When three best friends Rashmi Gururaja Koppar, Dr. Soumya Goyal and Nidhi Tiwari, all in mid-30’s, went for a journey from New Delhi to London. There were initailly some apprehension about the trip being taken by women alone. However the three super moms covered 21,477 Km crossing 17 countries in 97 days, definitely a journey of their lifetime and also reaching back the home safely. Three friends got together to create awareness on women empowerment and at the same time to live their childhood dream of travelling.
The trip was sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of External Affairs, Mahindra First Choice Wheels, Lenovo India, Via.com, @Round Table India Area 6, M.S. Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, Social Empowerment by Empowering Women SEEW, and Tea Trails India. They travelled approximately 600 km a day; the journey of these women started in June and closed the circle in October, crossing several countries including India, Myanmar, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, Germany and they finally reached United Kingdom. The vehicle they used was an SUV sponsored by Mahindra First Choice, it also happened to be the first Indian vehicle to cross the Arctic Circle.
The team is also a part of Women beyond Boundaries, a community started by Nidhi in March 2015, to encourage women to drive long distances. "We wanted to tell the women of the world that such expeditions are possible and that there was nothing to be scared of.” said Dr. Soumya Goyal.
Crossing forests, rocky terrains, broken roads pushed their adrenaline to the limits; the women enjoyed the experience and came home wiser. As with any other road trip they too faced difficulties, they got stuck due to a landslide in Myanmar. It derailed their trip by a few days as it took those five days to cover 200 km from Imphal to Myanmar. But the women took that in right spirit and thank it as an opportunity to experience goodwill of locals.
Rashmi Gururaja Koppar is a hotel management professor, an adventure sports enthusiast, and the mother of a daughter. Dr. Soumya Gopinath is a physical therapist, avid traveller, and the mother of two boys. Nidhi Tiwari specializes in outdoor education; off-the-road jeep drives, and also has a lot of experience in long-distance and high-altitude driving. It was Nidhi only, who came up with the idea of driving till London, which was instantly agreed by her friends. She was also the 'only' driver in this long expedition, but that did not discourage the other two. The trio decided to take a sabbatical from their respective jobs and live their dreams.
The daring journey was constantly documented on the social media – the Facebook page of Women beyond Boundaries, it will surely inspire the young generation women to burst out of stereotypical roles of women and experience life.