Mumbai, April 29, 2016: Louis D Souza and Janet D’Souza’s ‘The Lifetime Journey’, to be flagged off from Mumbai on May 20 to London through Central Asia, Europe and back to Mumbai covering more than 50,000 km and more than 40 countries, will take approximately six months. The rough route that they plan to follow is Mumbai-Imphal-Myanmar-China-Mongolia-Russia-Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Malta, Greece,Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan,Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tibet, Myanmar or Nepal (if the border opens), and then back to India.
Road trips are the new mantra for liberation for everyone, a professional bogged down with work or a family trying to discover an adventure together. While all of them are trying to rediscover themselves before hitting the autumn of their lives but here is this couple who are breaking the myth that you should live an adventure before your golden days. Forty countries, six months and 50,000 kilometers. It’s the call of the road and journey of a lifetime that they couldn’t resist. Mangaluru couple Louis, 61, and Janet D’Souza, 55, are all set to take the path less trodden. And as they cover every kilometre, two NGOs working for the underprivileged will get Rs 10.
Their only companion through the journey from Mumbai, covering 40 countries, will be their brand new BMW X5. "We will flag off the trip on May 20 on Louis’ 62nd birthday. Age shouldn’t be a hurdle for anything. I believe journeys can be undertaken at any age if you have the courage, confidence and love to explore. All these years, we’ve had an extremely busy life with our demanding jobs, bringing up children - daughter and son. Now it’s time to rediscover ourselves together," said Janet, who was born and brought up in Mumbai.
The duo, now settled in Mangaluru, was caught up with logistics business all these years. The life-changing decision came in 2015 when they stumbled upon an article about the road adventure of Anand Baid and family who travelled for 111 days from Bengaluru to Paris, covering 12 countries.
"That was the turning point and we instantly fell in love with the idea of seeing the world in our own car. We contacted the Baid family to know more about their adventure and started research for our ’life’s journey’," she added.
The two are well aware that they’ll be fending for themselves, dealing with irate foreign border guards who’ll be lost in translation, de-muddying the wheels of their vehicle if it gets stuck. "We will have to be prepared to pull and push our car," said Janet.
When friends and family were informed about their plan, many had questions like is it possible to drive through continents or how safe is it venturing into Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. "This journey will surely challenge our comfort zone, apart from providing us with the thrill of adventure. It will help White Doves, a Mangaluru-based NGO working for the destitute, and Mumbai-based Muskan Foundation for People with Disabilities. Both the NGOs will get financial aid as they complete their journey," Louis said.
Countries to cover
The trip will cover China, Mongolia, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Slovakia.