Travelling around the world is the most cherished dream of many, but only a very few fulfil it. One car, two friends and unending roads — that was how The Great Indian World Trip by Sanjay Madan and Tushar Agarwal, two friends, began. They started the world trip in 2012 and covered six continents and 50 countries as they drove around 90,000 km. The idea was to explore the unexplored. “It was an extraordinary trip that really opened up our minds. Later, we decided to go for this venture of taking people with us all around the world via road,” says Tushar.
Sanjay, an off-roading expert, has travelled to over 65 countries, and has made countless expeditions in different corners of the world. Tushar, meanwhile, is a travel writer who spent the past 10 years travelling to over 70 countries. “I was the first Indian to take a road trip from London to Delhi back in 2010,” says Tushar who travelled with his wife Pooja Binepal, and later won the Limca Book of Records as the first couple to travel all the way from London to Delhi by road. “We had the experience of driving and travelling through nearly 80 countries; we decided to use that in helping others travel to foreign countries. While everyone drove to Ladakh, we drove to Iceland, Russia and Iraq,” he adds.
In 2013, they started India’s first self-drive expedition company Adventures Overland in Delhi. Initially, the company organised expeditions around India, but after sometime, it started planning cross-border trips. Recently, the company set a milestone by completing its third consecutive road trip to London.
“We both sit together and create the whole itinerary with the help of our partners all around the world,” says Sanjay. They offer two types of trips — Cross Border and Fly and Drive. In Fly and Drive, the tourists travel to a specific continent and then drive through the countries. “We created this because we understand how difficult it can be for a single individual to travel all around the world and explore the remote areas,” Sanjay explains.
Sanjay and Tushar make sure that participants get the best environment and personally choose them. “We put in a lot of effort to select people who come with us because we have all types of clients, like solo female drivers, families with little kids and aged people. We need to make sure that there’s no bad element that spoils everybody’s happiness as there are about 25 strangers who travel together for 50 days,” says Sanjay.
After forming Adventures Overland, they had their first cross-border trip in 2016, a road trip to Bangkok. As it received good reviews, they decided to go to London. “In 2017, we had our first Road to London expedition. There were 27 people and 13 cars. We had people from all around the country. It was a great experience,” says Sanjay. “Each time, the experience is different. We are getting more streamlined. Our favourite region is China.”
Tushar adds, “The best thing about China is the food. There, the vegetarian food is much better than the non-vegetarian options. Also, we loved Uzbekistan. They love Indian culture very much, Bollywood films are popular there. If we tell anybody that we are from India, they would treat us like celebrities. Once, we stopped for a security check and told the police officers that we are from India, they started singing Shahrukh’s and Mithoon’s songs and dancing.”
Kavita Singh, a solo driver who went on a world trip with them says, it has been the best experience of her life. “I turned 50 recently and going on that trip was the best decision I took in my entire life. I have always been a passionate driver and an avid traveller. Sanjay and Tushar not only helped me travel to so many countries, but also gave me the opportunity to drive through beautiful places.”
Hotelier Dilpreet Singh, who was part of the team’s first trip to London says, “I have a keen interest in both travelling and driving. Sanjay and Tushar really helped me fulfil my dream of travelling around the world. Getting to know so many different cultures, eating different cuisines, travelling with so many people who eventually became our family — it was the best time of my life.”