A long time ago I heard the name of a place high in the Himalayas called as Ladakh. I heard about the road known as the highest motorable road in the world. From that day it became my dream that one day I am gonna visit that place! And finally just a couple of weeks ago I brought my dream to reality and that too in style.
Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times.
Turning the Dream into Reality
So on June 24th, 2017 I started on a journey that I had been dreaming about for years. And my excitement and fear knew no bounds at that moment. Yes, fear! because before we ever began we knew that journey we are embarking upon is going to be the toughest thing we have ever done. And excitement, because we knew if we complete this challenge successfully our lives will never be the same again.
Read – Why it is okay to be scared!
Let’s go a bit in the past and see how this plan came to fruition after all. In January 2017 I was in Chicago, USA, and sitting in a Starbucks I looked around and saw what made the USA the land of Dream. It was the fact that nobody cared about what other’s thought of them and this simple idea gave everybody the freedom to follow their dream. And this realization is what the most profound impact in the way I thought about my life by shedding this fear of what other may think of my actions I gained the freedom to chase my dream. As soon as I realized this fact I decided to follow my dream and passion of riding motorcycles and traveling to distant places.
The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. – Oprah Winfrey
From that moment onwards I have only been thinking about all the places I need to ride to, the places I want to go to and on top of that list has always been just one place – Ladakh! So, from the very first day I had been planning about Ladakh, everything I did from February till the beginning of this trip was in preparation for it. You might think this is crazy and I did not plan it for this long but bear with me and I will tell you how I did.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Read about: Why I love to travel.
In February 2017, I decided that as soon as I arrive in India I will put my plan in motion of traveling as much as I can. To conquer Ladakh I knew that current set of skills and experience that I had was not enough, but I knew that Ladakh only opens during June – September so I had time get those skills and more importantly the experience. So that is how I planned my next few months, every trip I took, every tutorial I took and even every thing that I bought was all leading up to this one goal.
Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now. – Alan Lakein
The main thing I was concerned about from the beginning was the fact that I have never ridden a motorcycle for long distances and I need to learn and experience that. This concern very easily alleviated by my motorcycle trip to Udaipur. This trip consisted me riding from Indore to Udaipur and back over a weekend. This trip gave me the experience and basic knowledge of what to expect on such a long ride. And trust me this experience came in really handy during this trip!
After that things just got into motion and I got various opportunities to travel and learn more about travel photography. I got the trip to Rajasthan, I took a couple of online courses on photography, I did a lot of photography experiments on weekends and so eventually I learned enough that I gained the confidence that I can do it. This brought me to the next stage of the plan which was to decide who is going to go with me on this adventure.
The Dream Crew
It had to be my best-friends! Being an introvert I have only a handful of best friends but the ones I have are incredible. Which made it easy because I just asked two of them and both of them said yes without any convincing needed. Now we were set from this side I knew who I was gonna ride with and I trusted both of them with my life.
It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help. – Epicurus
If I start writing about these guys I would end up writing an entire book, so I would simply give a small and brief introduction of both of them.
- Piyush – Strong guy, big heart but afraid of heights.
- Hemant – Small guy, awesome musical taste but always feeling cold.
I know I will get a lot of flack for this intro from both of them but they know how much I love them.
All this effort in planning and assembling this amazing crew brought me one step closer to my dream of conquering Ladakh. But this was just the beginning we still had hundreds of more things that we needed to take care of before we can embark on this trip. I will cover these things in the next post as I take you along on this journey with me.