This Adventurous Indian Family Drove A Car From Bengaluru To Paris Over 111 Days
You know how they constantly feed you the idea that once you get hitched and start a family, the fun stops? Well, guess what? An Indian family just blew that notion to smithereens.?
Meet the Baid family. Earlier this year, Anand and Punita Baid, along with their kids Yash (12) and Dhriti (8), went on an epic trip travelling through 11 countries over 111 days. And they did all of that in one car!
The planned route.
Beginning with Bengaluru and ending in Paris, they travelled through India, Nepal, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, and France.?Punita Baid had two months of vacation, her husband Anand had just quit his job, and the two children were exempt from school to go on their adventure.
They exchanged countless emails with over 12 embassies and even convinced the kids' school principal to grant them the extra leave.
?I approached the school principal at Deens Academy to see if she would grant us an extended break for an expedition,? Anand explained to BuzzFeed India. ?Once she heard the overall plan and places we would be visiting, she agreed by saying ?the amount of exposure the children would gain would be immense in such an adventure where the kids would see places that they often read in textbooks?. Her consent solidified our approach towards the expedition.?
After seven months of planning, they embarked on their cross-continent drive on 8 April 2015.
In 111 days, the family drove past the Himalayas, climbed sand dunes in western China, swam in the Caspian Sea, walked through the Acropolis of Athens, and visited the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, and lots more.
The journey started on April 8th.
At first they trudged through familiar scenes within the country.
?Frustration is a good thing and the outcome of it can sometimes be very sweet. For instance, a road trip that spans 11 countries for 111 days,?
But as they were making their way through Nepal, the earthquake hit.
The white dot shows their location, which was scarily close to the epicenter.?
Even though they were stuck in Nepal for 5 days, after the quake, this didn't dull their spirits.
Lacking warm gloves, the family improvised and used socks to counter the cold.
And soon they found themselves in the vast open expanse that is Tibet.
?I was frustrated seeing all the beautiful things nature and culture from different countries have to offer on television. Hence, the penchant for road-trips was stemmed in us for a few years now. My wife and I have travelled extensively on road, both in India and the US. We loved the experience.? Two years ago, the Baid family road-tripped from Bangalore to Rajasthan and back in 21 days, spanning over 6,000km.
This was an important trip for the kids, who probably learned more about the world on this trip than anything the school could have taught.
?While I had my own doubts in the beginning, I convinced myself that this will be an experience of a lifetime, in particular for the kids,?
This is also why their school principal granted them the extra leave.
?The planning aspect of the journey became an everyday conversation for the four of us. Till the end I took my time to come to terms with what lay ahead for us. Now that we have done the trip, I am more than happy we experienced life in a unique and adventurous way,? she added.
"Enroute to Korla. These dunes are easily over 20 floors high. One of those pictures that the actual scale does little justice here. And these ran for a few kms. atleast. Unbelievable sight!"
Apart from the sights and sounds of the countries they visited, Anand said that there were many memorable experiences along the way.
?In Samarqand, Uzbekistan, an Uzbek lady paid for our pizza without letting us know and she left. When we walked up to pay the bill, we learnt what had happened. We quickly rushed out to look for her and asked her why she did so ? she said she was very fond of the Taj Mahal and would like to visit India someday and this was a small gesture. We thanked her and took a picture with her,? he said.
?The journey had its share of ups and downs ? like getting stuck in Nepal?China border during the earthquake where we had to sleep in our car for five nights due to damaged roads.?
As a vegetarian family, China and Central Asia would always be a challenge. Which is why they also carried a portable stove and some utensils.
And yes, they used them a lot.
?We are now experts at charades. We can literally survive just with sign language,? she added.
They got to see the "Door to Hell" in Turkmenistan.
Which looked even better at night.
Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, has some of the cleanest and flattest roads you'll ever see.
Kyrgyzstan showed them how the landscape can change within hours.
"One of the most memorable sight this will be...made our day! Free horses running in the open! Ahhh! Remided me Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron."
They experienced surreal moments when in the midst of silent open country, huge sculptures would adorn the highway.
Some things never change. Kids, eh?
Nope, this isn't wildling territory beyond the Wall.
The crystal clear waters of Issyk-Kul Lake.
Yash, Dhriti and the 5th member of the family - the Fiat Linea.
The trip wouldn't be possible without it.
Apparently, Iran has no concept of vegetarian food. Sometimes, they had to show pictures of vegetables to the chefs.
The majestic Registan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
Turkey was full of wallpaper moments.
And so was Greece.
They even got their car serviced in a Fiat service station in Turkey.
If you want to see more photos of their adventures, visit the?Facebook page of Overland Stories, which they set up to document their journey. At the time of writing this post, the Baid family were yet to upload the rest of the pictures from Europe.
They flew back home from Paris.
They got the car shipped back, and a month later, the Baid family was united once more.
We have massive respect for the Baids, for successfully pulling off what can easily be called an epic journey. Hope this inspires the rest of us to set out for quests towards unknown lands.
The family said that another trip might be on the cards very soon. ?We covered west for now and we are starting to look east. Who knows!?
1/7/2016 | 4157