She conquered an epic India to London road trip in 2017. She drove all the way from Kolkata, a city in the Eastern part of India to London in the UK passing through almost 18 different countries in an unimaginable 2 months duration. The road trip from Kolkata to London was gruelling according to her. Let’s get to talk to this incredible road tripper.
Tanushree Nandan, a lawyer and real estate entrepreneur by profession got on to the epic task of planning a road trip from Kolkata to London almost a year ago. She along with her business partner Samaresh Das planned this monumental road trip from India to London together. This was certainly not an easy vacation or holiday where people cuddle against each other on a beach or sip on a water melon juice sitting in a hotel’s restaurant. This road trip was meant to be challenging, gruelling and would test your resilience to the core.
India to London road trip was quite gruelling: Tanushree Nandan
Here’s what this passionate road tripper had to say about her incredible India to London road trip to Blackboard’s founder Amit Sengupta in a tete-a-tete.
Q. What has been the most difficult thing to do in this entire road trip from India (Kolkata) to London?
The arrangements of our India to London road trip – funds, visas, logistics for the entire trip. This is not a trip that can be planned and executed in a day or even a month. We took more than a year to move this plan from paper to execution.
Q. What was the most fun part?
The drive through varied terrains, meeting different people and experiencing their countries, cultures, cuisines etc. and yet celebrate our underlying likeness with them.
Q. Exploring a country and its people through a road trip. How is it different from any other trip?
When you fly from a country to another, you get to see their airport! By train, you see the stations. But when you drive through one country to another, you get to see a whole lot more – the terrains gradually changing, one country giving way to the other; the cultures mingling with, and yet differing from each other; sometimes stark and sometimes subtle differences in their cuisines… not only do you get to connect with the local people, but you also get to see how they connect with their neighbours. That’s unique to a road trip. You don’t get that when you fly / take a train to a place.
That’s unique to a road trip. You don’t get that when you fly / take a train to a place.
Q. How important is it to travel with equally passionate co-travellers?
Very. A 2-month-odd road trip is actually quite gruelling – which is why most people do it alone or with friends. Unless you want the same things from the trip, you would find yourself compromising and resenting the choices you make, or at the receiving end of resentment of your co-travellers.
Disagreements can happen over the tiniest things like living arrangements, bio-breaks and food!
Q. Can you imagine travelling alone on a solo trip from India to London by this fashion? Is it possible?
I can imagine, certainly! In fact, I’d love to do it as well… And it is very much possible. But it will be a lot more difficult, that’s for sure – in terms of cost, logistics, stamina… everything.
Q. What were the logistical nightmares you faced in this entire trip?
Arrangement of the entire logistics of our India to London road trip was a nightmare, really – starting with planning the route (taking into consideration the different borders that would be open to let us pass), the Carnet de Passage for the car, the visas & international driving permits for us, the hotel arrangements… so on and so forth. As I said, the trip was certainly not planned in a month!
Q. Which country did you find most interesting in this entire journey?
Interesting? Oh, all of them!
But I guess China took us by surprise the most. Their infrastructure was excellent, but that we had expected. What we did not expect was the warmth, love, openness, generosity, hospitality and curiosity of the Chinese towards us. (Yes, I am smitten by the Chinese!)
Oh, and whoever tells you that Chinese food is a nightmare, is utterly, horribly wrong. We absolutely loved the food. And I am talking about local eateries here, not star rated restaurants.
But I guess China took us by surprise the most.
Q. Are there any countries in this route, which you think you would want to discover separately on another trip in a longer duration?
Yes. I don’t think we explored Europe enough. Each of the European countries had way more to offer than what we could absorb.
I don’t think we explored Europe enough.
Q. What about the different food and drinks you experienced? Narrate some interesting foodie and culinary experiences?
I believe the Stans (Kyrgyz, Uzbek & Kazakh) were the most culinarily exciting. Their kebabs were to die for. Also, we had the weirdest things there – a goat’s brain, served inside the head. Horse and donkey meat (they were really, really tasty, by the way!)… and oh, (I could not bring myself to eat one, though – hahaha) skewered lamb penises!
Have you been to an epic road trip? What was your last road trip or dream road trip? Share in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
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