Journey Into the Goodness – Reflections from two years of travel around the world

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I started as the hero of my journey. After all, it is not every day that you come across an Indian girl who decides to go on a Round the World trip all by herself.

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Travel around the world – Mount Batur

This journey around the world was about me and all the fantastic things that I was doing. It was about my adventures and misadventures. Until I ran into a series of problems on the road.

I got stuck at French – Spanish border, late one night with no place to sleep. On that cold night, a group of hippies gave me company and ensured my comfort. A few days later, a taxi driver in Stockholm risked the traffic rules so I don’t miss my crucial connecting train. Two backpackers surprised me by cooking a vegetarian meal when they got to know that I was facing problems in finding vegetarian food in Oslo. In Myanmar, on one darkest and scariest night, an elderly couple stood by my side, in the middle of a highway, for 2 hours to ensure my safety.

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Sapa Valley – From Album Travel around the world

I can really go on and on telling you about such incidents from my journey. Whenever I ran into some problem, there was always someone who came by to help.

When I look back to the time when I decided to quit my job to travel on my own, this was not the world that people warned me against. Every person without exception told me that it was a bad idea. “This world is a dangerous place, Leena. You have no idea of what can happen with you – you can get killed, robbed or raped.”

To be honest, even I was skeptical about the world. I thought I would meet a lot of baddies. Look around, analyze the news- this is what we hear about and talk about the most – hatred, strife, crimes, pain, and torture. I’m not against this kind of news coverage – we need to inform the world about these issues; only when we accept, we can change. But what about the positive news. How many times do we hear about good news – the subway runs perfectly well for 364 days a year, said nobody ever. The day it breaks down, make the news.

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Goodness is all around us.

So the truth is that such incidents happen all around us all the time. But we are conditioned to not notice them. In our regular lives, we are always told to be skeptical of goodness. If someone is good, there has to be a motive behind.

We are told that this world is bad. It is a dog eat dog world & if we want to survive here, we have to outdo others. So if someone slaps us once, we have to slap him twice or at least twice as hard. The forgiveness and empathy are usually taken for lack of courage. And before we realize, we let the goodness of our heart slip away.

And this is the lesson that I learned when I quit my job to travel around the world. I quit the job to explore landscapes, to check off my bucket list, to learn about cultures and religions and history of the world. And in exploring, discovering, challenging, embracing, learning and unlearning; in this last 24 months of traveling, I have come face to face with the goodness that I thought the world has lost long back. I’m truly indebted to all these people I met who changed the way I look and connect with the world now.

What is this world? It is the people it has. It is ‘you’ and ‘I’ – and the goodness that we hold in our heart makes this world good or bad.

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Please don’t listen to those who tell you about the world. Those who have never traveled told me the scariest stories. Go yourself and experience the truths. And when somebody comes to your country, maybe you are the Goodness Story that they take back and tell their world.

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32 thoughts on “Journey Into the Goodness – Reflections from two years of travel around the world

  1. Funnily enough in all my 30 years of traveling there never ever happened anything really bad…never lost my luggage, no theft, almost no scams (and none in the past 10 years)…
    i really found the world to be a friendly place. glad you feel the same :)

  2. What a great little story out of an epic journey. Sometimes we think why do anything for somebody who we may not even see another time in our lives.. yet, little miracles happen.

  3. couldnt have agreed more. The world is an amazing place filled with amazing souls. I was always warned with negative feedback whenever I plan to travel solo by friends & family. Eventhough I appreciate their concern but at the same time proud of myself for not letting it to stop me from travelling alone.

  4. Congrats on completing 2 years of travelling. The desk job was already so difficult, but once you take the leap, it becomes all the more difficult to imagine that old sedentary lifestyle. Isn’t it Leena?

  5. Its really nice to go with heart. Only then we become passionate.
    Good initiative and must be inspirational to many, specially to the women who got caught up in 4 diwars ( household works)

    Also agree with you we need more to spread goodness

  6. Ur story is very inspiring…i can so relate to u since i love travelling and want to travel around the world just like u..i want to ask u how do u manage ur finances by travelling the year? It is highly courageous of u to do so…!

  7. Travelling is passion to many but rarely wonderful people like your take the plunge, when people read you they will sure be inspired by your adventures and the goodness your spread about the world you have seen, hope you continue with your adventures

  8. Like the quote ” subway runs perfectly well for 364 days a year, said nobody ever. The day it breaks down, make the news.” This is what i always thinking off..
    Your story is truly inspirational…. I am sure i will be leading my future life the way you do.

  9. Your last statement
    “Those who have never travelled told me the scariest stories”
    cracks me up :)
    Thanks for sharing a nonjudgmental approach to travel (and Life). It is hard to run behind experiences in this world driven by materialist pleasures.

  10. Hi,

    I have read your blogs and they are really inspiring, i also love traveling and jus back from a short euro trip. This was my first trip abroad. I have just one doubt as to how the visa thing worked out for you, especially europe and america?

    Thanks

  11. I am deeply inspired by your journey. actually I Really want to do what you are doing right now just roam & learn new cultures. Thnx for being the inspiration of many other women who wants to travel but need some kind of security or partner with them as they are taught that world is too bad so stay inside home.

  12. Nice blog.. Good job.. It is very important for traveller to know about the places where they want to visit. This type of informative blogs helps a lot at the time of travelling. Thank you so much for the information. And photographs is just amazing !! Keep it up.. and keep writing

  13. Trying to curb my intrigueness to know all about your experiences. You are an inspiration in yourself especially being Indian. Cheers. :)

  14. Hi Leena,

    Very much excited about your dreams, vision, plans,actions…and wonderful travel. You made your dreams true.

    Noticed your positive picture about this world we live and the life we have. You courageously enjoy your moments of life fully and meaningfully.

    We are crazy about our daily routines. Rush at work and home without much changes. Meeting both ends of family and self… and that’s called a normal life in our terms. We may sit same chair for twenty or thirty years continuously (I too have no right to tell this. ….I am stick on my chair for last 12 years, doing same work without much changes). You really continue a meaningful life in all terms.

    We preferred to read more from you, specially your travel experience and the life you pictured around this world, in detail. Why in detail….you are a wonderful narrator too. Your background and career might be influenced your cute language.

    What next you planned….

  15. Nice post and a Great blog, I really appreciate your efforts and i will be waiting for your further write ups. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I bookmarked it for continuous visit. Thanks for sharing this.

  16. Hello,
    It was really good thing to find such an awesome article about the travelling.
    Such travelling stories really inspire many people.
    It will be really wonderful if you can write something about the northeastern part of india.
    It is really beautiful place with awesome natural beauty.
    Hope you can visit some day.
    Hope to see you soon in assam.
    Thank You

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