Most people are extremely generous: Vlogger Ravi Prabhu
Ravi Prabhu, a traveller and a YouTube vlogger, is only two countries short of pinning down every country on the globe. He shares his travel insights with CE.
HYDERABAD: Travelling for the past 22 years, Ravi Prabhu has scaled 193 countries and will soon be visiting the only two countries left: Libya and Venezuela. Now a US citizen, Ravi hails from Vishakhapatnam and studied Masters in Political Science at the University of Hyderabad. Coming from a middle-class background, Ravi says his parents never had the money to travel for leisure but he had always dreamed of trotting the world. As a child, he would sit with atlases for hours, scanning the maps and routes.
He runs a YouTube channel named ‘Ravi Telugu Traveller’ which has over 7.05 lakh subscribers. The channel features his travel experiences and insights into his journeys, including the cultures, cuisines and people he encounters along the way. He aims to provide a glimpse into the diverse cultures and lifestyles of people from different countries and to promote the idea of unity in diversity. His passion for travel is evident in his videos and he hopes to inspire others to pursue their dreams of travelling and exploring the world.
Interestingly, he is one of the few travellers who have been able to sustain their passion for travel despite having a full-time job. As an Information Technology consultant, he says that he is able to manage his work and travel time efficiently. “I took a consulting job so that I have the flexibility to travel and work as well. I work six to eight months a year and then travel. It’s not continuous but in phases,” he said.
“I’ve seen many travellers over the years. Most of them are either unmarried and travel is their primary career. I, on the other hand, wanted to have the whole nine yards. A decent family, a beautiful house, a good job and a career. Travel takes up a lot of money so I chose a career in consultancy, where you get money when you work. I work for four to six weeks and then travel for two weeks,” he explained.
He pointed out that travel was not as easy as it is today back when he started 20 years ago. Today, travelling is much easier. “Back then, getting a visa was very difficult. The Internet has made things a lot easier. There are a lot of people who have already travelled to most places in the world and they have vlogs that you can access,” he said.
“There are about 45 countries that do not require visas for Indian citizens or offer visas on arrival. Secondly, you need to figure out what you want from a visit. Do you just want to relax on the beach or do you want to explore the nightlife or are you going there for food? One country could cater to many things. Then comes the budget. Thailand is the best example for Indian travellers, a destination that offers a multitude of such experiences, while also being pocket-friendly,” he explained.
After scaling the whole globe, he says the thrill of travel is more pleasurable than actual travel. Having lived through extreme hot and cold temperatures while being on opposite ends of the world, he says his only strength is being humble and respectful. “Countries are like siblings, they may not see eye-to-eye but as individuals, they are the most generous people,” he said. “I can this confidently about Israel-Palestine and India-Pakistan. People in each of these countries are the most generous people. You may not be aware of this but among travellers, Pakistan is known as the most hospitable country,” he added.
However, he did encounter some bad experiences along the way. “I was in Italy once, travelling in a train when someone tied my shoelaces together and as I struggled to free myself, I realised my wallet was gone,” he said. “Yet, something like this could happen in India also. It is what you remember that matters,” he added.
On being asked how safe it is for women to travel, he says that most places are safe as long as you take necessary precautions such as not travelling alone at midnight or taking a bus alone to remote places.
Prabhu has a 16-year-old daughter whom he encourages to travel but does not force his choices on her.
“I offered her to scale the globe with me to all the countries which would make her the youngest traveller in the world, probably break a Guinness record as well but she refused to take the offer. She has already been to 35 countries with me and my wife. However, we don’t force our choices on her,” he concluded.