In, travel has either been considered an expensive hobby or a ridiculous waste of time. Like many others if you think full-time travel is unattainable and quietly shut your wanderlust silent, here's your time to know Miss Walking Shoes, Leena Bansal.
Leena's blog Miss Walking Shoes managed to hold my easily flickering attention. She's an Indian girl on a crazy self-funded round-the-world trip, covering 32 countries across the globe. Here's my conversation with her.
Hi! I'm so inspired by you. How did your journey begin?
I am Leena Bansal. I quit my job in April 2014 and since then I am on the journey of my life. I have traveled to 32 countries across three continents since then. This includes some extensive travel in India.
As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to see the world. I traveled overseas for the first time when I was 19 and found travelling to be too expensive and my dream quite unaffordable. The only way I figured I would be able to do it was by studying hard, getting a high paying job and then travelling.
I started working as an advertising professional and was quite happy with it until I did my first backpacking trip to and in 2011. There I was introduced to backpacking lifestyle and I met many long-term travellers. I realised that if one can cut on little luxuries, it is not exactly unaffordable to travel around the world. I started saving and finally last year, I quit my job to travel around the world solo. All my travels are self-funded and self-organized.
What was your first breakaway trip? Was it difficult?
For doing Masters, I moved to . It was lot safer as compared to and so I started traveling alone and in all directions. The breakaway trip was the first backpacking trip to SE Asia. It is then I realized that international travel on budget is possible.
It was not very difficult. I have traveled solo in India and even though most people might not agree, I have found traveling in India quite safe. I have traveled from border villages to disputed areas without much trouble. I used to read lot of travel blogs and most of them suggest that India is one of more complex countries to travel in. So if one can travel in India, rest of the world is a cakewalk. Now I can say that too with my own experience, even in poor countries like or, buses move on time and there is emphasis on tourists safety.