February 24, 2019

Inspiration for the day

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Vijayan, Mohana, Balaji  Coffee House, Kochi

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They may not be the most frequent globe-trotting couple in the world.  They re not be the most affordable travelers either.  But Mohana and Vijayan are a couple in their 70s from whom the world draws inspiration for the way they have travelled 23 countries fuelled by the income from their lowly coffee shop.

Vijayan had been bitten by the wanderlust since he was a child.  After he married Mohana, he found her a perfect foil for his plans.

Their business model for world travel is quite simple as it is astounding.  They take bank loans to fuel their dream.  And after they return from the current leg of the journey, they work in their coffee shop for the next two or three years, earning enough to repay the loans.  The Balaji Coffee Works, which the couple runs, attracts about 350 customers.  The duo is the workers and managers in the shop.  They set apart about rupees 300-400 per day for the repayment of loan.  And thus the cycle repeats.

It had never occurred to them to set apart a portion of the money for scaling up their coffee shop.  Rather, they have invested the money to increase their happiness quotient.

In their shop is displayed the souvenirs of places visited by them.  Considering their meager budget, they can afford to spend only the barest minimum for these relics.

Their children have been highly supportive of the old couple’s passion.  Eldest daughter Usha and her husband Murali manage the coffee shop while they are on tour.

Recently, globe-trotter and travel-blogger Drew Brinsky made a 3 minute video on the couple after coming to know about their story.  Earlier, the national media had highlighted the passion and hard work of the couple in the pursuit of their goal.


Courtesy: Manoramanews.com, January 14, 2019

"Take only memories, leave only footprints."