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The Incredible Travel Story of A Poor Wayside Tea-Seller in Kerala

Updated on March 1, 2017
Vijayan and wife at their tea shop in Kochi
Vijayan and wife at their tea shop in Kochi | Source

If there is a will, there is a way. Here is yet another true story to prove it. Vijayan and Mohana are aged and poor. Their livelihood solely depends on the meager income from a wayside tea shop they run in Kochi, the only metro city in Kerala. Their stories of hard work, enthusiasm, and passionate travels brought them to the limelight of the media and a topic to figure as a hub like this.


The tea shop owner couples’ great passion is travel. Their income may be low, but never their will. Result: They visited many tourist places in India and 16 other foreign countries! They already made trips to Austria, Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE and so on. They have confidence and more plans to continue the journey as long as their health and budget permit. Their travel story must be a motivational prose for us, the lazy people. We have everything at our disposal, the most essential being the money and knowledge, to travel around. But never have we ventured out beyond our comfortable territory for want of confidence or courage. ‘I can’t make it happen’, so thinks most of us. What governs us is a negative thought. And here comes the relevance of Vijayan’s travel ventures. This is to motivate all lazy and shy people that I share here the enviable travel stories of an aged, uneducated and poor couple through this article.


Vijayan is 65 years old and has two girls, both married. He is running the tea shop for the last 40 years with the help of his loving wife. They sell tea and snacks and earn a small income from their tiny tea shop in Kochi. Vijayan says he got the passion for travel from his father, who took him to several temples when he was a young boy. After his father’s death, he took charge of the tea shop. It is after his marriage that he again took an interest in travels and made several trips to various destinations in India.

A TV Documentary on the Incredible Travel Story of Vijayan & his wife (In 2 Parts)


How began his foreign journeys is another interesting story. While one day he was sitting in Tirupati, a great spiritual place in South India, he saw an aeroplane flying over the sky. Then, he told his friends that one day he too would make a flight trip. They mocked him saying ‘how you a tea vendor can make such a lavish trip’. But that was triggering some passion and ideas in Vijayan’s head. He confidently planned his strategies and started saving working hard. He didn't have a passport too then. Who cares? When there is a will, there is a way. Vijayan made his first foreign trip to Europe with his wife in 2007. He struggled well to arrange passports and a bank loan for the trip. After that, he made 15 more trips to various destinations around the world.

Happy couple, happy travelers. Vijayan and his wife Mohana pose cheerfully for a  photo session.
Happy couple, happy travelers. Vijayan and his wife Mohana pose cheerfully for a photo session. | Source

Another interesting point to add here is that the couple knows only one language-Malayalam, their mother tongue, but that do not discourage them from venturing world tours. He always plans his itinerary on a tight budget and never overspends. He opts for group tours operated by travel agents. “Food and accommodation are arranged by the travel agencies plus language problem is easily handled by the expert guides accompanying these tours”, Vijayan states his reason for the love of group tours.


How he arranges money for these ‘around the world’ trips, you may wonder. Vijayan has a clear answer: I work hard and try to save at least Rs.300/- (Approx. $5) daily. He also takes a loan for his global trips and makes the regular monthly payment towards the loan. Once the loan is settled he applies for another and fly with his wife to another destination.


Thanks to his global safari, Vijayan is already a famous personality in Kerala, especially among the travel enthusiasts. He has got good media attention. His travel stories had prominently appeared on both print and visual media. His incredible story is well marked in Google and YouTube too.


Vijayan and Mohana are working hard at their tiny tea shop. Now, the only dream they see and share together is a journey to the world capital-the USA!

© 2015 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth

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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Adventuretravels, glad to know that you like this post. The couples live in a place called Ernakulam (Kochi), the most happening joint in Kerala. I have done a story on Fort Kochi & Mattancherry. Please do read the same as it may give you more ideas about the place. Let's hope this family reach US sooner or later. Thank you for your comments.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 2 years ago from London UK

      I truly hope they get to America. I love their philosophy on life, and the video shows how much both these wonderful people love each other and work together to fulfill their dreams. They are truly blessed. What a great hub. Voted up.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @Akriti Mattu, Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      What an amazing story and what an amazing post :)

      Looking forward to reading more :)

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you for your kind words.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      sunilkunnoth2012,

      You are welcome and I extend to you,

      my Best Wishes for you to succeed on HP.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      the imigrants from Nepal and Bangalore came to our country to work in roti prata shops. Most of them can speak malay and are very hardworking. The tarik are still pull at length still now, I love the bubbles

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Kenneth Avery, I am happy that you enjoyed this article-the story of a poor man who made some international trips. It shows if there is a will, there is a way. Hope you make a trip to our nation India sooner or later. Thanks for your kind words that gave me lot of confidence and energy to write more. God bless you.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      This was one fantastic read! Loved every word. I voted Up + all of the choices. Your graphics usage was superb. I like hubs like this. I urge you to keep up the great work and may you have a world of success on HubPages.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth Avery

      Your Friend for Life

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @Chitraji,

      Your visit and comments are appreciated. Thanks for the vote also.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is indeed an incredible story of an amazing couple. Truly inspiring and motivating--I enjoyed going through it.

      Travelling is a passion, no doubt and your hub explains this so well.

      Thanks for sharing, voted up!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @travmaj, You are right that it is a positive story. I understand that an Organization is trying to help them find funds for the US trip. These couple are very confident and hopeful of reaching there. Once I got some news on the trip, I will update it here. Thank you for reading my hub and leaving comments.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Dr Pran Rangam, Your visit and comments are appreciated.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 2 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Incredible story. Very encouraging for travel enthusiasts. Thanks

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      This is such a positive story and gives us much to ponder on. A couple so dedicated to travelling and they find the way. I wish them many happy years ahead and hope they they make it to the USA. I'm sure they will.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Devika, you are right it is an encouraging story and we have some great lessons to learn from the lives of these poor people. They teach us the value of hard work, positive thought and importance of following dreams. Thank you for your visit and nice comments.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      This is an incredible story. An encouraging and very interesting lives of a lovely couple. Saving that much for travels is just beyond my thoughts. I really feel more encouraged to live my life through the struggles I have had over the years in Croatia. Positivism plays a role in such lives.