Eek! This is Actually Happening

by Sarah Chamberlain on December 20, 2012 · 22 comments

The Rickshaw Run has been but a distant dream for so long, too far into the future to be real. I’ve been terrified, excited and numb about it, depending on what day I’ve been asked. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of starting this blog with Hannah and Kim, getting to know them via email, and raising a shed load of money for Frank Water. I’ve been touched by the generosity of our community of readers and have been blown away by the messages of support and encouragement we have received.

But the thing is, now we actually have to do this.

And right now, I’m not sure how to feel about that.  As most of you know, I arrived in Goa a few days ago. My trip to India was planned around the Rickshaw Run, and I am lucky enough to be able to stay at Hannah’s lovely house in Goa. It’s wonderful here, very relaxed and chilled out, basically the EXACT OPPOSITE of what we will be experiencing in just over 11 days time.


Palolem beach

Even the cows are relaxed.

So whilst part of me drifts around the beaches of Patnem and Palolem, sipping lime soda and searching for the best masala chai, another part, the part of me where terror resides, screams,”Do you realize what you are about to do?! ARE YOU COMPLETELY FUCKING NUTS?!”

Hannah, on the other other hand, is completely calm and full of faith. I don’t think she has a single worry about the journey ahead, which makes one of us at least. Kim is flying across the world to do this with us, from Rio, to Frankfurt, to Delhi – a trans-continental milk-run of epic proportion. It will be her and Brian’s first time to India ever, and I can only imagine the roller-coaster of emotion she must be going through.

Every time I walk past an auto-rickshaw, a little shiver runs through me, an equal mix of excitement and fear. I stare at them parked along the dusty streets here, poke my head through the windows and try to imagine myself in the drivers seat with my team mates in the back.  The image I have is of a more confident me – Queen of the Indian highways with cat-like reflexes and a hardened self-assurance that comes from experience and time.

Only, I have had very little experience behind the wheel of a motorized tricycle (read: none), let alone any vehicle other than the 2001 Hyundai Accent I sold before going traveling. And as Christmas approaches, time is becoming a dwindling commodity; Hannah and I fly to Jaipur to meet Kim and Brian on the 26th of December.

We took an ‘auto’ to the nearby town of Chaudi the other day for supplies, and though it was only a small, one-road commercial hub, the streets were a chaotic mix of cars, bikes, trucks, people and cars.

“Shit,” I thought to myself, “We are going to be rattling through hundreds of towns like this, most of which will be on a much larger scale of crazy!”


I’ve received so many lovely messages of support lately via my own blog, yet I feel I must make clear one thing: I’m not the sort of person to do something like this. Let it be known that I am fearful and neurotic to the core (in case you hadn’t noticed), and that I have to actively overcome negative thoughts and emotions almost every day. I do not see myself as adventurous, and cannot imagine ever being fearless.

The real journey I am on is one of self-acceptance, and accepting my fear is part of this. Not giving into it, mind you, but accepting it.

The key for me is to attempt to stay present in the moment (which seems to be something Hannah does exceptionally well), and assure myself that all is well, as it has always been. Whilst I am afraid of doing something which is completely out of my comfort zone, I am also very excited to begin. I know that once ‘driving an auto-rickshaw’ is something I can put on my list of experiences, it will deflate the power of the big fear bubble that is currently hanging over me and casting a shadow over my excitement.

I know this due to all of the wonderful gifts I have received in the last ten months of travel. Gifts I never would have known about if I’d given into fear and just stayed home, settling for a life that didn’t make me happy.

Hannah and Kim have been a big part of my journey. Hannah’s unwavering optimism keeps me buoyant, and Kim’s dedication to her dreams inspires me endlessly. Soon, we will putting all of that to the test, and embarking on a literal journey together, rather than just a figurative one.

And despite being afraid of the unknown, I know in my heart that very soon I’ll be in the moment, rattling along a desert highway in a three wheeled tin can; my fear an ever-decreasing speck in the rear-view mirror that eventually disappears from sight.

Bring it on.

Guess what? We have reached our fundraising target!!! That’s right, you guys have raised over 2,000 GBP, or US$3,400 for clean water charity, Frank Water! Hopefully we can still raise more money, which will go towards community-based water filtration systems in rural villages. Visit our charity page!

Any other support you can give us is very much appreciated, whether a tweet, Facebook mention or a donation!

Subscibe to this site to receive updates on our adventure, like our Facebook page and follow our Twitter feed for more live updates.


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah December 20, 2012 at 12:04 PM

I cracked up laughing reading this post, but you already know that as you are sitting in the same room as me! I didn’t think I could get any more excited, but reading this makes me feel like a giggly teenager. Can. Not. Wait :)


Sarah December 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Yes darling, we just need to sort out our kitten issues and then all will be well :)


tyrhone December 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Congrats on reaching your target! I know you will do fantastically well, there will probably be tears and frustration, but that will pale in comparison to the joy and excitement you gals will experience.

