Meet Lubaib Gazir, an 24-year-old project engineer, adventurer and photographer from India who has visited 40+ countries, all on his own dime. He also delivered a TEDx Youth talk about The Price and Power of Wanderlust. Lubaib completed a multi-country Europe tour in 2014. Here’s the story of how he turned his case of wanderlust and travel dreams into a reality and continues to travel the world without skipping a beat.
I love to travel and I love to take pictures. Ever since I was a child I loved watching channels like National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. I used to see these people getting out there, doing crazy things, going all around the world. I used to think, if I could do that one day it would be amazing. But then, I never really believed that I could do it. I thought, if it happens, that would be nice.
But then one day, I went on a family trip in India. We went to this place named Coorg, which is called ‘the Scotland of India’. It opened up my eyes, seeing a part of the world I had never seen before. The nature was amazing, the people were great. And that’swhen the travel bug actually bit me. During this time, my family decided to cut short the trip and head back. I told them, ‘there’s so much to see here, why don’t we just stay a bit longer and see all of it?’. But we headed back nonetheless. I was so frustrated. So on 7 August 2010 I posted a status update on Facebook, swearing that I would travel the whole world one day and that no one would stop me. Since then, that dramatic teenage dream has come true.
How to start travelling (pro tip: it’s not that expensive!)
By the age of 23, I have managed to visit over 40 countries while being a full-time student at university. I do so by saving up the money that I get from odd freelance photography jobs. While I travel I also take pictures and sell it to stock photography sites when I get home. Then I save up that money to book my next ticket. It’s all about how bad you want to travel, and how willing you are to compromise on luxury to travel more. You can pay £200 for a flight ticket, or travel with a £20 bus ticket. Similarly, you can pay £200 for a five-star hotel, or £20 for a night at a hostel or pay for a really affordable coach tour that takes you where you want to be. That’s why I say traveling is indeed affordable. It’s all about how bad you want it!
How coach travel helped me tick my European bucket list
My first experience travelling with Expat Explore was in 2013. I wanted to travel around Europe in summer, and I was looking for options that could help me see the European highlights in a single journey. For me, this included the main cities like Paris, Rome and Barcelona. I also wanted to see the beautiful landscapes and magical places across Europe. Think Switzerland, Venice, Prague, and more.
It was important that it happened within the time frame and budget I had available. I looked for various options. This included backpacking across Europe by myself or getting an interrail pass. I also considered just booking flights for my tour. Out of all the options I’d researched, Expat Explore suited me best. I found a tour across Europe that would suit all my requirements at a very efficient budget. The tour would satisfy my craving for adventure, while at the same time allowing me to see the main cities. I would get to explore nature, taste the cuisine and experience the various cultures of Europe within a month’s time.
I had researched various tour companies offering similar tours across Europe, but I found the organisation of the Expat Explore tour the most attractive. The tours are planned so you have just enough time in each city. You don’t have to rush, but you’re not wasting time either. Expat Explore also offered a very competitive rate. The excellent online reviews that I found about the company also set my mind at ease.
Going on a guided coach tour with Expat Explore was amazing. It’s incredible how you all start off as a group of strangers from various different backgrounds, cultures, and countries, but you end up leaving the journey as one family. Getting to go along with a diverse group of people together in a journey is an experience in itself.
Why you should chase your travel dreams relentlessly
I travel mainly to learn life, and to love life. Travelling teaches you so much about life. It instills values, skills and experiences that cannot be learnt elsewhere. Travelling changes you as a person. It makes you more easy going, patient, and positive in everything you do in life. Sometimes it shows you how blessed you are to have everything you have in life. When you see other people struggle for the basic necessities you take for granted, you learn gratitude.
Travel has taught me never judge a book by its cover. We all have prejudices about people, and about different nations, but traveling breaks down those stereotypes in your head. It teaches you to be more accepting and respectful to everyone around you. Travelling actually widens your perspective. When this happens, you understand the world better, and when you understand the world better, you understand yourself better. This is the true route to peace and making the world a better place. Travel may take you far away from home, but it brings you closer to who you are.
Want to know more about Lubaib and how he funds his adventures around the globe? See his TEDxYouth talk on the price and power of wanderlust here. Spoiler alert: he managed to secure his first overseas trip by joining the debate club after learning they were travelling to Ireland! If that is enough to spark your own sense of adventure, we highly recommend you take a gander at his Instagram pictures. That’s sure to inspire you to dust off your passport. PS. See those pictures of the Lost City of Petra? We travel there too! See our brand-new affiliate Israel & Jordan tour itinerary here.