I found his extra large nearly human-sized backpack on the seat next to me in the local train and figured out that he was a traveller. Excuse me, “Do you mind if we chat for sometime?” I asked and the rest of the story is here ☺
He is from Argentina. It’s been 4 years since he left the place.
Since then the world is his home and its people, his family.
He studied engineering in college and like most of us, he figured out that it was not his cup of tea. He wanted to travel.
He quit the course. And his parents said, “It’s okay if you don’t want to pursue engineering and if you want to travel. But before you hit the road, you need to pick up some skill that can keep you afloat in any part of the world.”
He liked cooking. So he studied that for 3 years and became a professional chef. Argentina pays a Chef a fixed amount of salary and it wasn’t enough for him to travel. He had to work for 4 years to save and start travelling.
He then went to New Zealand, stayed there for 2 years, working in a hotel, living life cheap and saving up for his next travel. During his 2 years, he explored all of New Zealand. He says it’s a safe and accommodating country and recommends that I try it if I want to work and travel abroad. The best part was that they pay him for every hour he works. So working more would mean more money to travel.
Over time he started working in rich countries for few months and then travelling to cheaper countries until he is back to zero. He carries a broken phone but he prefers to use the 200$ with which he could buy a new one on experiences that are worth even more. He says he can travel for a month or even two with that money!
He carries a tent, stove to cook his own food, clothes and everyday stuff and also his heavy rock-climbing shoes. Yes, he cooks and camps to save money.
How does he travel within India? Guess what, he got a cycle/bike!
He cycled over 11,000km and travelled from Delhi — Himachal — Kashmir — Karachi — Nepal and then few other places in the south. Mid way through his last trip, he had no money left. So he has come back again to see some more of our country. Now he is on his way to Hampi where he would do some rock-climbing. Sell his bike and head back home after 4 years.
Curious, I asked him, “Do you feel lonely?” He said “ Sometimes I do. Everyone does. But how long? Maybe a day? A week? Two weeks? After that I start enjoying my own company and at other times I meet people like you.”
When I said you’ve been travelling for a long time, he replied, “You might live for 60–70 years. And just 4 years out of that is not long! We spend over 18 years and more in school. That is a long time.”
“Think about it, travel is my university and the world is my teacher. And right now, I am learning more than ever.”
I came back and looked him up on Facebook. No travel pictures. Hardly any activity. But he is actually “living” his life to the fullest.
One last question:
“Why do you travel?
He replied, “Why not?”