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Sat, 18 Aug 2018

Northeast Today

Footloose with a Cause

Footloose with a Cause
September 25
12:53 2017

August Edition, Travel, NET Bureau, Chirasmrita Devi

Thrills, trials, purpose, detours- a road trip has a lot to offer to a wanderer. The more you seek the more you will get from hitting the road. Well, I never got the opportunity to hit the road that hard. However, I did get the opportunity to catch up with a bunch of travellers coming from different backgrounds who are bind together by their common appetite for travelling. Together, they have taken up on a cross country road trip, starting from Coimbatore under the banner SEEK (Save Endangered Endemic & Key species) to spread some awareness environmental issues. In conversation with Northeast Today, team SEEK reveals what’s more can be sought on the rough-hewn roads.


Before heading forward, let me give you an idea about the project SEEK and the members that make up this team. SEEK is a project that aims at spreading a word on wildlife conservation. The team is headed by the president of Environment Conservation Group (ECG) Mohamed Saleem and his band of comrades which includes Abhisek, Srinivasan and Assam’s Sisir- the man who facilitated in arranging the entire rendezvous with the team.

“Project SEEK aims to travel 25,000 kilometres, interacting with students and local communities spreading awareness on the need to protect the endangered endemic species,” says Mohamed Saleem .

The Tell-Tale Road

Around every corner of the road there is story waiting to be discovered. Once discovered, the tales need to be shared. This is what I realized within the first few moments of my casual yet informative chit-chat with team SEEK. They had many stories to share. Right from the point they started from Coimbatore to sleeping in their vehicle for days to their encounter with the jumbos, they had many stories to tell.

While narrating their tales they also took a moment to thank their sponsors WWF, Wulf Pro, Adventure Gears, Coleman, Unibic, Twin Birds and also Mahindra- for they, as the team said, made the journey a little less arduous. Seldom is a traveller able to bear the expenses on his own for such an expedition. The team suggested that before embarking on such an epic trip with a purpose in sight, it is always better to find a probable sponsor, who could be interested in financing the trip.

Something for Everybody

A road tripper is full of curiosity and the roads that are less trodden by, often have something to enthral his senses. And for team SEEK; as they have taken the roads not generally taken, surprises kept popping up in various forms- from picturesque landscapes to playful animals.

And if you see something interesting, halt and check it out. Better, capture it.

“Capturing the vistas with the flora and fauna in my camera has been the best part of the trip so far,” shares Abhisek, the shutterbug in the squad.


Safety Hacks

Every trip is a lesson in itself. Trips can teach you the pros and cons that Google or even Bear Grylls might not have revealed to you yet. Fortunately, I got to learn many safety hacks while savouring a cup of tea with the team. They shared a number of safety tips that can come handy, in general, as well as in case of a foray.

Sisir, who also happens to be a software developer, recommended that mere carrying the latest gadgets and technologies in a trip is not enough, but one should also have the proper knowledge of using these as well. He stressed on doing some prior research before undertaking such a trip, and also favoured in a keeping a Plan-B handy, just in case the Plan-A fails miserably!

“Do not trust Google maps completely! As they can be misleading sometimes,” the team chorused, while they narrated their misadventure of Google maps leading them to a tigercorridor during the trip.

To Eat or Not to Eat, That is The Question

Not just for your eyes but for your palates as well, a road is full of temptations. Your diet tends to fly out of the window once you sight upon the local delicacies and street side eateries, revealed Srinivasan, the wildlife enthusiast who has left a luring career behind in Dubai. Having some intel about the local food will be the summum bonum for the tummy.

“Having knowledge about the local food is useful. Relishing it, however, is a matter of choice. And yes, always carry clean drinking water,” he adds on.


As the stories kept unfolding and the chit-chat continued, my imagination flew along with the words of these four avid travellers. I wanted the talking to go on and on…but they were the birds of passage and they had to fly again towards their next destination.

And I am sure one-day I too will be jotting down my share of experiences on the road…


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