Lifestyle Travel 02 Aug 2019 Travel with stranger ...

Travel with strangers happily

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | PRIYA SREEKUMAR
Published Aug 2, 2019, 12:24 am IST
Updated Aug 2, 2019, 12:24 am IST
Those looking for an escape from the confines of their chairs, here is the panacea for monotony.
This endeavour brings together individuals, families and friends to offer on-road experiences across India. T
 This endeavour brings together individuals, families and friends to offer on-road experiences across India. T

At some point of time we all feel that life has become one humdrum routine moving in a predictable pattern — get up, get ready, go to work, return home, sleep and do it all over again the next day. If you are one of those people who is passionate about travelling, consider it time to break that pattern; at least during weekends. What is more exciting than hitting the road with windows down, music up, travelling through pristine roads and stopping for a steaming cup of tea somewhere on a hair pin curve — all with a group of like-minded people making the road trip rise up a notch? Then Road Trips Co, or RTC for short, may just be what you are looking for.

This endeavour brings together individuals, families and friends to offer on-road experiences across India. The community, first started in Mumbai, is now present in over 18 cities.  It was launched in Kochi early this year and has now grown to a 400-member community in a short span of time. The members include experienced as well as new travellers from the city including male and female bikers, families, young travel enthusiasts and solo-travellers. They have been organising various weekend trips that have found wide participation from both car and bike owners.

 

Johann, chapter lead of Kochi who looks after all the drives and other operations, speaks at length about the objective of the  enterprise, “Keralites are very well informed about travelling and prefer to do the planning and travel on their own unlike people of other cities where they like to get help for their trips,” he begins, and says it was the biggest challenge to overcome. “To introduce a concept like this was difficult in the beginning, but now that mentality has changed. We are now seeing an increase in the number of people willing to travel in groups with strangers to someplace around the city every weekend.”

Since Kerala is a place that has a lot of biking and car clubs, when the endeavour was launched many people were under the impression that it was just another such club targeting the youth, says Johann. This did lead to an initial apprehension from families about joining in. Johann talks about such an incident. “There was this person who joined the group and then left it. When I pinged him to know the reason, he said that his wife thought her husband had joined another bike club since he was an avid biker before marriage. Later, his wife saw the social media profiles of the community and to my surprise he came for a trip along with his entire family in tow — some 20 members — to show them firsthand what the community members did and how they travelled.”

The past couple of trips saw families and single women joining in. “I understand that single women still hesitate to travel alone. We also have senior people coming for our trips and father-daughter teams.” Johann’s calendar is full till September with trips planned inside and outside Kochi and in other districts too. So far, trips have been organised to Kodanad, Thattek ad, Attappady, Perumbavoor, Chellanam, Cherai, Kotagiri in Ooty, Attapaddy in Palakkad and Kanthalloor in Munnar.

All it takes is to join the WhatsApp group where you get calendar updates and links of events and participate in whatever trip suits you. The enterprise has also tied up with other travel groups such as THOR (The Himalayan Off Roaders Kerala) and Mannarkkad Off-roaders.

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