Globetrotting on a bamboo bicycle
Yakuza Solo, a young man from northeast India’s Nagaland state has set out on an ambitious journey – to tour the world on his bamboo bicycle. “When I set out on my journey, my aim was to tell people about Nagaland, its culture, its traditions, its people. Besides, I could visit new places and interact with new people. However, after I have travelled so far, this journey has gone beyond achieving just one thing. It has become a life-altering experience,” says Yakuza.
In Nagaland, bamboo plays a huge part in the lives of the people – from being consumed as a food item to a spice and a material used for building furniture and lovely houses. It is, thus very apposite that Yakuza chose to ride a bamboo bicycle to set off his adventure and to tell the world about the rich cultural land of the Nagas.
Yakuza explains why he has selected the not-so-convenient and slow means of transport for his expedition, that it gave him the freedom of stopping it anywhere and whenever he liked. Moreover, it allowed him to slow down and see a lot more of a place for longer. “It (bicycle) also took me to smaller, less travelled parts of the world, but richer in hospitality,” says Yakuza.
Yakuza never used a map for his travels. He says that he just didn’t mind to be lost. He would just have a rough idea of where to go next then the things will happen spontaneously. It also helped him to interact with lots of people on the way. Mostly conversations began with queries for directions and in some occasions, people take him to their homes. “My bamboo bike was a great ice breaker,” says Yakuza.
He has already visited more than 25 countries in Europe and North America on a bamboo bicycle. When he returned home he had a unique idea. He started a venture called GoTravels in Kohima. “When I returned, I was flooded with questions about travelling. I felt that with all the travel experience I had accumulated, I could start a travel agency in my hometown that could help my people and also earn a sustainable income.”
GoTravels is also officially making its own bamboo bicycles now and they have already received orders from Belgium, Austria, and Czech Republic. Yakuza is now trying to patent his bamboo bicycles before he can proceed with the shipment of the orders.
Yakuza’s unique story is inspiring to a lot of people not only in his state, but those who read his adventures also. Two important messages we should take from his story is that the world can be a nice place if you give it a chance and the second is that, we are all capable of doing wonderful things.
“We tend to care too much about what people think of us. You can’t go too farther in life if you’re too much busy in thinking about what others might say or think,” says Yakuza.