While there are many who are fortunate enough to have had some memorable experiences from traveling to various places, there also exists a lot that is yet to unbox the joys of traveling. If you fall into the first category, then this article will definitely motivate you to continue with your travel plans. However, if you belong to the latter, just like me, then this article will prove to be true to its title-it will inspire you to take the plunge.
It did not take me long to come to terms with the unenthusiastic and passive approach of my family towards traveling. Ever since my childhood days, they despised the idea of packing bags and moving out of the comforts of the house even for a couple of days. This resulted in all my school life vacations being either spent indoors or at my grandparent’s place who lived nearby. Being a travel enthusiast, I somehow detested missing opportunities to satisfy my wanderlust. I strongly feel that to discover the true essence of life, one must take the road less traveled, go on an impromptu adventure trip and explore the deep waters. In short, indulge in activities that will leave us with memories to cherish. However, this spirit faded with time.
One day, I was surfing the net when I happened to come across Leena Bansal’s travel blog. Her ardent desire to travel the world reignited the fire within me. Her inspiring story instantly caught my flickering attention.
Leena Bansal aka Miss Walking Shoes is a young woman traveler holding an Indian passport who has set sailing to explore the world on her own. She quit her job in April 2014 on has since then, been on the journey of her life. Until now, she has traveled to 32 countries across three continents which are almost 79,827 kilometers-this distance being roughly equivalent to circling the Earth twice!
If you are still wondering what is so special and extraordinary about her trips that blew my mind, then you ought to read it yourself. From trekking up the Himalayas to deep sea diving in the Atlantic Ocean, climbing Mayan Pyramids to paragliding up in the air, camping on roadside with gypsies, bumping into her lookalike in Berlin, losing her camera lens, almost dying of snake bite twice, climbing active volcano in Indonesia, and witnessing two natural disasters-she has done it all in a span of just one year!
As I read through her blog, I comprehended that her desire to travel the world dated back to her childhood days which I could easily relate to. She writes that she wanted to see all that is wonderful and not so wonderful in this world ever since she was nine years old. She traveled overseas for the first time when she was nineteen and realized travel to be too expensive and her dream quite unaffordable. She figured out that the only way to realize her dream was by studying hard and getting a high paying job.
Miss Walking Shoes did her first backpacking trip to Malaysia and Singapore in 2011 where she was introduced to backpacking lifestyle and met many long-term travelers. Post this experience which gave her a brief insight into the world of exploring, she understood that by cutting down on a few luxuries, she could realize her dream. Hence, she started saving and finally, went on to travel the world solo.
All her trips were self-funded and self-organized. She traveled using overland transportation when traveling within a continent, shared rooms with unknown travelers in dormitories, and cooked meals wherever possible.
She further writes that she seldom planned her trips because she believes that planning kills the fun. The joys of spontaneity should be enjoyed as it is!! What she exactly planned was the targeted amount to be saved, how to save or earn more, deciding on the year to quit, drawing a list of countries to visit and getting a couple of visas beforehand.
Leena Bansal is an inspiration for all those who wish to explore the vast green fields, azure skies, and deep blue seas, just like me. Her travel blog has left me awe-struck and has embedded the desire to travel and explore the world in my heart, again. I hope that reading this article leaves a similar impact on you too.