How many times have you wistfully stared at Instagram pictures of snow-capped mountains, long winding roads, and the Taj Mahal, planning that dream holiday when you ‘have the money for it’? Unlike social media daydreamers, this globe-trotting tea stall owners Vijayan and his wife Mohanna are not waiting to make the “coveted million dollars” before buying that flight ticket to their next dream destination.
Hailing from Ernakulam district in Kerala, the 67-year-old tea seller and his 65-year-old wife are inspirational for travellers everywhere. Owners of the Sree Balaji Coffee House on Salimrajan Road, Ernakulam, the couple said that they began travelling only after they finished their duties towards their daughters Sashikala and Asha. “Before that, they would travel only in India. After our daughters were married, we started doing foreign travels,” said Vijayan.
“I want to see the world. That is my desire, my only desire,” he added. The couple has been selling tea for over 40 years, but that didn’t stop them from travelling to so many scenic destinations across the globe. They have travelled to 17 countries across the globe, including Britain, France, Austria, Egypt, Palestine, United States of America, and late last week, they made their way to the UAE for the first time.
“We began our travels with the Holy Land tour in 2008. We went to Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and on our way back, we came to the UAE,” he told Khaleej Times while he was on his way to Global Village on Saturday.
Last time, Vijayan stayed in a hotel called Rush Inn and visited Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and places in Dubai. The couple went around Dubai on a city tour, Dubai Safari, Burj Khalifa, Global Village, Miracle Garden, and some other hot tourist spots. They arrived in Dubai on Wednesday, January 10 and will leave on Sunday morning.
Speaking about his second trip, Vijayan said: “Dubai is like a dream world. This trip was a wonderful experience, all the towers. I can’t distinguish if it is a dream or a mirage or if it is real indeed.”
The couple solely depends on earnings from the tea stall and don’t have other employees in the stall, which leaves them with more savings for their travels. Mohanna said: “Even though we’ve travelled to so many countries, Dubai remains my favourite. I loved it the most and I definitely want to come back to see the place.”
The couple usually takes only package tours, since it is less expensive and it is safer for them as well. The couple’s trip to the UAE was sponsored by Rashid Abbas, managing director, international operations, Arooha Tours.
He said: “We’re very inspired by Vijayan and Mohanna’s travels, and that’s why we decided to sponsor this trip.”