Let’s face it; riding solo needs courage. Human beings are social animals, and hence they often associate travel to bonding. There would be many times when we end up cancelling our month-long plans just because our friends cancelled on us. However, that isn’t the essence of travelling. Perhaps, it is about bonding, but it is about bonding with people and the world away from yours. A female biker in India has always struck that “wow” chord with the society. Riding solo, meeting people along the way and having minimal survival tactics while on the road aren’t something associated with something women of the society would do.
However, they are humans, after all. For the love of their passion, even they will go to any extent. The charm of travel is that it is intoxicating; not the destination but the road. Such is the tale of Candida Louis, a female biker to traversed from Bangalore to Sydney alone. Such a biking adventure holds the key to inspiration, but more than that, it is a story of an accomplishment.
Who is Candida Louis?
An Indian girl from Hubli, Candida Louis has had biking experience covering 34000kms across 24 states in India. Moreover, she has led biking tours in seven countries and ridden in more than 25 countries.
However, five to six years back, Candida was just like any other girl who had relocated to Bangalore to work with an MNC. Working full-time makes you reconsider growing up and makes you nostalgic. Nevertheless, the freedom that comes with growing up is the real charm. Candida’s passion lay outside, and biking was the saviour. Soon, she had quit her job and chose biking as her career. Perhaps, that was the day when Candida stood out from the rest of us and took a chance against the fear of risks.
Making of a biker
Being a full-time traveller or a biker is not roses petals or easy money, perks or sponsorships. Life doesn’t let you take things off the shelf quickly. The first two-three years of her careers in biking consumed all her savings, and she faced crunch situations. But as she continued travelling and creating exciting content, the money and resources started flowing in. She soon built a brand of her own and started getting sponsorships. This lead to her trips and bikes getting sponsored.
Money was just one factor. There were other reasons why it wasn’t so easy for her to switch to biking from her finance job. After the time and effort spent by your parents in your education, it is challenging to speak up one day. For her, choosing biking and explaining her parents was a task, mainly because there weren’t many options in the same for females.
But, after a few rounds of questioning by her mother and understanding from her father, she took the drastic step of her life.
Biking from Bangalore to Sydney
After completing several bike journeys in India, Candida was selected for the ‘Change you world’ travel project. It is a non-profit organisation set up in the memory of Alistair Farland, the Australian biker who met with an accident and passed away in North America during his world tour in 2014. Furthermore, the project aims to fund and support wayfarers like Alistair, whose travels are much more than just individual goals.
Candida had idolised him, and his death had shaken her. That’s when she decided to journey her way to Sydney and meet Alistair’s family as a tribute to him and his adventures. Further on, as a part of the project, she wasn’t just travelling. But, also making a change by stopping at schools and talking to people along the way. It was an emotional ride through the last few kilometres to Sydney Harbour Bridge viewpoint.
Her friends and family were waiting to receive her, but most importantly, it was Alistair’s mother. His mother had been following her ride since she left India. It wasn’t just her ride, but it was a ride for Alistair Farland and many more Alistair Farlands to come.
It was a tough one for her to answer and pick. She recalled having so many memories to treasure. Perhaps, the hospitality of strangers in different parts of the world. People were waiting for her in the highway, and border-crossing rules made sure she always had the company of a few fellow bikers. The feeling of having inspired people in such a significant manner is something she considered her biggest achievements and fondest memories.
She had travelled alone but came back with memories made with people and places she had come across. Moreover, she had the respect and love for her bike that supported her through the trip.
Scariest experiences along the way
Candida recalled that journeys such as those weren’t completed without hardships. There were times she had to ride through long and dark stretches of roads right through dense forests due to lack of accommodations options. Moreover, there were also times she had to ride while being completely exhausted.
There was one such incident when she ended up clicking a picture with a mysterious face when there was no one with her. Her camera battery was about to die, and she was alone on the road with several kilometres of jungle ahead of her. She wanted to keep a memory of the same. So she took out her camera, clicked a selfie-and drove on. Reaching her accommodation for the night, she checked her camera in the morning. It was only then that she noticed a mysterious reflection of a face in the side view mirror even though she was the only human there.
Doesn’t it put you in the thought? It isn’t just nature and humans who test your resolve after all.
A Learning Experience
Travel is one of the finest teachers that teach you life lessons like no other. Candida’s journey taught her the most important lesson. It is important to stay focussed and not give up on choices. Going out of your comfort zone now may not make the message reach out soon. But, it will happen in the generations to come. The accomplishment is when people remember your journey and not just you.
Candida admitted the fact that she wasn’t the wealthiest biker in terms of money, but she came with her own share of riches that nobody could buy.
The Next Step to Biking
She may have already set new biking records, but she wasn’t done. There are always new roads to travel, and she dreams of biking with her parents often.
Moreover, she is planning a solo journey from India to London or Africa on her bike. When there are dreams and burning passion, there is no stopping one.
Lastly, she gave the message to the women who dreamt. There would always be people to hinder your path, tell you that a woman can’t, and the roads are hard. However, when you have earned the support of who matter, you make the moment of your youth. Many problems would make you want to quit but always remeber that better times are yet to come, and when they do, there would be no comparable achievement. It is safe, and it is a journey. No journey is memorable, where there are just good happening. Live for what you love.
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