Kochi: Pointing to the world map pasted on the wall of the Sri Balaji tea stall, Drew Binsky, said to Vijayan and his wife Mohana, “Mark each of the country that you have visited, on this map, using pins. Try to cover every inch of this map with pins.”
With his quintessential smile, Vijayan replied, “That indeed is my dream. I wish to enjoy the beauty of the entire world, meet people and learn languages and cultures. It is for this dream that I work hard.”
Vijayan and Mohana love to travel the world using the money saved by running a tea shop. Drew Binsky is a popular travel blogger and has already been to 153 countries since 2012. Having read about Vijayan and Mohana's passion for travelling, Binsky landed in Kochi to film their lives for his vlog. He was quite intrigued when Vijayan told him that he had travelled to 23 countries using the money saved from the tea shop business. “I haven’t hired any staff in my tea shop. The money that would have gone as salary for the workers is saved and spent for my travels,” reveals Vijayan.
Drew and his team were accompanied to the Sri Balaji tea stall at Girinagar by his friend Achu, who is a Keralite. When they reached the shop, Vijayan was busy making tea while Mohana was in the kitchen cooking delicious snacks. Their daughter Usha and her husband Murali help the couple at the tea shop.
Over a cup of tea
Vijayan welcomed the team by serving them hot tea and tasty snacks. Drew and his friend Denna sipped the hot tea and enjoyed the local snacks while listening intently to Vijayan's travelling experiences.
Vijayan admits that the journeys have taught him how to behave with people in general. His love for the journeys began at the age of 9, when he accompanied his father on a trip to the North India states. He had been dreaming about travelling the world since then. Vijayan and Mohana works for almost 10 hours a day at their tea shop. They have even travelled by availing bank loans and repay them from their income from the tea shop. “It’s been 45 years since I began my journeys. I am 67 years old now. I just have one dream and that is to travel more. Argentina, Brazil and Peru were the countries that we visited last,” says Vijayan excitedly.
Rendezvous at Kochi
Drew Binsky is one of the prominent travel bloggers who has millions of followers on the social media. An American citizen, Drew, currently lives in Bangkok. He has shared thousands of pictures, videos and write - ups about his travels to 153 countries in the world. At Kochi, Drew was particularly charmed by the synagogue and the Jew Street in Mattancherry and has even captured the vibrant city on camera. He met his followers at the Walk and Grill Hotel at 4 pm yesterday and shared his experiences with them.