What is it about roadtrips that makes them become movies, songs, videos and novels? After having done a few, our answer is – go find out for yourself. Whether you end up enjoying or not, it will still be a tick mark on your things-to-do list! And could just make you see the world in a way you never did before.
Lao Tzu said ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’, so it seemed apt to write about our roadtrip experience step-by-step 🙂
Step 1: Groundwork
Another popular quote says, ‘The journey is more important than the destination’. We want to add another dimension to this saying, ‘The planning for the journey is more exciting than everything else put together!’ If done well, it makes the journey and its destination, highly rewarding. So, our first word of advice – don’t miss this step.
For our Malvan roadtrip, the excitement of this step was highest for Mahesh – our chief navigator. As captain and the lone driver, he did research on routes and destinations, road conditions and weather. Sapna looked for places to stay and we ultimately chose something that is not a hotel but a farmstay. The idea behind this trip was to not do what we usually do and getaway to a completely different world.
Read more about our farmstay experience here: Konkan farm stay- Meet the real life with nature
“The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to your door…”
– The Beatles, Album: Let It Be, 1970
While we were thrilled by the roadtrip idea, basic things had to be taken care of. Mumbai to Malvan is a long drive and this time it was just three of us. The non-stop driving was going to tire Mahesh out. So, the solution? Get music that keeps him pepped up throughout and the adrenaline flowing. We started getting our roadie playlists together from a week before. It was a countdown to adventure. Dhruv invented a few games that we played between stops. It helped break the monotony. Music and conversation – they were two defining elements of this trip. Towards the end some Red Bull helped too.
Step 2: Get on the highway
Mumbai to Malvan on NH4,
Definition of a Road trip:
(noun) a person or people moving across a great distance, in an automobile. Consists dreamy and unproven ideas about it being journey to self-discovery and/or transformation.
Step 3: Make food a part of the journey
On the road, food is a parallel map to chart out. Research is crucial here too, so that you savour the best. This made us find more about places we were driving by, their specialities and culture.
We soon plotted best places to stop for nira at Mumbai-Pune expressway, vada at Lonavla, sugarcane juice at Satara-Sangli highway and the local sea food thali at Sawantwadi. We were rewarded with generous helpings of authentic poha and sabudana khichdi on highway stops.
We are blessed to be in a country where food, culture and language changes every 100 kms! There is so much to explore and experience. On every journey the food we had at dhabhas, local restaurants or khanawal’s has given us a bank of memories that we fondly look back on.
Step 4: Discover local culture
The easiest things to do in a new place is be a tourist and go sightseeing. Roadtrips are an opportunity to go beyond that. Having the means to chart and plan a journey by yourself turns you into an explorer, if not Christopher Columbus. In Malvan we were soon visiting pristine beaches, scenic countryside and a beautiful town with its distinct cultural history.
Step 5: Plan for the unplanned. Create room for exploration
The broad plan in Malvan was to explore towns and villages around our farmstay. This led our wanderings to princely Sawantwadi, the temple in Parule village, a scenic port, a defunct fort, the lake at Kudal, untouched beaches and scenic drives.
Step 6: Window seat
Based on where you go, with whom and what purpose, there is something dreamlike about watching the world go by through a moving window. That is the reason most of us insist on the window seat when traveling by train or flights. Of all the steps mentioned earlier, the last step is when one truly discovers that the trip itself was more important than the destination. Despite each having its different and unique elements, road trip constitutes a separate category of travel all by itself. And that, if not anything else, should convince you to undertake one.
ज़िन्दगी एक सफ़र है सुहाना
यहाँ कल क्या हो किसने जाना….
हँसते गाते जहाँ से गुज़र
दुनिया की तू परवाह ना कर
मुस्कुराते हुए दिन बिताना
यहाँ कल क्या हो किसने जाना
Singer: Kishor Kumar. Music: Shankar Jaikishan. Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri. Year: 1971
Roads were made for journeys not destinations