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Travelling may be a daunting task for some of us but for this adventurous Indian couple, it's another way to live and enjoy every moment of life.
After a year of planning, Prabhsimran, a fourth-generation businessman, and his wife Jasleen Kaur, who is studying electronics purchased a new Volvo SUV, and set off on a 46,000-kilometre trek.
The pair, who were about to return back to India from Vancouver today, told SBS Punjabi they covered a distance of 46,019 kilometres by road in the past three months.
“Today is our 170th and the last day of this trip. We are glad that we finished it successfully with God’s grace and our parents’ blessings,” said Mr Singh.
The expedition, crossing 30 countries in 170 days, is not just an example of a journey of epic proportion but also a reminder that it is possible that if you have determination and of course, good company.
An avid traveller, Prabhsimran told SBS the trip was planned after having a short successful ‘road-run’ in New Zealand last year.
“It is one of the most naturally beautiful and safest countries in the world! We went there for our honeymoon and have amazing memories from this road trip. This was about the time when we decided to commit for longer distances,” he said.
The Chandigarh-based Punjabi couple embarked on their epic trip from India to Canada via road in June this year, crossing through 30 countries starting from India to Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China, then through central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and through to Europe to each England in about 73 days.
Prabhsimran told SBS they shipped their car to Canada before flying to Iceland and then finally to Canada.
“We spent a few days in the UK where we met many people from our community. They were surprised to a see a car with Chandigarh number plates when we parked it next to the Parliament in London,” he said. “We were also invited to a church where we had an opportunity to share our message of love and peace.
“We had an amazing stay at China. We spent 17 days there which included travelling 6,000 kilometres on the Silk Road which was an ancient network of trade routes that used to connect the East and West."
The couple shared many interesting stories of their route which crossed through many countries giving them a unique experience that one cannot imagine travelling within a single country.
“The world we see on TV is totally different from what we see in reality. Believe me, it is all about love, peace, smiles and respect,” said Mr Singh.
“There wasn’t a single moment that would force us to think to not to travel again. But that doesn’t mean that it was a silky road. We’re talking about travelling 500 to 1000 kilometres in a day with risky roads and adverse weather conditions.
“There’re wide varieties of challenges, but you get used to it once you’re into the habit of travelling across various countries or ‘un-explored territories’.
Mr Singh suggested travellers planning such a long trip should focus on the following key areas – “If you’re determined then you must look into the financial viability, hotel bookings, visa approvals, car permits and regular car services to avoid mechanical failures.”
Jasleen told SBS that she couldn’t have imagined a better trip.
“The time we spent together helped us build a better relationship. The unconditional love, care, patience, courage played a big role in making this trip even successful,” she said.
On their journey back to India they say they are already missing their ‘Chandigarh di Gaddi’ (Car), which is being shipped to Mumbai.
“It has been a great experience with the car driving on difficult terrains in remote locations. With Waheguru Ji’s Grace, the car has never let us down,” said Mr Singh.
“We got it serviced on regular and timely intervals. Due to its safety features, the car has saved us from crashing a few times.
“We’re now shipping the car back to India and it will arrive in Mumbai within 45-60 days. Our Chandigarh Di Gaddi - We will miss you!"
In a social media post, the couple wrote: “With Waheguru Ji’s and both our parents’ blessings, we have completed our journey. Both of us have complimented each other whilst standing together in the good times and the tough ones. We have loved each and every moment of this journey to the fullest and are now taking back memories full of love and blessings for the lifetime! Thank you all for being a part of our journey. Very excited to go back and meet our family and friends!”
The couple named this trip a ‘Sikh Odyssey’, which they say is their tribute to the first Sikh Guru, Nanak Dev ji who went on foot to various countries to spread the message of love and peace in the 15th century.