ABIJITH M RAO: @TRAILBUGADV
By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orcas – 7/3/17
For the thirty ninth edition in our ongoing interview series here at Dirt Orcas we are very pleased to speak with Abijith M Rao. You may know him @trailbugadv and from his world crossing motorcycle travels.
Abi is an adventurer. He has been following his dream of seeing some of the worlds most beautiful places by way of adventure motorcycle travel for a few years now but is currently really hitting his stride.
What do you consider to be your place of work?
Professionally I ‘m a sound Engineer. My work revolves around music a lot. Travelling on the motorcycle has been my passion and I’ve been travelling around India for 7 years now. This journey ‘Trails D’ Azure’ is my first big overland trip and I’m capturing music on the go. So, Travel to work and work to travel works like a charm for me. 🙂
Tell me about your bike. What do you call them? How did you get it?
I’m currently riding a Royal Enfield Himalayan bought it in September 2016, mainly for this big journey. Coming from India, there are no options for a big adventure bikes, With the ergonomics of this motorcycle, I really felt comfortable and prepped it up for this journey.
What other vehicles did you consider and what made you ultimately pull the trigger on the one you bought?
Like I said, the choices were really bleak, I had to take some other Indian made below 250cc motorcycle. Which would have struggled a lot and thus I went for this motorcycle. It’s fairly new in the market and had a lot of issues, but i spent close to 2 months working on the motorcycle with my mechanic and made it ready for this big adventure. I even ran it 15,000 kms before the trip to see what problems i might encounter and be prepared for it.
Have you made any upgrades or changes to it?
Basically, the engine is stock – 410 cc Air cooled. It’s an old fashioned carbureted motorcycle. I’ve mainly Installed Pro taper handle bar and ‘Big Bad Bikes’ supported me with ‘NEMO 2 COBRRA’ chain oiler, Barkbusters Handgaurds, Klim gear for me, and SW Motech luggage bag.
What is your favorite part about it living/working off of your bike?
My favourite part about living off the bike would be meeting new people on road, living with locals. The way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view will have some major blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your grip on reality.
What is your least favorite part about it?
I wouldn’t say there’s any least favourite part as once you start a journey, ups and down are a part of it. It teaches you how you can adapt to a situation and how you’ll tackle it. It just makes you stronger.
What is the best place you have taken it?
In this journey, Tajikistan tops the list of best places I’ve visited so far. Their culture, people and landscapes are mind-boggling.
Favorite road you’ve driven?
Wakhan Corridor Stretch of Tajikistan, along the Afghan border has to be the best so far. and Mongolian terrain is really challenging and the landscapes are surreal.
In one word, what describes your approach to life?
Fear. Fear drives them all, you make choices and never look back.
If you could give a person one piece of advice when thinking about living off of a bike, what would you tell them?
Just do it. Do keep adding your ‘Tomorrow’ list and end with shit loads on ‘Tomorrow’s’ in your backpack. It’s Life-changing.
It takes a special kind of person to recognize that the journey, not the destination, is the point of life. Travelers know this. Was there a point in your life where you became conscious that you were one of those people?
Living with the locals, understanding their culture and getting to know a new way of life on this journey especially has taught me a lot!
You have found a strong place in the community of adventure riders. What values do you think your home or family instilled in you, that you take on the road?
Most parents want to transfer their deeply held values to their children. Whether it’s a sense of personal responsibility, generosity to those who are less fortunate, an appetite for risk, the pursuit of education or other personal traits, parents generally want to instill within their children the values they strongly believe in. So be good, be grateful has been my mantra for the road so far, It’s been a great learning from the road too and I’m really thankful for my family to be really supportive.
I admire your outside the box approach to career and home. Do you see yourselves as people who took a leap of faith to live in an unconventional way or do you think it kind of just happened?
I think it just happened, I just combined both my interests together. I love my job and I love travelling too.
Where do you want to go next?
Geographically South America and North America (TAT) would be my plan. Far East Russia is also something I want to do with a lot of time in hand.