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JULIAN SHRESTHA: FOLLOWING SUIT

AL-v-4-i-1-Outlander-34A well-known face in the motorcycling industry of Nepal, Julian Shrestha is the president of Vintage Motorcycle Club Nepal. His passion for motorcycle dictates his lifestyle and he has been in it for quite some time now. For most motorcycle enthusiasts traveling the world on a motorcycle is the ultimate dream and it isn’t any different for Julian. Madhav Sharma’s expeditions had always intrigued Julian and now finally after years of deliberation, he is setting out to do something that no Nepali has done before. Travel the world in a two wheeler. We talk to him regarding his plans here.J1

AL: How did you get into motorcycles?

JS: I grew up in Itumbahal, at a time when it was a small close knit community. Amongst the 30 or so houses there was only one motorcycle, and it was my grandfather’s. It was a Honda that was passed onto my father. I think that was where my interest in two wheelers started from. My cousin brother Pramod Shrestha (a.k.a Goofy) was also an inspiration. I has highly impressed with his riding skills and wanted to become like him.

AL: So you’re planning on traveling the world on a motorcycle?

JS: Yes, if all goes well I will be leaving on the 19th of February 2015, Nepal’s Democracy day.

AL: Hmm, that reminds me of one other person who tried something like that 19 years back…

JS: Madhav dai I presume. His travels are what got me started on this whole idea. I’ve read his book almost five times now.

J3AL: What got that idea into your head?

JS: I felt like I needed to do something for my country, getting a bike across the world from Nepal would be something that could do that.

AL: Apart from planning on conquering the world on your motorcycle, which other trip has been memorable for you?

JS: Every trip is special, but if I have to choose one, I would have to say my Darjeeling trip.

AL: How are the preparations coming along? Which institutions in particular are helping you?

JS: Hills to Himalaya Club is our chief sponsor at the moment. The company has sponsored my bike plus has Rs 1 lakh for the carnet permit. The total cost of getting the permit is more than Rs.3 lakhs which is refundable after completing the tour.

J4AL: Are all your paper works ready?

JS: Yes. The Foreign Ministry has really helped me out. Other than that, the Lumbini Development Trust and Tourism Ministry are also supporting me with the preparation. The government is also helping me with accommodation during my tour. They have coordinated some rooms at most of the embassies. I approached NASA (Nepal Automobile Sports Association) to help out with paper works, but it didn’t work out.

AL: How else have you prepared for the trip?

JS: Every trip is unpredictable; you never know what is going to happen. So keeping in mind the various aspects I am learning a few survival tactics like how to repair bikes and pitch my own tent. Ranging Gear has provided me with necessary equipment for this a trip. Colors Mobile has given me the latest mobile which will help me with the road tracking system. Horns and Hooves has helped me plan this trip, and a Shark helmet is going to be provided by Gear Venture Nepal.

AL: Which bike will you be taking?

JS: I will be taking the 1979 model, 350cc Royal Enfield. The main reason I chose this bike is that I know it very well. Even if a problem arises during the trip I will be able to take control over the situation. Another reason is that I want to get myself into the world record. If I complete the trip, I will have travelled the longest distant in this particular model. Hence if I complete my tour, I will be breaking the record and setting a new one.AL: Tell us about the route you will be taking.

JS: I will start my trip from Mahendranagar, from there I will enter Delhi. In Delhi, where I will be visiting Delhi’s Tourism Board and the Old Delhi Motorcycle Club where I am excited to meet Bobby Sigh. From there, I will be leaving for Pakistan’s Istanbul. After that I plan to head to Iran where I will be staying at the Hussaine Guest House, the owner ‘Hussaine’ is a rider himself. From Iran I will be heading towards Turkey, where I will be staying is still a question mark. The next stop is Bulgaria, then to Serbia. From there I will be riding to Croatia, Austria, Vienna, Germany, Denmark through Sweden on to Belgium France, Spain and finally to London in a three hour long ship ride.

AL: Which places are you most excited about visiting?

JS: Germany, Portugal, Austria and Switzerland.

AL: How will you round everything up after London?

JS: Getting to London is just Phase One of my trip. If everything goes according to plan, I will be going to North America, then South America then Africa.

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