As a teenager growing up in Segamat, Malaysia, I would spend hours browsing at the odd maps I could find and try to link up roads from one country to another all the way to Europe. It was just for fun and for curiosity. There was this innocent belief that roads are all joined and borders are all open – that one can freely travel where and when he or she chooses. That maybe someday I’ll plough some of these roads.
Later in 1988, I made a serious attempt to do such a travel by bike from Malaysia to France. However, all actions came to a sudden halt when confronted with the Carnet de Passage – a document required for a vehicle to enter and exit certain countries like India, Pakistan and Iran. The sum of money required to cough up for a Carnet deposit was enough to kiss my pet project goodbye. Had to settle then for a compromise : flew the bike to Marseille France and with Lydia, we completed a memorable European tour.
Years passed, got a decent job, built a home in France, done the settle down and have kids story. Yet, somehow the itch to do such a trip has not gone away. Instead, it kept eating away at the idea. So I woke up one morning and said lets do it – of course, after consulting with Lydia and the kids. This time its from France to Malaysia and this time I’ve got my Carnet sorted out !
Long distance motorcycle travel appears to be addictive.