Who would have thought in the last 10 months, you would scuba dive, hold a tarantula or drive across one of the most populated countries on Earth. Better than a kick in the pants if you ask me :)


Sarah December 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

You forgot ‘climb a volcano’! But yes, when you put it like that… And yes, we have already come to terms with the fact that there will be tears!!! Thank you for your support babe xxx


Carmel December 20, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I’m glad you have Hannah there. Every group needs someone like her to keep everyone in check. :) There’s no turning back now! Luckily you have a worldwide cheerleading squad.


Sarah December 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Yes, if we were all like me, this would not be happening!! Thank you for being our head cheerleader Carmel xxxx


Rhonda December 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

You guys are going to have a ball and, really, isn’t India ALL ABOUT acceptance of things that scare you and that you don’t understand?! For now enjoy Goa enough for all of us who wish we were there. We can not wait to follow along on the run!


Sarah December 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I thought it was about fish curry and beaches! Kidding! Thank you Rhonda, we are all getting really excited now!!!!


Kim December 20, 2012 at 4:45 PM

I LOVE THIS! I have to say that now that we are in Rio and India feels this close that I am getting incredibly excited. I am still scared shitless, mind you, but also so DAMN EXCITED! And I can’t wait for all of the amazing things that will happen to us in the Rickshaw. I just know it will be the ultimate adventure. XOXOXOX


Sarah December 20, 2012 at 6:36 PM

We CAN’T WAIT to see you guys and have our team together!! Safe travels Kim and Brian, and a very merry Christmas XOXO


Emma December 20, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Am so excited for you all. live, love and enjoy, its what life is about. Love to you all. Hannah we really miss you but am so glad your lliving your dream in India and with Lee. xx


TammyOnTheMove December 21, 2012 at 1:46 AM

It is completely understandable to be nervous about this adventure. I think you guys are nuts, but deep down I wish I was doing it as well actually. :-) But at least you won’t be alone and I am sure between the three of you and the helpful lovely Indian people along the way you will be absolutely fine. I am really excited for you guys. :-)


Judy McLarty December 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Wow & WOW! And WOW! An incredibly gutsy adventure for you three Gals! Having just arrived in Mexico City and being utterly overwhelmed the first day by the traffic, smog, altitude and sheer size of the city – I am utterly in awe of the courage it’s taking for you three to make this journey! I have liked your Facebook page and followed on Twitter, and will be fascinated to read your updates! All the very best, Judy McLarty


Patti December 21, 2012 at 5:51 PM

The three of you are incredibly brave! And I think you’ll have the most amazing adventure of your lives, scary as hell, but amazing just the same! I’ll be following!


Anna B December 22, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I hope you all have a brilliant time! What a totally cool thing to do. I’m sure you’ll all be fine. Just remember to keep on beeping the horn when you are overtaking 4 lanes of traffic round blind corners!! ;)

Hannah – lovely to see your happy face. Be careful please! Will be thinking of you all the time. Please post lots of updates!! Love you.
Anna Bean xxxx


Mike@EarthDrifter December 22, 2012 at 7:47 PM

It’s a little nuts for sure. But what a great cause and unique experience! It should make for some unforgettable and enthralling posts. Seems like the pros heavily outweigh the cons.


@cheth December 26, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Proud of the fact that you’re embracing the Indian way for living. Just incase you guys are coming down to bangalore, India do let me know!


Stephen S. December 27, 2012 at 3:26 PM

only a couple more days till the rickshaw madness begins. I can’t wait! I might have to do this next year. Good luck you three, I know it is going to be epic.


Jill Miller December 28, 2012 at 12:01 PM

You can do it!!!
Matt & I hired a tuk tuk in Sri Lanka and had our fair share of adventures. Ran out of fuel, reversing difficulties and obviously navigation issues due to language barriers. But it’s surprisingly easy to drive and heaps of fun. I even went to pick up a lady on the side of the road. She saw we were white, then realised I was female and declined our offer. Im sure she will talk off that day until she dies. But the gentleman near her accepted so we dropped him off at his destination.


Sarah December 28, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Thank you so much everyone for your support and encouragement, we had our first test drive today and we’re still here so that’s a good sign!!! Sarah, Kim and Hannah Xoxo


jmayel & sacha December 28, 2012 at 4:12 PM

All the best guys, as true fans of road tripping across the world in knackered old vehicles, Sacha and I will be following your adventure!


Mariah January 15, 2013 at 3:39 AM

“I do not see myself as adventurous, and cannot imagine ever being fearless.” I can so relate to that sentiment! I feel as though my friends and family often cast me in the fearless and crazy role. While I might be a bit on the crazy side, I am usually a bundle of nerves, self-doubt, and loads of insecurity. Thankfully, my curious, brave side wins most arguments and I continue to do things that scare me. But it’s never easy! Kudos to all of you for undertaking this immense journey. Safe travels!


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