This blog is a bit of everything that life has offered us. If you have directly landed on this page, we will start with a short overview of where this blog sits and what it is about.
Overland GCC is a venture that aspires to bring the best of the global brands for our fellow overland enthusiasts within the GCC and the sub-continent. Overland GCC is part of Oceanic General Trading, a family-owned business established in the Middle East since the 1970s. You can read more about Overland GCC here. We, Siddharth and Janki, are part of the Overland GCC family, and here we would like to share with you our travel lessons threaded together with our common love for the outdoors. Please feel free to comment, share and let us know if you would like to read more of one thing or less of something else.
This section is all about the human in us. We will touch on matters that are dearest to our hearts, matters on family, parenting, life and travel experiences. For ease of storytelling we will unfold our lives from our early interest in outdoors, to how we met, some of the lemons life threw at us and how we are cherishing our lemonades! We will bring a part of our life to you once every month.
Growing up as an only child, Sid’s most cherished companions were his bike and the endless ocean that was his backyard. You talk to him about his childhood evenings and his eyes would find a home within the ocean sea bed and the endless treasure and stories it holds! He used to spend his evenings investigating the jelly fish, crabs and live shells that the ocean brought to him.
Sid is blessed with parents who love to travel and in his younger years, they would travel 4 months at a stretch from cannoing in the amazons looking for piranas, picnicking in the Serengetti, to travelling across the philipines, unites states and many more. Sid’s parents have lived in six very varied countries across the world, and taken on exploring their host country to another level altogether. Sid’s love for outdoors may have been inborn and reinforced by the landscape of his early years, but his mum has imbibed in him the ‘go get lost’ philosophy from very early days. Mother and son would be out and about in the wadis of Oman, and his mum would ask him to take his old range rover through all types of terrain often getting stuck. They would befriend the locals who would kindly get them out of the pickle and embrace them as family inviting them home for Arabic coffee, dates and some local produce.
Sid was surrounded by nature during all his formative years, and while he went through the motions of city life, his heart has always yearned for the endless adventures hidden in exploring the outdoors.
Growing up in a second tear city in India, Janki grew up with the usual bag of experiences framed by friends and supporting parents who pushed their kids to grab every experience that life offered. Janki is blessed with parents who encouraged a democratic upbringing much ahead of their times. From very early years, decisions were never imposed but pros and cons were explained with the decision making for one’s own life being one’s own responsibility. Looking back, Janki would say probably that was the reason why, inspite of the unprecedented freedom given they did not screw up!
Inspite of the humble lifestyle, her parents instilled in them the need to follow one’s passion keeping in mind a simple motto ‘your life is your responsibility’. Janki’s dad would push them out of their comfort zone to grab every opportunity that came their way. At a time when there were no cell phones or internet to stay connected, Janki found herself at a very young age camping and hiking across Himalayas, undertaking exchange programs around the world, exploring India and debating philosophy with her brother.
How we met,
is quite common for millions of Indians, but very uncommon for two people who have travelled across the world and are supported by very progressive parents. As Sid and Janki moved back to their home bases, age was running against them and the pressure of marriage mounting. Both had reached out to their parents for assistance. But as we said, age was against them and it was getting difficult for their parents to hunt for ‘prospectives’ through the regular social channels, which by the way in India are quite extensive.
Lo and behold, Janki’s dad put out a ‘discrete’ advert in the local newspaper, which, by the way would never feature in the next weeks edition as the advert was not so ‘discrete’ after all! Sid and his parents happen to be in town the very same weekend, and his mum being the adventurous person that she is decides to give this ‘advert’ a shot. You can imagine the rage Sid went through, and in his own words ‘You might as well go on the street and pick the first girl you see in a saree to marry me off with!’. So they met, a furious Janki who had to rush home from her day at work in the villages of india to meet someone who had responded to the ‘advert’, and, Sid who hated the second tier city (village according to him), let alone the thought of meeting someone here! The rest is history, as within three months we were gamed to make a life long commitment!
Our parents’ uninhibited approach to life shaped us to who we are, but most importantly it brought us in each others life. I guess one of the reasons we wanted to share this with our readers, is to bring home the point that life happens when we expect it the least!