Age is just a number! This is a saying you might have heard any number of times. But when Delhi resident Amarjeet Singh says that, you have to take note of it, because he just showed it with his own life. The 60-year-old retired businessman has done something that people half his age will still be keeping as their wildest dream, which they hope against hope to fulfill. He has just completed a 33,000 km road trip from Delhi to London covering 33 countries in 150 days.
Singh who used to run a garments exporting business in Delhi began his journey on 7th July 2018 from New Delhi on his 2013 model old Toyota Fortuner SUV and travelled 36,800 km across 30 countries, more than 150 cities in 131 days and completed his trip in London on 16th Dec 2018.
Singh who retired from his family business of garments export three years ago said it was a dream that he waited for 40 years to achieve.
“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 traveled, 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?,” Singh said.
Since then, it took Singh nearly three months for getting the necessary permissions and Visas before he could set off for the journey of his life. This time around, Singh said his family was supportive, including his father who is in his late 80’s.
A dream, a dream to travel by road and to capture it through the lenses it was a vision before, it’s reality now. A reality which I wanted to conquer, and I am almost near my goal! Delhi to London, it’s not a trip, it’s a journey, full of fun, excitement, emotions and a lot more which is hard to put in words,” Singh wrote on Instagram.
One of the most fulfilling experiences of the trip, Singh said was meeting the German couple at their home after all these years.
“It was in 1979 that I met them since then there had been no communication. But I knew their names and the city which they lived in. So we began looking for them. Finally, we zeroed in on them and when we were in Germany went to their house and gave them a surprise visit. It was a surreal experience,” he recalled.
Singh who said he had visited most of the countries covered in his road trip for business or as a tourist however admitted that there were certain difficulties along the journey.
I am 60 years old and have most of the health issues around that age like BP and Diabetes. One of the first challenges that we had to face was the non-availability of European-style toilets. Starting from Nepal till almost Russia we had to face this. The next major challenge was regarding food. I am a vegetarian and finding food was a challenge, especially in the interior of China,” he said.
Singh, who also met a number of celebrities including Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger during his trip said it was a great learning experience, to meet new people from all walks of life.
“The biggest achievement of this trip!!! I met Hollywood superstar Arnold Achwarzenegger, who was busy with his latest film Terminator 4 in Budapest Hungary. He was signed in our car and he was so impressed with our journey.”
When asked about how people in hinterlands of foreign countries welcomed a man wearing a turban, Singh said he did not face any difficulty due to his religious identity.
After reaching London, Singh said it felt surreal. “To those who can dream, there is no such place as far away. As we are heading closer to our destination, the excitement is building up! London is not far away,”Singh had shared just before reaching London.
Singh who fulfilled his four-decade-old dream has already set his sight on his next aim – to travel all the seven continents on his SUV.
Reflecting on what he just accomplished, Singh said he also wants to send out a message, especially to the youngsters, to follow their passion, no matter how late they feel it is now to pursue the dream.