While there can be only one Phileas Fogg who circumnavigated the world in 80 days, thereby winning a £20,000 wager, a 60-year-old retired businessman from Delhi has just completed a 33,000 km road trip from the national capital to London covering 33 countries in 150 days.
Indiatimes reports that Amarjeet Singh began his journey on the 7th of July last year with his trusty 2013 model old Toyota Fortuner SUV and travelled 36,800 km across 30 countries – he covered more than 150 cities in 131 days.
“I started from India to Nepal, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Monaco, France, Netherlands, Denmark and finally reached London,” Singh told the website.
“It was in 1979 that I met a German couple who were backpacking in India. I was just 20 years old at that time. After hearing the story of how they travelled, even I wanted to travel the world. I and my friend wanted to go to Germany on a bike. But when I presented my idea to my father, it was immediately shot down. But my desire to travel the world never went away. After I retired from the family business and handed it over to my son, I had nothing constructive to do. So I thought, why not now?” he added.
The ‘turban traveller’ also said that his family was very supportive and encouraged him to go on the road trip.
“My wife was really happy, she said, this is something that you had in your mind for 40 years. You should do it. Even my son said, Dad, you don’t have to worry about anything. You should pursue your dream,” he said.
In a world run by politicians looking to foment divisive narratives, Singh says that he never faced any difficulties due to his turban, his religious identity.
“For a lot of people it was a curiosity, in a good way, that is. It told them that this turban is my identity and my crown. When they meet me their first reaction used to be WOW and then HOW and finally WHY. After explaining and signing on my car my journey becomes their journey and their journey becomes our journey,” he told Indiatimes.
(Header credits: The Turban Traveller on Facebook)