From San Francisco to Lahore: an adventurer shares his grand journey

Says kindness of strangers lead him to accomplish the trip.


Mavra Bari July 03, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


Having no maps or GPS, Moin Khan set out to travel a distance of 40,000 kilometres on his sports bike. But having faith in his conviction, he was able to complete his journey from San Francisco’s Golden Gate to Lahore.


While talking to a gathering of over 100 students at National University of Science and Technology on Monday, Khan said it was the kindness of strangers that lead him to accomplish this extraordinary feat.

According to Khan, the driving force behind travelling across the globe was to challenge the popular perception of Pakistan as an extremist country and to portray a soft image of its people.

The grand journey that commenced on July 10, 2011 and ended six months later, saw many hurdles - financial constraints, physical exhaustion and injuries.

With a little over $9,000 in his bank account, the young adventurer had estimated that he would last two months on road. But luckily, through twists and turns of fate, he was able to reach his final destination.

Moving on to explain his journey, Khan said his first accident took place in Germany when his 450-pound bike smashed into a guard rail. Alarmed by the severity of the accident, locals called for medical help. However, much to their surprise, Khan said that he was alive and requested them to take a picture of him instead. After being hosptalised for a few hours, he again set off to continue his voyage.

His injuries further subsided when his life-long dream of travelling on the highest pass in Switzerland was fulfilled despite the harsh climate and threat of frost bite.

“Six years ago I had a picture of the pass as my wallpaper and I used to think one day I will travel there,” he said.

Unfortunately, his second accident in Romania was less forgiving. Having collided with a speeding vehicle, he broke three ribs and his back, shoulders, wrists and thumb were injured.

“I could barely move in the ambulance but I never felt more determined to move on,” he explained.

Left alone in a foreign land where he could hardly communicate with anyone in English, Khan was left with no choice but to reach out to a friend, Daniel Dula, for assistance.

Fortunately for him, Dula offered to fix his bike for free, writing it off as a present from the Romanian Motorcycle Society. Adventure enthusiasts from California, Bulgaria and Poland also chipped in and furthermore, the hospital where he received treatment revoked his medical bill.

Overwhelmed by the hospitality and kindness, Khan started his journey once again on his revamped yellow bike and finally made his way to Lahore.

Summarising his grand experience, he attributed his accomplishment to the good times he spent with helpful and selfless people.

The adventure, he said, wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for the US embassy which gave him a passport. “Credit should
be given where it is due, I hope the visa situation between Pakistan and the US will improve in future,” he added.

“Hearing him talk I felt as if anything is possible regardless of how much money you have and what gender you belong to,” said Anam Rathore, a student of NUST who seemed to be moved by the young adventurer’s inspiring story.

Khan’s thirst for adventure still hasn’t been quenched and he has now set off on a new journey to the northern areas of Pakistan. He will travel to Gilgit, Hunza, Naran and Kaghan before concluding his journey in Lahore.

Khan hopes he will continue to meet fascinating people and inspire individuals to challenge themselves.

“I’m not much interested in sightseeing. I just love the wind in my hair and meeting new people,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2012.

COMMENTS (8)

Raja Islam | 10 years ago | Reply

There are no go areas in Karachi as well. If this is true of the largest city of Pakistan, then all of Pakistan is essentially a lawless no mans land.

Qaisrani | 10 years ago | Reply

@KB,man you did not get the point here.

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