Want to travel the world? What’s your score? Meet this couple from Kochi (Kerala) that has been selling chai for almost 40 years just so they can fund their world travels. Their score, you ask? 23+ countries! Vijayan and his wife, Mohana are over 70 years of age and have been saving a little bit of money every single day to fulfil their childhood dream of travelling the world.
The chai couple’s story is now circulating the Internet thanks to travel blogger Drew Binsky’s video 4 months ago. But before that, their story was also narrated in a moving documentary called: Invisible Wings that won Best Short Film award in the Non-Fiction category at the 2018 Filmfare Short Film Awards. Made in 2015 by Hari M Mohanan, this Malayalam documentary follows the inspirational story of this globe-trotting couple from Kochi. The documentary beautifully captures the wise and philosophical side of the roving tea-seller’.
To explain his sense of travel, he says in the beginning: “Our lives are full of journeys, wherever we go. When I step out of my home, it’s a journey, returning is also a journey.”
The couple – Vijayan and Mohana run Sree Balaji Coffee House, an ordinary tea stall in the middle of Kochi. At the end of the day, they save up to Rs. 300 per day. With little money but a heart full of dreams, the couple follow a simple but efficient strategy to travel. In their shop, there are no employees to help them. They run the shop themselves keeping their expenses to a minimum. Even so, it has not been easy to save up for their travels; therefore, the couple takes loans for their journey. When they return, they spend around three years repaying their debts. And then, the cycle continues for every trip.
Today, they can boast to have travelled across India as well as 23 countries such as UK, France, Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, Switzerland, Malaysia, Jordan and Peru to name a few. Posters from their trips are framed and hung on the wall. They have also exhibited bills of these countries in their shop.
Vijayan and Mohana teach us that nothing should an obstacle when it comes to chasing your dreams. They prove to us that neither age nor money can come in between your passion. In the documentary, Vijayan says, “Yes I am crazy. Everyone has their own craziness.” Do you think you have some crazy in you too?