Would you travel halfway across the world by bus?
Expedition company Adventures Overland is hoping you’ll say yes to its new organized bus trip, which will ferry travelers from the Indian metropolis of Delhi to the UK capital of London — no airplanes involved.
Described as the “first-ever hop-on/hop-off bus service” between the two destinations, Bus to London will ferry 20 passengers on a modified luxury bus, inspired in part by the Hippie Trail buses that crisscrossed the world in the 1950s and 1960s.
The bus will cross 18 countries over a period of 70 days, with passengers hopping off to marvel at the pagodas of Myanmar, hike the Great Wall of China and wander historic cities including Moscow and Prague. The image above is an illustration from Adventures Overland, depicting what the bus might look like.
Adventures Overland was founded by entrepreneurs and enthusiastic travelers Tushar Agarwal and Sanjay Madan.
Agarwal tells CNN Travel the idea was inspired by an incredible solo drive from London to Delhi he did back in 2010.
“It is an absolutely fantastic journey,” he says.
Since founding Adventures Overland, Agarwal and Madan have organized three India-to-London expeditions, in which travelers bring their own cars and travel in a convoy. The duo has also organized driving trips across snowy Iceland and over frozen lakes in Russia.
They’ve had some incredible experiences, but Agarwal and Madan were keen to do something a little different with their latest excursion.
“There are a lot of people, travelers, who want to experience these overland journeys, but they don’t want to drive,” says Agarwal. “So, we came up with the idea of putting together a bus in which people can sit comfortably and go on long distance journeys. And that’s how the idea of the Bus to London was born.”
The inaugural Bus to London journey is set to take place in mid-2021, Covid restrictions pending.
“The best time to do this journey is between April and June, because that’s when the weather is favorable to start the journey from India through to Myanmar, and to cross the high mountains of China and Kyrgyzstan,” explains Agarwal.
This road trip doesn’t come cheap — Agarwal says it will cost around $20,000, but you can opt to just do part of the journey, which is divided into four legs.
Plus, you can pick whether you want to start in the UK or India — once the bus reaches London, outward passengers will travel back by air and the vehicle will turn back around, kickstarting a return journey with a new group of 20 travelers.
Agarwal promises it’ll be the trip of a lifetime, describing how incredible it is to see countryside morph and change in front of your eyes.”That’s kind of an experience you can only have when you’re doing these kinds of overland journeys,” he says.He adds that past participants on Adventures Overland’s self-drive version of the expedition have included travelers as young as five and as old as 75.”This is a tried and tested route,” says Agarwal, who stresses it’s designed to be as safe as possible, adding that local guides also join the party as each border is crossed to assist with travel logistics.
Since announcing the idea, Agarwal and his team have been inundated with messages from travelers around the world — some 40,000 people have registered interest so far.”We were expecting a good response, but we were not expecting a response like the one that we’ve received,” Agarwal says.For anyone dreaming of joining the team on the 70-day adventure, he advises approaching the adventure with “an open mind” and “open heart.””It’s a life-changing journey, something that people will always remember and they will cherish it forever.”
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