Adventure Of Global Proportion

Driving around the world. Sounds like a simple enough idea. But does it mean following the equator when possible?

By Siddharth Vinayak Patankar


1 mins read


Published on June 27, 2015

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    Driving around the world. Sounds like a simple enough idea. But does it mean following the equator when possible? Perhaps not - that's more circumnavigating than driving 'around' the world isn't it? It's silly yet important notions like these that played through my mind when I first brought this idea to the table to folks at NDTV. And I knew it simply had to be in made-in-India cars too. Our intention was to follow up on a very successful season of Follow The Star (FTS) - our immensely popular show on NDTV Prime. We obviously wanted to go bigger. But never imagined it would be this much bigger!

    And I have to say in no uncertain terms that this wouldn't have even been remotely possible but for the immense faith and support shown by Mercedes-Benz India. Now is easy to thank one's sponsor and say nice things about them. But it's a special bunch of people at Mercedes-Benz who egged us on to think bigger than we were and take FTS to a whole new level.

    And that is how the Great Overland Adventure took birth. But then it was that dilemma that I've already mentioned that was the first point of consideration. What qualifies as driving around the world? Can you physically drive to and through every country in the world. Of course you can. Is that feasible, practical, sane even? No! So we had to cherry pick. But I was clear about one thing - for this be a trip around the globe it must at least touch almost each habitable landmass. Hence it meant travelling to all the continents (barring Antarctica thank you very much)!

    Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

    Now came the second dilemma - where in each continent to go, and where not to? And that's where the old adage that two heads are better than one really comes on. In our case we had more than two thank God! To take on such a mammoth task we knew we'd need credible and capable partners. This is why we were thrilled to have our magazine partners autoX and Evo India come on board. They along with the guys at Mercedes-Benz and I have spent quite some time figuring out the best possible route we must chart to achieve our goal.

    So we have decided to attempt to traverse each continent and only ship the cars when we have to. So besides crossing seas we have no use for ships, ferries, planes or anything else! The routes we have picked (for the most part) follow legendary rallying routes on each continent. They have over the years gained the reputation of offering challenging driving and simply stunning countryside. As we retrace those routes we will relive some of the glory they boast - while also bringing you to places you don't know, the local culture, people and if you should be so lucky - the food!

    It's going to be a challenging six months alright. And I don't say that lightly because it all sounds easy but we know it won't be. There will be thousands and thousands of kilometres to cross and also much to see, learn and experience. We will share that all with you of course.

    Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

    Joining us for this crazy adventure is a pair of capable and powerful cars that are up for the task. The Mercedes-Benz GLA is a compact and sporty ride that is extremely popular the world over. In India it has joined the likes of the X1, A3, V40 and of course it's own stablemates - the A and B-Class - in the very hot entry-premium segment of cars. The GLA is an eye catching design and so will be the perfect hero to play the role of flagship for our enterprise. It's also comfortable and so will be great for such a long journey as our home for 6 long months! And yes we will drive the GLA 200 CDI that's now made in India! Our two-car convoy will also have the big brother of the GLA - the mighty GL - which will be the perfect support to its smaller sibling, and help us with our logistical, luggage and filming requirements.

    We will be a tight unit of 6 at any point of time - made up of editorial, production and technical personnel. But it does make me particularly happy that in all this we have room for one of you too! Yes at two points in our journey we will make room for someone lucky to join us in our crazy adventure. So look forward to more on that.

    The Great Overland Adventure - or #GLAadventure as we will now always refer to it! It's the stuff dreams are made of. I'm very proud that we are doing something no one has before - at least not at this scale from the Indian media fraternity. It promises to be magnificent, monumental, mesmerising, and just magical. I can't wait for it all to unfold. And I hope you stay with us for every experience, every discovery and yes - every kilometre.


    Last Updated on June 29, 2015

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