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.
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.
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.
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.