more difficult for me, I plan to not only film this journey, but also edit and produce videos on every day’s experience. The people I meet, the food I eat, the roads I travel, the places I stop at, and the incredible diversity and hospitality that I am sure to witness.
Just imagine. Driving in excess of 600 km every day, and then finding a place to stay, downloading footage, editing it, cutting the film and uploading it. This is a 24 hour job … every day for more than six months. And I am so looking forward to it.
Wish me luck on my attempt to bring back the Guinness World Record to India and setting benchmark that will be very difficult to better.
The proposed route
When I started out on the logistics behind this expedition, I did not realise that the toughest activity would be to design the route. India is a large country, geographically one of the largest in the world. Yet, to cover a distance of over 100,000 km, without backtracking on any road, is very difficult to put together. According to Guinness Worlds guidelines, any part of the track that is repeated has to be deleted from the overall distance count.
But, the route is finally ready. I will start and end in New Delhi. Given that navigation will be of prime concern, I will be carrying paper maps, .gpx files loaded on Garmin devices, .kmz files loaded on another dedicated app and detailed roadbooks to guide me through almost every inch. And of course, there is Google maps.
Taking an average distance of 600+ km every day, covering 100,000 km will take at least 200 days. Not accounting for breakdowns, health issues, or sheer fatigue.
Often we look to other people for inspiration. We idolise those who have achieved some eminence in their lives. We like to see achievements in people and revel in the reflected glory. However, it is much more important to be able to strive to become better individuals ourselves. Life is NOT a spectator sport, and even though it is not expected that each of us can or should climb the highest mountains, or cross the oceans, or learn to skydive, each of us do have the capability within ourselves to become an inspiration for those around us, our loved ones.
I am embarking on this journey when I am 62 years old, with a prosthetic knee, artificial lenses in my eyes, a broken collar bone, a few broken ribs, and a fitness level that leaves much to be desired. Yet, I am starting this awesome road trip to better a Guinness record.
Will I be able to better the record? I will never know if I do not start the journey. It is not the possibility of success should govern our efforts, but the sheer joy of participation.