Everything else.. Solo Sri Lanka: One Man’s Quest to Conquer the Island

Solo Sri Lanka: One Man’s Quest to Conquer the Island

2021 Oct 12

One man, one bike. 30 days, 30 destinations. Mushtaq Shamail, or better known to his followers as Wandering Mushto, set off on a journey across Sri Lanka on his bike. His goal; visit 30 destinations all around Sri Lanka within 30 days! Impossible? Not for the Wandering Mushto!

The Man

Mushtaq has always had his heart set on travelling. When we spoke to him, he mentioned how his trips with his family as a child had lit that spark in him. And as he grew older, that spark had become a bonfire. Now a successful entrepreneur, Mushtaq finally made up his mind for his most daring adventure yet. Being a free spirit, he shares his love for travelling on his YouTube channel and social media under the name Wandering Mushto. He says that travelling alone will let you experience nature and the environment in a totally different way since you don’t have to be worried about how others may perceive you. You can let loose and be who you really are.

The Bike

A Royal Enfield Himalayan. Just the image of that monster roaring down the road is enough to send chills down the spine of every bike enthusiast. Known for its off-road capabilities, this tank of a bike could make even the worst of roads feel like an adventure according to the Wandering Mushto himself. Even though its battery did start causing problems after day 3, Mushto says there never was any real problem with the bike.

The Journey

30 destinations in 30 days, and in the middle of a pandemic too! Mushto says that he didn’t do any prior bookings and had to find places to sleep after a bit of asking around from hotels for prices. One time, he even had to starve through the night because he couldn’t get any food due to the lockdown. But he woke up everyday with his passion to move forward. He did think that he might start tiring by the halfway mark, but he did not! According to Mushto, he felt positive throughout the adventure while only feeling a bit spent during the final days.

He recalls the ride though the Northern Province as one of the best rides he has experienced in his life. He also names Delft Island’s horse herds and the Yala safari where he saw 4 leopards and a sloth bear in a single day as two of the most beautiful sights he has ever seen. However, Mushto comments that the love he felt from the people in the places that he visited was truly amazing, and that through them, he experienced the true essence of Sri Lanka.

Speaking of people, Mushto’s YouTube channel will be uploading two videos of his journey every week up until November, so feel free to give him a thumbs up as well!

The Mission

Although Mushtaq did travel because of his passion and his love for travelling, he had another goal in mind. He wanted to help Sri Lanka. His videos function not only as a travel vlog but as a guide for tourists and business investors.

He aims at inspiring backpackers, bikers and people who generally like to travel solo. He believes that Sri Lanka is the ultimate destination for solo travelling with so many diverse types of environments all encompassed within this small island. A wide variety of to-dos are also available throughout the island for travellers. He was blown away by activities such as scuba diving which he experienced first hand.

If you were to watch his vlog on YouTube, you can see how he truly experiences the environment and the rides. But Mushtaq also makes it a point to highlight what business opportunities one can capitalise on and thereby help the country. Be it prawn farms in Puttalam or the lush soil of Norachcholai, we see Mushtaq taking time off from his travelling to focus on these prospects specifically. He hopes to attract digital nomads and make them part of the country as well.

The Pandemic and the Problems

Solo Sri Lanka was an amazing adventure, but that doesn’t mean that the journey did not have its problems. First and foremost, the pandemic. Even though Mushtaq did prepare a pass beforehand, he still got hassled by the authorities, and with some explaining he did manage to wiggle out of these issues. Another problem was his bike’s battery getting weaker after the third day. This meant that he had to rush a bit from place to place so as to avoid the night and using his lights, but for the most part it was all right.

The Future

Mushtaq hopes to inspire a new breed of adventurers and travellers with his vlog and hopes to attract tourists to Sri Lanka as well. As a piece of advice, he recommends that you first build up your budget doing something you like to prepare for travel. Mushtaq self funded this whole tour which had a budget of LKR 300,000. He also says that in order to succeed, do what you want in the best way possible.