Who we are and what we are doing
My name is Martin Klauka and you've probably already figured out who the cute, tuxedo-wearing princess is. Her name is Mogli. She was born around the beginning of 2017 (I celebrate her birthday on the 29th of January) and on a cold evening in March 2017, her way lead straight into my arms, where she fell asleep. She had lost her mother in a car accident and by the time she found me she was exhausted, weak and injured. Not knowing what to do and in spite of the locals poking fun at me I carried her around with me the whole evening and eventually smuggled her into our hotel room. She got to spend a night in the warmth but I still didn’t know what to do. Had I put her back on the streets, she would have most likely died but I was also on a motorbike trip and who has ever heard of a cat riding a bike? I thought that I had to give it a try, at least, and so the next day I put her on the bike and took her for a spin. We were going on a day trip and would be coming back in the evening, if it wouldn’t work, she would have to fend for herself. She was nervous at first and even wanted to jump off once but after a few minutes, she calmed down. I think she realized that, despite the rattling and engine noise it’s safe up there in the tank bag, and that I would look after her. A decision was made and we set off homewards together. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship and within the first 2 years of her young life, Mogli already has been to 16 countries and covered more than 30,000 km.
As for me, I’m in my early 30s, born and raised in Germany and finally had the guts to do something that I’ve been dreaming of for a while: To break out of my golden cage and find out what life has in store for me. Before that, I’ve led a pretty normal life. I was working from Monday to Friday and whenever I had the chance, I went traveling. I’ve been wondering about life since I was a young boy. In books, the main character would be in a place as boring as the one I was at but only a few pages later he’d be living through the greatest adventures. A few times, I even found myself checking previous pages to find out how the heck that just happened. Unfortunately though, that wasn’t real, it probably wasn’t true either and, most importantly, it wasn’t my life. My life looked different. I grew up in a little village and after graduating from school I was to learn a trade and then work from Monday to Friday until, finally, old age releases me. Yes, I could always go on adventures when I’m 70 years old but for now, somebody has got to pay the bills. I didn’t like my outlook but there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it. All these people who are doing something different surely are from some other species. Probably. Or rich. And who am I to dream big?
It was a 2-year long trip to Australia, at the age of 21, that changed everything. It opened my mind like a barn door and with that, I also discovered my love for traveling. There was so much to be learnt and slowly, I became that character in a book.
What are we doing?
Right now we are on a cross-continental motorbike road trip that started in Germany on the 24th of August in 2017. We went south, along the Mediterranean Sea to Greece, then through Turkey and Iran and 13,000 km and 3.5 exciting months later, we safely reached Dubai. Feras, one of my best friends, and his wife received us with open arms and finally we had arrived somewhere. By then an unfamiliar feeling, but a good one nonetheless.
After the initial excitement it was time to get busy again! My tourist visa would expire after 3 months, the bike needed fixing and parts (most of which needed to be sourced from all over the world), and there was not nearly enough money left to continue or even to go back. I was lucky and found a job just 2 days before my visa would expire but because paperwork takes time I even had to leave the country. With the job I was able to save up enough money to continue our way towards Nepal. 7 wonderful months later, on the 12th of July in 2018, the journey continued! Feras joined me on his motorbike and together we visited Iran and Pakistan. Riding side by side towards the Himalayas became my favourite part of the trip. I had tried hard to convince him to join us on our way from Germany before, but it wasn’t possible. Unfortunately, an accident in Pakistan ended the trip for him. Now he is back in Dubai, recovered.
We eventually continued the trip without Feras and started exploring the incredible Himalayas in Pakistan and later in India. By the end of 2018, after about 16 months of traveling, 28,000 km and 13 countries I had an accident that got Mogli and me stuck in a beautiful little cottage in the foothills of the Himalayas. I started writing down our adventures in a book and in Spring 2019 my visa expired and we shifted to Pokhara in Nepal to finish the script.
End of 2019, with the single biggest task in my life 95% done, a little money in my hands and 3 months time until spring, we set out to south India.
In March 2020 after 31 months away from home, 50,000 km and 16 countries, we've reached Kerala, a day's ride away from the most southern point of the Indian Subcontinent.
When Corona came along to cross everybody's plans. The otherwise very warm and hospitable people started distrusting travelers and I was put under quarantine.
Luckily with the best people!
Nobody knows how long this will last, when things will return to normal and whether it would be such a bad thing if they didn't. So let's see what the future will bring.
Mogli and I got back home safely after spending the pandemic-years in India. We arrived on the 19th of Noc 2022, after 5 years and 3 months on the road, 22 countries and 84.000km. Our next plan is to head back to India to write another book. Until then, I hope the first one will be published in English.
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Thanks for being part of our adventure!
Martin & Mogli