How I got the confidence to start driving again

As long as I remember I have always loved to travel. Inculcated by my dad from childhood, it has been one of the most important aspects of my life, my growth, my thoughts, my beliefs. I cannot fathom my life without traveling and taking out my car. I was blessed to find my love and husband Chao who also shared the same love and he loved roads much more than me. Sometimes I would say – let’s take a flight, and he would insist – let’s drive. We would end up driving 95% of the time and not once did we regret it. Such was the pleasure of these trips.

And then when Chao transitioned to the next world (I can never say died, because he lives within me every second), I stopped driving completely. For one year, I would sit at home, look out the window, meet friends but not drive at all. I felt I would bang into someone since my mind was always unsettled. One day my friend Anu from Pune invited me to go on a road trip to Panchgani with her friends and I just went on a whim. That day as my friend was driving down the beautiful ghats, I realised that I have missed driving all this while. Chao would have never wanted me to stop. He was the person who gave me confidence to drive on the highways in India and on the ghats. It takes time and practice and he would patiently guide me, teach me, correct me. He had been a truck driver and had ample of experience driving on the highways.

He told me to follow and remember some basic rules:

  • Its always about the journey and never the destination
  • Enjoy the journey. Stop wherever you want. Its not a race, a few minutes early or late doesn’t matter
  • Avoid driving at night. Its easy to get disillusioned and better to stop and rest at night when you have been driving all day
  • Stick to your lane always especially on turnings
  • Always get your vehicle checked before a long drive
  • Never drive if you are not rested and if you could fall asleep driving
  • Never drink and drive
  • Always keep your eye on the road (especially in India – cows and buffaloes can surprise you anytime)

Slowly I started taking our Dhanno – our beige Zen Estilo for drives late at night. I would drive to Worli Sea Face or Marine Drive, put on my favourite music, and just enjoy the drive. Chao will always be next to me. Listening to my blabber, about life, about my day and about my struggles and achievements.

So I will live our dream. Drive at every given opportunity and go for road trips to all the places we had wanted to go. His dreams are mine now and the conversations that I have with him are deeper. He tells me to fight, to stand up and face the adversities, to never feel alone, to always live life fully, to help someone if I can, to carve my own new path, to find my purpose and to make him proud. This is the purpose of my life.

Travel Quote

The Road Trippers Club that I stumbled upon by chance has also been instrumental in helping me to come back to normal and start driving again. They’ve been so supportive, never saying no, always allowing me to carpool and even accepting my requests last minute. The people that I’ve met here, friends that I’ve made here – on these trips, the unknown destinations that I have discovered and the new ME that I’ve come across has been the most important factor in bringing back my confidence to drive again. As long as I live, I will be indebted to them for their love.

Going to take my Dhanno on the next trip and as soon as possible will buy a new car and go on a solo road trip for a month. Life goes on and Chao will always be with me in my Rearview Mirror!

Meeta Jhunjhunwala
Follow Meeta Jhunjhunwala:

A Destination Wedding Planner by profession, a filmmaker, Untrained Photographer and avid traveler from Mumbai, India.

This thought of a blog on road trips had been on my mind for the past year. Having done hundreds of road trips and travelled thousands of kilometres by car, I find it to be the most satisfying experience. My husband Chao and me would hit the road at every given opportunity. Those moments of silence in the car, various moods,, asking for directions, exploring hotels, tasting food in little towns – so many memories and so many more to create. This blog will be my contribution for all of us out there who love to drive and do road trips often. We are the carefree wanderers who love to live life on the edge whilst our life passes by in the Rearview Mirror!!!

15 Responses

  1. Kashmira

    You really write in a way that touches the heart .
    Another beautifully captured piece full of emotion.

    Don’t ever stop what you want to do….
    Next time you pool with us or I pool with you…. But chalte jaana hai..or rather drive kite jaa.!

  2. Zoeb

    Meeta,
    Your flow from mind to words is very smooth,
    Your exposure to life experience and thoughts add to it.
    Keep your driving passion in high spirits,
    More so, keep driving your life.
    God bless you.
    Zoeb

  3. TheDailySunlight

    I understand how hard this must be for you. But you know what, this one’s for Chao. You are living your dreams and he will be very proud of you for doing that. You are right, he would never want you to stop doing what you love. So, this is a good decision that you took to start driving again.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with us. Keep living your dreams. Bless you! 🙂

  4. krish

    Very well articulated. Meeta…life is about finding a passion and living it…good too see you found your purpose and enjoying the drives..
    Enjoyed reading..
    Thank you

  5. Alekkz Hwang

    This is such a captivating post full of emotion! I am proud of you for finding your confidence & not everyone has the courage. I wish you the best of luck.

    -Alekkz

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