Who are we?

[By Sabby] Marcus, or MJo as his friends call him, was born near the Black Forest some 43 years ago but spent a large part of his life overseas – 12 years in the US and worked the last 16 years in Asia (China, Hongkong, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore). Hyperactive since birth, this man does not sit still. He is accomplished in quite a number of different sports such as skiing, mountaineering, kitesurfing, sailing and of course motorbiking.  He is passionate about anything that drives or flies, holding a whole host of licenses from motorcycles to cars to planes. When he’s not enjoying the outdoors, he’s a media and marketing veteran, having worked as a senior executive for some of the world’s largest media content companies. When I first met MJo, his business card had a bunch of fancy-schmancy sounding titles on it like MD, SVP (though this chick is not that easily impressed :P ). He cannot take no for an answer and I am always amazed by his ability to get things done even in seemingly “no-win” situations, creating something out of nothing.  This is a quality which has served him well in doing business across Asia where yes means maybe and maybe means no, and this is going to be a quality we will need in vast quantities for this trip!



[By MJo] Sabrina, or Sabby (as her nickname goes) is a somewhat rare breed of woman. She combines the ability to be successful in the corporate world with a thirst for adventure and the unknown. She will happily trade a 5-star hotel for a sleeping bag on the side of a road, or a pretty dress and heels for mud-splattered pants and boots. Even if shower-deprived for days, she still smiles and spreads joy and humor even after 12 hours on the back of a motorcycle.  An investment banker for 6 years in London and New York, she felt that there must be more to life than finance. Getting an MBA sounded like a perfect way to broaden her exposure to other areas of the business world.  Now more than halfway through her course, she will be testing the skills/knowledge gained in the classroom and office e.g. negotiation, project management, people management, on the streets of the historic Silk Road during this trip.



We share a common love for travel and new experiences. Even though MJo has traveled  to over 140 countries, we are still finding new places to go.  Since meeting, we have travelled together to Brussels, London, Stuttgart, Yogyakarta, Bhutan, Paris and Normandy. After this journey, I am sure that MJo’s other major passion – flying – will create new travel opportunities for us.

Why are we doing this trip?

MJo has always dreamt of retracting the old trade routes from his adopted continent Asia (where he now lives) to his original home continent Europe. He would wonder, flying between the continents at 33,0000 feet, about the millions of little dots that make up villages, people and countries, and what it must have been like in the pre-plane era to travel the same route, though not in 12 quick hours by plane, but rather via ground transport.

And that was how the idea for this trip got started. Somewhere over dinner one night in Thimphu/Bhutan, the idea started taking a real form as we discussed the practicalities with our Bhutanese friend, Kinley Tshering, who organizes KTM trips throughout Bhutan and to Everest Base Camp.

Initially MJo was to do this trip solo, but Sabby got increasingly involved with the planning and excited by the interesting and challenging route.  A few weeks later she had to make a tough decision when she received a summer internship offer from a top management consulting firm. Weighing up the two options back and forth, she eventually realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do a trip she had always wanted to do (i.e. the Silk Road) in a way that most people, sane ones that is, would probably not even think of.  The prospect of regret made her decide to jump on board, or more precisely, onto the back of the Africa Twin.

In typical MJo-style, we managed to compress the planning for this trip into just three months (not to be advised though, a normal planning period should be more around 1 year) and will be setting off from New Delhi in early July.

But back to the name of this website. This is a journey which holds different significance for each of us. For a start, this is an amazing journey retracing the old Silk Route, one which many brave traders and explorers have travelled hundreds of years before us. On another level, it is a journey of getting to know ourselves and each other better as we will be stretched well beyond our physical and mental comfort zones. And finally, this is also a journey (mostly) for MJo in his preparation for another one of his long-held dreams – racing in the Dakar Rally in 2012.