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The Good Life

Globetrotting on Wheels
These niche travel companies promise an adventure of a lifetime with their road trips

Vikram Gour

Riders of all ages are embracing the go-anywhere capabilities and touring comfort offered by MotoRover

Open fields, the smell of clean air, wind that blows against your face and the chilling silence in the air ought to give you new perspective to life. For anyone who has ever taken a road trip, would probably understand the freedom one might feel — shedding away all your worries and feeling a sense of sheer happiness. That feeling, is almost like a high that can be addictive.

A curated adventure-filled road trip, is the latest fad for travellers and especially for those who crave an adrenaline rush. While you might believe that driving long distances is a worrisome task, the organised adventure travel sectorhas companies that promise nothing less than an adventure of a lifetime!

While the overall number of people who venture out on such trips is still small, the truth is that more and more people are taking to doing road trips and this trend is only set to grow. Taking adventure tourism to another level is Xtreme Travel and Lifestyles Overland (XTLO) which caters to those looking for self-driving expeditions. “Adventure tourism is something new, exciting and cutting edge. It draws people whose passion for the extraordinary runs deep, people who seek a sense of achievement even on their vacation,” elaborates Bertrand D’Souza, CEO, XTLO India. Its road trips promise the most raw form of tourism, living amongst nature and experiencing the culture and traditions of the region. “Combining luxury and the capability to take you through some of the most stunning landscapes ever witnessed in an adventure beyond compare is what XTLO does best,” adds D’Souza.

The Internet has allowed globetrotters the opportunity to try travel options that are off the beaten path. XTLO focuses on road trips in a four-wheeler, but for those who wish to see the world on their motorcycles, MotoRover Tours is just the place. Talking about this form of adventure travel, Piyush Sonsale, founder, MotoRover Tours, explains, “Adventure motorcycling is a fast growing segment of the Indian leisure bike market. Riders are embracing the go-anywhere capabilities and touring comfort offered by these bikes to discover every corner of the country, and beyond! The growth has been at the high-end so far but the next couple of years will see several launches of entry and mid-level ‘ADV’ bikes.” Sonsale has been organising adventure motorcycle tours in Europe and Central Asia for the last two years, and they are planning to add new tours in 2018 including international self-drive road trips.

Such road trips provide a sense of freedom to try a new place and experience the local culture of the place, as per one’s convenience. Often there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with such journeys and in many ways the destination is immaterial. And one such company attempting to provide the best experience on wheels is Roadtripper. “Often we get wrapped up in our routines and forget to live! My trip with a bunch of spirited Malaysians who were mostly 60 plus in age taught me a lot. We travelled for 34 days across India, Nepal and Bhutan and each of them had so much joie de vivre, that despite their age, they were always ready and up for a new adventure. We traversed all kinds of terrain, open highways, narrow village roads, city traffic and winding hills. This experience reminded me of why I set up Roadtripper in the first place,” reminsces Renuka Kriplani, founding partner, Roadtripper. The company offers tours in Vietnam, Tibet, Bhutan, India, China as well as other tailor-made trips.

Road trips are all about experiencing nature up and close; simply taking it all in. So, gear up for a holiday soaked in the ever-changing scenery and time away from the daily hustle-bustle of city life, because these companies promise a fantasitic adventure with memories that will last a lifetime.

The writer is an editor with MotorScribes and tweets at @VikramGour

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