This is a story about a very unusual couple I met in Penang. They just changed the meaning of traveling and life for me. I never even thought that traveling would be so important in someone’s life. I know you might sound confused now, but let me tell you their whole story and then you decide yourself if it changed your way of looking up to your life or even a little part of it. This is a story about my favorite part of Penang trip.
The First Meeting
During my stay in Penang, I was staying in a hostel called as the Red Inn Cabana. I checked in the dorm at around 5 p.m. There was no one in the dorm. I thought I was going to be the only person staying in the dorm today. After a very tiring day, I went out for dinner and while returning I saw two people just parking their cycles in the hostel premises. Just casually looking at them I just went in my dorm.
Later, after half hour they both just checked in the same dorm where I was staying. They both came and occupied the beds in front of me. We had a small chat that day. They said they were from China. And after that just some casual hi, hello and some other stuff.
The point where it started getting interesting.
The next day I went out exploring the city and they did the same. In the evening when we both returned, it all ended up in a very interesting conversation.
For their dinner they had some INDIAN dish, as I was from India, they told me about it. They didn’t exactly know the name of the dish and they were trying to explain the dish to me. I was just guessing some names. They described it as brown color bread but very thin. I said roti, they didn’t get it, then I said naan, and they were like yesss, that’s the one. To describe the Naan and to guess me the right name, it took us around 15 mins. They asked me more things about the Indian cuisine as they were visiting India soon. They were also worried about the Indian customs because they heard that Indian Custom officers would confiscate their drone.
Knowing some new things.
After some time, he took out his drone and GoPro to charge them. Out of curiosity I asked them if they had a YouTube Channel? He said no, they wanted to start a YouTube Channel. The reasons for which they were not able to start the channel was, they didn’t know English very fluently. They wanted to share their story with the world but they were not able to communicate very well. Another reason he said was actually very shocking, he said YouTube is banned in China. I was like what? Why? They said the Government does not allow them to use any of the social media stuff. You would not believe, even WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram are banned in China. Even Google is banned. To use these services people had to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network.)
Then we started talking more about things. He asked me about my occupation and how was I able to travel. I said I am a travel blogger and I earn some money from my website and some by doing freelance photography. They were really impressed after hearing all that. Afterwards I asked them what they did and how is their travelling life. And the answer he gave me just inspired me to whole different level.
He said they came all the way cycling from china to Malaysia. They were cycling from the past 6 months. He even said they had plans about cycling for the next 5 years. This thing just blew my mind. We keep hearing about such incidents, but to meet them in person and listen their story was very inspiring for me. I asked them the reason for cycling and he said they didn’t want money to be an obstacle in their dream. Their dream is to see the whole world and as the flight tickets are very costly, they decided to do it on their cycles.
After hearing this, the only words I could use to describe them were – “Duniya Mehengi Thi, Isliye Humne Apne Jeene Ke Tareeke Hi Saste Kar Liye” (Those who are not from India, I’m sorry I cannot translate this line. It is best described in Hindi).
I could literally feel their passion about traveling from their way of talking. This conversation was one of the highlights of my trip. I will never forget this night in my whole life.
Things I Learned from them.
Believing in yourself.
The first thing I learned from them is, no one can stop you from doing anything you love. It is only you who decides your future and not anyone else. If you give up on yourself, that is it. There is nothing anyone can do for you. Believe in yourself and make your dreams come true.
Happiness is always greater than money.
They really changed the concept of money for me. Even with less money they were doing the thing which they loved and they were very happy doing the same. Yes, money is a very important factor but it can’t buy you happiness.
New Concept of Settlement
In India, we are taught that, you pursue your education, you do a job, you earn some money, you get married, you have kids, you live in a same flat for the rest of your life and finally you die. That is the definition of settlement in India. And I don’t think it is going to change very soon.
The thing I learned from them is, it is not necessary for you to just do these regular things which are going on from, I don’t know how many years. Just kick your regular settlement concept and just imagine your life in a different way and then if you feel it right just move ahead with it. Don’t care what others think and speak. They are going to keep barking anyway. If you are also into traveling, and you keep on doing your work. You will be watching a beautiful sunset with a cup of coffee in one hand on some island and these people will be sitting at their homes talking about you.
Let that “Log kya kahenge” (What others will think) phase just disappear.
Choosing the Correct Partner.
There is a very viral and infectious disease in India. This is going on from many years and years. The Indians are going to agree with me here. In this disease, a random uncle/aunty will come with a photograph to your house and say “Yeh Ladka/Ladki acche gharane se hai aur aapke bete/beti ke liye ekdm sahi hai” (This girl/boy is from a very good family and she/he will be perfect for your boy/girl) or “Aapka Ladka/Ladki 25 saal ka/ki hogya/hogayi ab jaldi shaadi kara lo” (You son/ daughter have become 25 years of age you should think of his/her marriage) and then their most effective weapon “Ha voh apne hi biradari ka hai” (Yes, he/she is from the same caste/religion as ours). And the list goes on and on.
These people also have their own marriage executive called as the “baba’s”. Photograph is just a first stage and in second stage they use this executive. They will get your birth-date and from that he will figure out your horoscope. Then he matches two people’s horoscope and then that’s it. He’s done. The third stage is more dangerous, if your horoscopes are not matching, they have these fire act. One person just sits and lights a fire in front of him and keeps throwing some random stuff in the fire. He also sometimes yells seeing at the fire. The same thing happens on a loop for few hours and that’s it you are all set for the marriage.
Isn’t it funny? How can anyone tell and predict something from just a birthdate and a piece of paper? I mean who the hell are these people to tell you about your marriage and your life. We barely know them, would have hardly met for like 10 15 times in our entire lives. If you tell this to any foreigner, they will laugh till tears start rolling down their eyes. In the name of rituals, stupid things are being carried away.
The definition of a good partner has nothing to do with her or his name/nationality/caste/religion. You shouldn’t care if none of these things match with your partner. One thing that matters is how much will that person support you or how much you will support her or him while you are together. They both were successful on their cycling and travelling journey because they made that decision together. Not because some of their horoscopes were matching, but just because they both were very confident in themselves and wanted to do it badly.
As the quote say “It all starts with a dream”. You cannot do anything if you don’t dream about it first. Listening to their 5 years plan for cycling just made me realized that I should never stop dreaming and always keep working towards the goal. Even if I don’t achieve the goal quickly, but I will damn sure enjoy the process. Always Keep Dreaming Keep Believing.
The funniest part is that I still don’t remember their names, they were quite difficult to remember. If you are reading this, I’m sorry, but I do remember your nicknames – Mr. Altman and your little monster. Hope you have a great life ahead.
See you soon on the road someday again.
That will be it for today’s blog guys.
Hope you guys like it.
See you on the next blog,
Founder – Stubborn Hippie,