When a strong-minded, motivated and dedicated Indian woman sets her mind on a goal, there is no obstacle that big to deviate her. Reinforcing the same, setting a great example, and creating more awareness amongst women to take up such challenging and fun tasks, three Indian women, Rashmi Koppar, Dr. Soumya Goyal and Nidhi Tiwari took up an exciting journey where they travelled by road from New Delhi to London, converting their childhood dream into a reality!
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Their journey was a roller coaster ride for these three super women. They drove 21,477 kilometers through unknown cities, faced nature’s hazardous climatic conditions, rain, snow, and landslides, spoke to people in sign languages and used the Google translators, but enjoyed every bit of their 97-day long vacation.
The entire trip was Nidhi’s idea, who also happens to be an expert in outdoor education, off-the-road jeeping, long-distance and high-altitude driving, and has lots of outdoor jeeping experience in India and abroad. She was also the sole driver out of the three best pals, and with only one vehicle at their disposal, the three set out on their courageous voyage! Not only this, but the car that they drove nearly 600 kms a day was sponsored by Mahindra (Scorpio) and become the first vehicle to cross the Arctic Circle.
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The name given to this expedition of theirs was ‘WOMEN BEYOND BOUNDARIES’. Their journey started from New Delhi in June and after passing through Myanmar, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Czech Republic and Germany, it finally came to an end in London in October.
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And, here is what they had to say about their life changing experience:
Rashmi Koppar stated:
“The first thing we did while entering every country was to buy a local SIM card. However, we couldn’t book accommodations in advance as our schedule kept changing. We took over five days to cover a distance of 200 km from Imphal to Myanmar; usually, it does not take more than 2-3 hours. It also meant redoing our visas. When we were stuck due to a landslide in Manipur, the locals offered to help us. We trusted them and stayed with their families, and also got to taste home-cooked Manipuri food. The trip reinforced my faith in human goodness.”
Dr. Soumya Goyal from MS Ramaiah Hospital recalled:
“It was only in India and England that we spoke in English. In the other countries, we used sign language and Google translator to communicate. We wanted to tell the women of the world that such expeditions are possible, and that there is nothing to be scared of. We avoided driving late at night, instead, spent evenings exploring the cities. In fact, we didn’t find a single woman driving on the highway till we reached Europe.”
Taking a 3-month long break from their work places, leaving behind their children and family for that long, and going alone to places that were unknown to them was obviously not a cakewalk for them. It takes a lot of courage to take a step like this, but the three friends proved everyone wrong, and successfully completed their trip in a way better than they had ever imagined. And now, not only are they world famous, but they also have given hope and encouragement to hundreds of women to go out and follow their dreams.
Images Courtesy: Women Beyond Boundaries (Facebook)