“It is difficult for me to think of the highlight of the trip, apart from the constant feeling of wanting to revisit those places and spend more time in almost all of them,” says Badri Baldawa.
Badri had always been an avid traveler deep inside and has undertaken a lot of trips. He has hiked up to one of the Everest base camps, has driven from Mumbai to Badrinath, driven for 46 hours straight from Norway to North Cape just to witness the longest night. Baldawa had also taken a trip to Antarctica and had driven across Iceland along with his 10-year-old granddaughter. In 2009, he went on an expedition with his wife to the 90 degrees North latitude.
While returning from London to Mumbai in the year 2011, the man realized that it was time to rekindle his passion for travel. He recalls looking down from an air plane awestruck at the beauty of the hills and the possibility of driving down there through the hills. Mrs. Baldawa thought that it was just a joke but little did she know that her husband would actually go forward with his gut feeling. He started charting plans for the trip by May 2016. His bucket list was ready. And then on March 23, 2017, they took this ride of a lifetime from Mumbai to London. They drove through 19 countries for 72 days covering 22200 kilometers with their 9 yr old granddaughter who turned 10 on the trip. Best birthday gift ever!
In May 2016, along with a couple of his friends, he was able to chalk out an uncanny travel route. They drove for 24 days to the North-Eastern city of Imphal. Consequently, they proceeded to the South-East Asian countries. They passed through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China, and then Russia.
They covered an average of at least 400 kilometers in a day. However, Badri speaks of the longest drive that he has had on the trip which was for 930 kilometers. He drove from Warsaw to Brussels and covered it in a day. The trio had their meals in three different countries, breakfast in Warsaw, lunch in Cologne, and dinner in Brussels.
“When you fly into a place, almost everything is readily accessible and uniform, and so there is a disconnect. But when you drive, the experience of a place is more real in every way, revealing the essence of a place more accurately.” – Baldawa
The journey undertaken by this Indian couple is exemplary to the fact that age is just a number.
For aspiring bucket listers, they advise that there will be several problems on a mammoth plan like this.
“But it is up to us to see them as challenges and overpower them, instead of being overpowered.” – Mr. and Mrs. Baldawa
Badri is quite familiar with Antarctica. For his next bucket list, he wants to explore the 90 degrees South latitude. The coolest part about him is a bucket list where he wants to go for a zero gravity space walk.
Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.
– Jackie Joyner-Kersee