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Amazed by couple’s wanderlust, Anand Mahindra asks netizens to help him crowdsource their next foreign trip

Think Change India
14th Jan 2019
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Globetrotting couple who run tea stall in Kochi and have travelled to 23 countries, take the internet by storm.

At a time when most people want to retire, Vijayan, 69, and Mohana, 67, have taken up something new: travel. The couple, who run a tea stall called Sree Balaji in Kochi, have ticked 23 countries off their bucket list in less than 12 years. The travel – a long-standing dream - has been made possible by their savings from the tea stall and bank loans.

Mahindra
The duo at work, source The Week

The feat has won accolades from the Twitteratti, including Anand Mahindra, Group Chairman of Mahindra.

They may not figure in the Forbes Rich list but in my view, they are among the richest people in our country. Their wealth is their attitude towards life, he tweeted.

He added that he would definitely drop into their tea shop the next time he was in Kochi.

Anand Mahindra also tweeted he wanted to help celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary and crowdfund with others to help them travel somewhere they wished to. The idea found support from many, including Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

Vijayan and Mohana
Vijayan and Mohana at one of their foreign trip, source Make My Trip

Vijayan and Mohana have so far travelled to countries, including the US, UK, France, Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. Their favourite trip? It includes one to the US. As per The News Minute, when the couple wanted to visit the US, Bollywood actors including Amitabh Bachchan and Anupam Kher raised Rs 3 lakh to send them to New York City.

Other favourites include Switzerland and Paris. Speaking about the Switzerland trip to the TNM, Vijayan said,
“Because of the dancing and the snow and because that was our honeymoon after our Sashtipoorthi Kalyanam (a ceremony couples have when they turn 60). In our 20s when we got married, we couldn’t go anywhere. So, we went in our 60s.”

Vijayan displays posters and bills of different countries they have visited in their tea stall, reported Business Today. When asked about their next stop, the couple listed Sweden, Denmark, Holland, and Norway, reported Conde Nast Traveller.

Married for 45 years, the couple has served coffee and tea for 40 years. To fuel their wanderlust, they made a small saving over the years - Rs 300 per month. Every three years, they collect their savings, take a bank loan, and set out on a trip. Once they return home, work starts again – until the next trip.

Vijayan doesn’t believe in long-term plans, and goes with spontaneous decisions. “There will always be two tickets for us,” he has said.

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