Every South Asian kid knows how difficult it is to convince their parents to let them go on a trip! And more so if you are a girl. But these two South Asian women are redefining the way we can literally see the world and are the true inspiration for those with the wanderlust bug.
Melissa Roy set out to visit 100 countries and all seven continents before she turned 30, a feat she achieved by celebrating her 30th birthday in Antarctica. Four years later, she is now the first South Asian woman to visit every country in the world, ending in Bangladesh, the country of her forefathers, the day after Christmas.
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Happy new year (and decade), everyone! As of December 27, 2019, I HAVE OFFICIALLY VISITED EVERY COUNTRY ON THE PLANET! What an adventure it has been. I couldn’t think of a more poetic way to end the decade than by celebrating the end of a decade (and a half) long journey which took me to the ends of the earth! I chose Bangladesh as my final country because I wanted to come full circle and finish where it all began (for my forefathers), a homecoming to my ancestral homeland. Bangladesh symbolizes who I am… my roots, my origins, the birthplace of my father as well as both my maternal and paternal grandparents. But above all else, saving Bangladesh for last was a tribute to my late father whom I’d seen for the last time on my sixth birthday. Finding the small village and the exact house where he grew up was nothing short of powerful and moved me to tears. I had the privilege of staying with and meeting several of my father’s childhood friends who were kind enough to share old photos and memories of him. I know he would have been proud of me. With all seven continents, all 50 US states, and now all 193 countries under my belt, I can only look back with gratitude as I close out this year, this decade, this era. This chapter of my life. I am eternally indebted to the kind, loving humans who graced my path and helped me along my journey. I wouldn’t be here today without them. I am also thankful to have my mom by my side as I celebrate this important milestone. A milestone very few have been able to celebrate… more people have traveled to outer space than to every country in the world! And even more have set foot on top of Mount Everest than set foot on the soil of every nation. The dawn of a new decade, a new era, a new chapter, ushers in an infinite amount of possibilities. In the words of Buzz Lightyear, ‘To infinity and beyond!’ Shall I get my spacesuit ready?! 😃🚀
In a world filled with travel Instagrammers (mysteriously jobless yet staying at five-star resorts in designer clothes) 34-year-old Roy is a ray of hope for those who may not be blessed with hundreds of thousands of followers and “influencer” contracts.
What makes Roy’s wanderlust story unique, other than the off-the-beaten-path adventures she chooses (she crossed the tumultuous Colombia-Venezuela border on foot, went off-roading in Swaziland, and was adopted by a girl squad in Malaysia), is that she pays for her travels out of her own pocket. By staying in locals’ homes, she was able to find spots that most tourists don’t know about.
Another inspirational story comes from India, where Candida Louis, a Bengaluru-based biker chose to go on a solo motorcycle expedition between Bengaluru and Sydney, Australia covering close to 28,000 km during her 10-month journey.
She believes that women can be empowered through travel because it teaches you about different cultures, people, and ideas through first-hand experiences.
After quitting her job as a finance professional three years ago to follow her wanderlust, she covered 37,000 kilometers on a motorcycle, solo, covering 22 states in India in 2015-16. Since then, she has pursued her dream and is a full-time motorcycle tour designer and guide.
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We did it !!! Skye & Me rode from Bangalore to Sydney!! 10 countries, 27k+ kilometres, 1 puncture, no breakdowns and innumerable experiences. By the grace of God and all your love and support, i have finally completed my journey. What a day it's been, so many emotions running through me right now that it's next to impossible to express how I feel. First of all, Thank you! To everyone that helped me in turning this from a wish to reality, to everyone who believed in me, to everyone that gave me shelter and love in an unknown land, to my parents for making me who i am, and to everyone showing their continues support through comments and DM. When i started the journey it was more or less about the ride. But now when i look back it was an opportunity to experience life in a different way everyday that cannot be expressed in words. This whole experience has taught me so much about us as humans and life. I have come to realise that the greatest happiness in this life is to love and be loved. Across borders, across color, across languages and across cultures, we are all the same. We can change the world and make it a better place by loving one another. and to experience all this through riding a motorcycle has to be the ultimate thing. Never in my life i had thought that i would be able to inspire anyone in anyway.. But, knowing that i was able to do so through this journey is a blessing i never asked for. Thank you everyone!! Be blessed. @OverlandExpo Motorcycle : @Bajajdominar Luggage and accessory : @bikenbiker Riding gear @rynoxgears #australia #india #changeyourworldfund #alistairfarlandtribute #Indiaonamotorcycle 📸 @varunchitti @hippiechick_lk #motorcycle #biker #bikersofinstagram #bikergirl #motorcycletales #travel #wander #trending #sydneyharbourbridge #sydney #womenoverlandingtheworld #DominarAustralasianOdyssey #instadaily #Instapic #indian #indianblogger #moto #discover #instagram #justonething #bumbleindia #thisbrowngirl #thebikerni #fortheride
Over the years, she has led more than 34 customized biking group tours, within India and internationally, having ridden in 14 countries and five continents. With more than 11 years of biking experience, Candida is looking to help Indian bikers widen their horizon and invite them to life-changing journeys around the globe.