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.?
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.
?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,?
The white dot shows their location, which was scarily close to the epicenter.?
Lacking warm gloves, the family improvised and used socks to counter the cold.
?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.
?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.
?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.
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.
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.