While ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ became an instant hit and resulted in many people wanting to give up their stressful careers for more rewarding lives, many of us soon realized that there’s a thicker line of difference between fiction and reality. What may sound wonderful in our heads, may not be viable in real life. With costs and overheads building up, living expenses rising and an increase in FOMO, are we getting closer to the ‘Zen’ way of living or are we moving away?
There comes a point in all our lives where we question the path we’re on. While we still chase happiness, we all undergo a phase of doubting our journey, wondering about the ultimate result. ‘Am I giving back to society?’, ‘Am I a good human being?’, “Am I being selfish?’ are some of the questions we often ask ourselves. While worry may often take up a lot of our free time, the hassles of our everyday lives demand more urgent attention. Since the more pressing struggles of ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’ or in our case ‘travel, celebrate, work, and Instagram’ take over, we keep our social concerns aside.
But there are some who don’t. Amongst us, there are some who are passionate, competent, and skilled, just like us, but for them, progress is not measured by individual success. They measure prosperity in terms of the benefits accrued to the disadvantaged, less fortunate. Anil Nair is one such man. While he’s exceptional in the sphere of advertising, he has a passion for riding bikes. He worked intensively on social campaigns, attended festivals like Cannes, and engaged in the discourse around social change. But at one point, he asked himself if there was more he could do more.
That gave birth to Goodwind Mototours, an initiative that conducts experiential road trips across India, from which sizeable amount goes to charitable organizations.
Some excerpts from a chat with Anil, about his passion for the road, the untapped beauty of India’s tourism sector and the rise of experiential travel.
How did Goodwind Mototours start?
Anil: It actually started as Goodwind Riders, which was just 1 rider in the beginning: me. I first took a solo bike trip to Spiti Valley in 2016, to raise money for cancer patients. Two organizations that are extremely close to my heart are Tata Memorial Hospital, which has a child oncology wing that works extremely hard; the second is Bal Asha, a home for abandoned children in Mumbai.
The ride was tough, and going to Spiti alone is a mean feat in itself, but I managed to raise massive funds and from there, there was no looking back. I had friends, colleagues, acquaintances asking me if they could join. We followed this with a Bombay to Goa bike trip without stops, where we stopped only for fuel. We did road trips to Sikkim and went to Spiti again. That’s where it all started.
How is a Goodwind trip different from a normal road trip?
Our initial road trips started with a clear idea- to raise funds for the less fortunate people, especially children. So our road trips weren’t about relaxing or partying or just eating. We would undertake non-stop rides in challenging terrain.
What kind of travel experiences do you offer currently?
Today, we offer boutique travel experiences to riders and travel enthusiasts. Unlike your run of the mill travel agencies, Goodwind does not focus on showing you the top 3 or top 5 sights in a destination. We focus on experiential travel, local experiences, and premium quality standards. Our guests have a complete safety team and guides accompanying them on every road trip. An extensive recce is done before any route is finalized. Travelers stay in boutique hotels and experience the best culinary delights any place has to offer. All of this, while also knowing that a portion of what they’re paying is going to an NGO.
Usually, spending is accompanied by guilt. At Goodwind, we want to promote the idea of ‘Feel Good-Do Good’, wherein you enjoy experiential travel, while also directly benefitting organizations that work with disadvantaged groups. We want people to be able to travel far and wide while adhering to impeccable standards of quality and comfort.
Goodwind Mototours currently offers boutique travel experiences in Spiti Valley, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Konkan, and Kerala.
By bringing together unique, immersive travel experiences and combining them with direct contributions to those in need, Goodwind Mototours is all set to revolutionize the way we travel. Travel will not only enrich our lives but also the lives of those who are less fortunate. What more gratification could one ask for?