Vimal Geethanandan always believed that travel and the experiences gained from it are the best teachers one can ever have in life. He used to give inspirational talks to people about the importance of following their heart. But rather than giving speeches, an example had to be set in front of people. He wanted to prove that anyone can do anything. So, he decided to go for an epic All India solo travel for one and a half year, without spending any money!
He always had his faith in humanity and believed that people can make changes in the world if they followed their heart. Inspiring them to do that, was his passion. But, the same people had no faith in Vimal’s plan when they heard about it. Most of them tried to dissuade him and were certain that he would come back in two or three days after hitting the road.
Unlike his friends and relatives, his mother knew that he would survive anyhow. So, with her permission, he started his epic travel from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh on July 1st, 2016. His first destination was Kerala as he neither knew Malayalam nor knew anybody from there. Since he was a total alien to Kerala, that first destination was a kind of self-test for him.
He reached Kerala, hitchhiking around 1000kms, taking a truck and a lorry. There, he met with some random acts of kindness by complete strangers including a businessman who gave him a ride and invited him to stay in a star-hotel in Calicut. In Munnar, he met a man on the bus, who took him home to a small hut. The entire family of four slept on the floor and gave up their single bed for Vimal.
He stayed in Kerala for one month. The experience in Kerala was a boost for him to carry on with his travel. He covered all the six Indian states, Assam, Nagaland Maharashtra, Meghalaya, and West Bengal. Vimal hitchhiked, slept at stations, camped at places, couch-surfed, recite stories, sing – anything that helped him to get some food to eat, get a ride and a place to sleep.
Even though the initial plan was to travel for one and a half years, since his family shifted base to Bengaluru, he came back after nine months, after traveling over to 11 states without spending a single rupee. Vimal was feeling great and proud on completing the travel successfully.
“Every single person has a story to tell and lesson to teach. I learned a lot from all the people I met during the travel. One great thing I learned from listening to their stories is that we have no right to be judgmental. Also we should respect the view of others.”
According to this ‘inspiring wanderer’, everybody can achieve anything if they follow their heart.
Vimal is currently writing his travel stories and is in a phase of a throwback. He is inviting travelers passing by his town to his house. Also, he is starting a social enterprise where the main objective is to make changes in the society through people.