193 Countries in 8 Years by Hitchhiking? Iranian Couple on a Mission made Pit Stop in Kudla
“We may not be able to change the world but at least we can play my role in making the world a bit better. Each person should be aware of his role in the world and try to make it a bit better place. This has also happened to us and we were encouraged to draw people’s attention to this cause. Whatever job or social position we may have, we have to consider our duty towards the whole world and must know that everyone has to play a role in the world….
…This is a world without boundaries- Making the world a better place is not only the duty of leaders but ordinary people must also have a role in making the world a better place to live. A world without boundaries doesn’t mean breaking the borderlines or ignoring the laws, but it means paying full attention to what we do and how it affects other people’s lives. We must know that what makes a better world won’t be achieved without the alliance of the people around the world.”- Iranian couple, Ali Kabir Khalili and Azita Noori
Mangaluru: Imagine trying to cover 193 countries within eight years-not by flying, driving, or sailing on their own- but the most part of their travel by hitchhiking. Hitch-hike is travelling by getting free lifts in passing vehicles. and for that matter, an Iranian couple, Ali Kabir Khalili and his wife Azita Noori, both 31 years old, are on a mission to accomplish their motto “My Role” and to “Spread the World’s Culture without any boundaries”. This couple have their dates marked for the next eight years and are determined to be continuously on the road covering 193 countries on a shoe-string budget- and their journey began from Mashhad-Iran on March 17, 2017.
“Iran is a very friendly country. Hitchhiking is done in Iran by waving one’s arm at an oncoming car, or by dribbling one of your hands. Waiting for a ride can be a frustrating experience sometimes, but it is generally relatively easy to hitchhike in Iran. Frustration comes when there is a driver stopping for you every few minutes and suggesting taking you to a bus terminal, and sometimes you may find it hard to explain that you travel at low budget and that you actually want to hitchhike.” say the couple, when they met Team Mangalorean, on the outskirts of Mangaluru, during their pit-stop.
Starting their journey from Iran on March 17, they finished covering on May 29 and from there travelled to Sri Lanka and later reached India on June 15, 2017. From Colombo-Sri Lanka they took a flight to Chennai, and from there they travelled by hitchhiking to Udupi on 19 July- and from here they travelled through Mangaluru on their way to Goa-Mumbai. From clocking 12,000 kms on a bike across Iran and hitch-hiking through Sri Lanka for nearly 1800 kms for a fortnight, and now they want to spend at least a month experiencing South India.
Their mission of their trip is to “How can you make the world a bit better? -under a project named “Abitbetter”. “We believe that we can make the world a bit better through our travels. Our main mode of travel is going to be either public transport or hitch-hiking so that we get to experience the local way of living in every country. We are spreading and receiving love all the way and the idea of our trip is to shed the fear of future and enjoy the present. We are going to live one day at a time without any apprehensions about tomorrow,” said Azita Noori.
The couple are basically bikers united by their love for travel and now they are on this crazy world tour. “It all started when the pair met another like-minded couple Sorena and Behnaz. “We are a group of five now and all of us took this world tour on different routes. We have planned to meet in Nepal later this year. Bits and parts of our travel are planned while much of it depends on what life throws up or the situation we face. For instance, Madurai was never on our agenda until our host in Chennai recommended the city as ‘the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu, where an outsider can experience the best of the local Tamil way of living. That made us take a detour and we are glad we did,” added Ali.
Quitting their corporate jobs, Khalili and Noori are now eating away from their savings. “We are not worried about money, as we have overcome all our insecurities. It was indeed a tough decision to leave behind all that we had, our country and belongings to become a nomad. But once we packed our needs in just two bags, now we feel that the entire world is ours. There are enough good people to share and care for us. When we told our friends about travelling in India, a lot of them advised us against hitch-hiking as it’s unsafe here. When we wasted over five hours in Munnar trying to hitch a ride, we understood that people here are not familiar with it and it’s not really a safety issue.” said Khalili Ali.
Ali said, “My role in “A bit better” -Making the world a better place is not only the duty of leaders but ordinary people must have a role in making the world a better place to live. We have planned the biggest continuous trip ever. Our motto is “my role” and our aim is “spreading the culture of the world without any boundaries:· Achieving this goal does not require any big changes we just have to try to be a bit better in any field we are in. The plans of our trip and the costs are available upon request.. A better world won’t be achieved without the alliance of people around the world,”
Being a member of Iran’s scientific trading society, Ali Kabir Khalili has an associate ‘s degree in industrial management and BA in Business Administration. Being the producer /executor pod of 13 cultural or artistic plans, he has taken more than 115 domestic and international journeys about 130000 km. The head of Management scientific association of Ferdosi University for One year, he is was an executive manager or a member of the board of Directors in 4 companies within 10 years. Passing 20 courses in management, and making 14 marketing and branding plans, Ali has done the courses of first aid and rescue. While his wife Azita Noori has a BS degree in software. Passing special courses in cooking, she too has passed the courses in first aid and rescue. Passing courses in network security, Noori has been actively involved in digital marketing for the last three years.
The couple are lucky to have been hosted at various places throughout their journey. “Till now, we have never had to take a paid accommodation. Wherever we go, we live with the locals, eat their food, practice their religion and experience their philosophy of life. The people that we met during our trip so far have been courteous, warm, friendly and provided us good hospitality wherever we stopped by. But we also got advises from many saying, ‘Don’t trust people, be careful of hitchhiking, don’t do that, don’t do this etc- and in some cases, we took their advise. We really miss a lot of good hearted folks we met so far- it was indeed a blessing for us to meet such people. We want to break the boundaries and spread positive energy.” said Noori.
“Our goal is to reach every country on our list, but getting visas is a hassle in some countries. As per our schedule, we plan to stay at least for ten days in each country, but little longer in large countries like Canada, USA, Russia, China, India, Brazil, and others. We plan to stay in India for three months, during which we will tour Goa (our next destination from Mangaluru), Kolhapur, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Amritsar, Dharamshala, Shimla, Varanasi, Kolkata -if time permits and everything goes well we may also explore Sikkim and the North East. Earlier our plans were to tour the world on a motorcycle. Thinking twice, that it would be impossible, we went for the idea of hitchhiking- and so far it has been working pretty good. And for that matter, hitchhiking in India has been a memorable experience, where you can talk with local people and know about the culture and tradition. It’s free but they take you for more important reason, humanity and helping- and also give you lots of warnings and advises?” said Ali.
“We have planned for that much time and are going to be on the road. We will not be returning to Iran till we finish all the countries. To know more about our journey, visit our website-www.abitbetter.world or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/abitbetter.world” added Ali and Noori.