Two of a kind: Kunal & Cyrus team up for Fox Life’s Great Escape
Two boys and one long road! Actor Kunal Kapoor and VJ/actor Cyrus Sahukar are getting together for a trip of their lifetime. The charming Kunal and the wacky Cyrus are going on a road trip through the old Tibetan highway, discovering the heart of the Himalayas, the beautiful Dharamshala, driving towards Kaza, and exploring many little hamlets along the way.
The seasoned travellers have teamed up for the new season of a travel show on Fox Life. Fox Life’s Great Escape with Kunal & Cyrus will bring to television screens the adventures, trials and unseen moments from the travel diaries of these two young men. In a candid interview, the friends open up about their journey, idiosyncrasies and fears.
When were you first bitten by the travel bug?
Cyrus: I grew up in Delhi, so there was always easy access to the mountains. I spent a large part of my early college and school days camping in the middle of nowhere. In those days, we could hire second hand tents for Rs 60 a day, so me and a bunch of my friends, most of them musicians, spent days trekking and jamming up in the wilderness. Even today, whenever I feel stressed and lost, I go back to nature, as cities confuse me!
Kunal: My earliest memory was when I was about six or seven years old. My dad and his business partner hired a mini van, with beds and a bathroom inside. His family and my family travelled all through the South. I have incredible memories of the trip. I don’t know if that was when the travel bug got to me, but that is the earliest memory I have of travelling and enjoying.
What’s the plan for the show?
Cyrus: There were certain activities already pre-planned such as rappelling, paragliding and stuff like that. But Kunal and I, both had very different ideas about what we wanted from this trip. He was more interested in rally driving, and wanted to hit a few adventure spots. As for me, I just wanted to camp out, kayak or sit on top of the mountains. But we both negotiated a lot and realised that we could get one activity each and that made a great mix. We paraglided from the second highest point on this planet, that’s Bir Biling. The next day, we camped in the night in the middle of nowhere. We got lucky when we happened to meet two musicians and spent the night jamming.
Which countries have you been to?
Cyrus: I have travelled across Australia, and covered a large chunk of Eastern Europe, Paris and other smaller places in Slovania, Croatia and Malta. But I have never been to Africa and South America, and I am dying to go to these places. If anyone is going there, please put me in your bag and take me along!
Kunal: I haven’t counted exactly how many countries I have travelled to. But there are still a lot of places I would like to see, and on top of that list is Cuba. I want to go there before it changes.
Your experiences on the show?
Cyrus: I faced a lot of my fears, I drove without knowing how to drive in the mountains. I went paragliding, which helped me overcome my fear of heights. We also got to hang out with monks at a monastery. It was all like a khichdi. Kunal and I got a great chance to go out there and do things that we hadn’t done, and it was an opportunity to get uncomfortable too!
Kunal: I love driving, I drive rally cars and I like off-roading, The show gave us the opportunity to do that. Secondly, what’s really nice about this trip is that, I travelled with Sahu (Cyrus). We are different people. But when you travel with a different person with an open mind, you enjoy things, and end up stretching yourself.
Five must-haves in your travel bag.
Cyrus: Clean underwear, sunscreen, sports glares — the sun can really fry your eyes when you are out for 15 hours; a reliable jacket, it doesn’t have to be the best looking one, but certainly will have to be the most comfortable, and finally, comfortable shoes.
Kunal: I make sure I always carry food. Secondly, my credit card is really important. Third thing I need is a comfortable pair of shoes. Fourth must have is music. Lastly, always travel with an open mind.
How well do you know each other, now that you have travelled together?
Cyrus: I know Kunal supremely well, the greatest achievement emotionally for me is I have learnt to accept Kunal for what he is, even though he is a pain in the back side! While I say that, he is one of the few people who can actually survive me. We have a complementary relationship, we now take each other for granted with zero mutual respect.
Kunal: Sahu is great fun to travel with. He makes everything lighthearted and fun. He is someone I can talk to about anything under the sun. We can have a conversation about everything, from life after death, to space, to ants and squirrels, we can pretty much talk about everything. At the same time, we don’t need to constantly talk to each other, we know when the other person needs his space, some quiet time. We enjoy each other’s silences as much as we enjoy the conversations.
Which are your top three favourite destinations?
Cyrus: Berlin. I absolutely love this place as it has such a creative mix of art, culture, music and madness. I was also blown away by Croatia. I am a big fan of Game of Thrones and I walked around the King’s Landing in Dubrovnik, and it was like walking on the show’s sets. The third place I love is Koh Tao, Thailand, where I went snorkeling and scuba diving. I also love Kazakhstan. I went night skiing and it was one of the most amazing experiences.
Kunal: My first favourite destination is Bangkok, because my sister is married there, and it’s like home away from home. Next, I love Amsterdam, it’s a crazy combination of different elements. It feels like the pirates were there and just left, it’s got a feel of another world in another time, it’s fascinating. Right now, another favourite is Japan. I was blown by the country and its people. I also got a chance to do something I’d been dreaming of, to work with a Ninja trainer.
Are you an adrenaline junkie or a peaceful and calm traveller?
Cyrus: I am not an adrenaline junkie, I can’t understand how an Indian can be an adrenaline junkie! I totally get why people would want to punish themselves in New Zealand, that’s because they have nobody around and there are more sheep than people, so I get it when they go on adventure activities. In India, you wake up in the morning and the bai is asking you what to cook, then there are constant power shutdowns, you go out on the road, and there is enough traffic to run over you. I think we have our share of adventure already in our lives.
Kunal: I am a bit of both, I obviously like to find new things to try. But I also enjoy my calm and quiet time.
Fox Life’s Great Escape with Kunal & Cyrus premieres on June 23, 8 pm on Fox Life.