From being a mechanic’s son to owning four motorcycles—including the rare Kawasaki Ninja H2— Jasminder Singh of JS Films has come a long way. This motovlogger and YouTuber has conquered it all, such as cruising on difficult terrains with ease to now becoming the first person to take a Hayabusa across the entire Leh-Ladakh circuit. He gives an insight into his love for road trips, and how he has been dealing with the lockdown. By Bayar Jain
1. When did you first start taking road trips and what motivated you to do so?
My first long road trip was to Leh-Ladakh in 2014. Before that, I’ve gone on a few day trips to Mussoorie and Lansdowne. Seeing people post travel photos with accompanying captions on social media motivated me to do so.
2. Which has been your most memorable road journey so far and why?
Although I have been on many trips, my first time to Leh-Ladakh is close to my heart. It was a very challenging and different experience for me since I got a chance to create history. Then, I completed the entire circuit on a Suzuki Hayabusa.
3. Where were you when the lockdown was announced and how did you cope with it?
I feel fortunate that I completed 2020’s first road trip on March 1. Luckily, after that, I was at home when the lockdown was announced. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy by experimenting on Photoshop and staying in shape by working out.
4. How did you keep your travel bug satiated during the lockdown?
When the lockdown was first announced, I didn’t think it would last so long. The first few weeks were tough as the frustration of not being able to ride started to creep in. I tried to divert my mind by working out. It’s all about controlling the mind. Your mind tends to play games with you, so it’s important to keep it engaged to get rid of travelling thoughts.
5. When choosing your next destination, what are the various factors you’ll keep in mind?
In the post-COVID-19 world, I’ll choose places that don’t have a lot of footfall since the danger of catching the virus will continue to hover around for some time. Plus, with social distancing being something we’re so accustomed to now, it will continue to exist subconsciously later as well.
6. Once travel restrictions ease, where is the first place you’ll go to for your next Indian vacation?
I’m craving a trip to the hills. The cool, serene weather of the mountains will be a welcome break from New Delhi’s hot climate. I would like to explore the unexplored spots that are away from the crowds.
7. When on-the-road, how do you cope with unforeseen hurdles such as flat tires on the highway, or losing your way?
There is a saying that ‘perfect preparation prevents poor performance.’ When it comes to planning, choosing a destination with proper roads is the first and foremost thing. For unforeseen circumstances like flat tyres, I keep a motorcycle puncture repair kit and spare parts like extra gear levers or brake levers handy. I know how to do a basic repair of my motorcycle, so in case something goes wrong, I can inspect it.
8. How do you think the world of travel will change post-COVID-19?
I think there will be two probable outcomes post-COVID-19: it will either be slow with people fearing travels, or it will boom due to people’s frustration of being indoors for so long. I feel people will go for easy and relaxed vacations to refresh themselves and feel free once COVID-19 ends. In terms of packing, I feel antibiotics and antiviral pills will now accompany us everywhere.
9. What are the top five must-haves for a road trip?
A well-maintained and serviced motorcycle; a good set of riding gear to keep you safe in all conditions; cameras and drones if you fancy photography or videography; tool kits and first aid kits; and the company of like-minded friends.
10. What kind of music can we find on your travel playlist?
I am a very moody person. I listen to an array of music genres like hard rock, metal, classical Indian music, remixes, workout music… everything! I’m listening to a lot of Punjabi songs these days.
11. Any tips for road trip enthusiasts for their rebound travel post the pandemic?
My advice to travellers would be — be cautious while planning your trip and researching well, especially post the pandemic. Don’t be in a hurry; go on your trip only after the plan is clearly laid out. Besides, I’m sure everyone is wise enough to take all the necessary precautions and have a blast when the world comes back to normalcy!