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One country at a time
To travel full-time on my own schedule has been my dream for as long as I can remember. I finally got to realize it around 7 years ago. I got rid of everything I had, stuffed the remaining few possessions into my backpack & set out.
I was interviewed for San Francisco Chronicle's online edition for their piece on CouchSurfing - read it here : http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/06/21/moneytales062110.DTL
My most recent interview was with a French newspaper. Details at http://www.leberry.fr/cher/actualite/pays/bourges-et-environ/2014/09/03/guru-prasad-un-indien-de-38-ans-voyage-depuis-2007-et-a-deja-visite-soixante-dix-pays_11128415.html
Was interviewed by a Chinese daily : see http://e.chinacqsb.com/html/2013-08/07/content_369218.htm
I am still going strong after 7 years. Been to around 86 countries in South & S.E Asia, East & Southern Africa, Middle East, Oceania, South America, Europe & North America. I travel slowly & linger in places taking it all in. Central America, West Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe/Balkans/Baltics, rest of Europe, & more of Oceania are waiting.
I am an optimist, and believe in doing random (and non-random!) acts of kindness everyday. I believe honesty does pay even though it may seem for a long time that you get only IOUs :-)
I love sitting & chatting in cafes, especially from where I can watch life go by. People-watching is addictive and enlightening.
By popular demand, I have created a "best of" set of pics here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/gurumlore/sets/72157629004008533/. These are the ones that have a unique, personal story attached to them.
I also upload, when I get time and a good connection, *all* my pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gkunrun, but none of the photos there are public. You need to add yourself as a contact to see the pics.
See my other profile @ facebook - http://www.facebook.com/therealguru
I believe that trade, really free trade - without tariff, quota or other barriers - could be more beneficial than aid.
See how you can help others with microloans - http://www.kiva.org/lender/guru
visited 83 states (36.8%)Create your own visited map of The World or Brazil travel guide for Android
visited 49 states (98%)Create your own visited map of The United States or Free iphone travel guide
visited 19 states (54.2%)Create your own visited map of India or Like this? try: Chinese Radicals
Travel is the best philosopher that allows us to get away from the petty and the mundane, and elevate the self.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I have hosted, and been a guest! Have also traveled with many CSers over the last 5 years. I have attended CS meets around the world and met locals as well as travelers in S.E Asia, Africa & South America. Would love to get involved in more ways as and when I find time.
Have hosted a few guests so far & surfed with a few dozen hosts. Met even more for chat over coffee. Looking forward to lot more.
Have also met many CSers at meets in San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Saigon, Ankara, Cairo, Addis, Tehran, Nairobi, Kampala, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, La Paz, Lima, Cusco, Montevideo etc.
Hiking (http://flickr.com/photos/gurumlore/sets/72157594437143309/), open spaces (http://flickr.com/photos/gurumlore/sets/72157594437146944/), deserts (http://flickr.com/photos/gurumlore/sets/72157594453215749/), scenic byways (http://flickr.com/photos/gurumlore/sets/72157594445891643/), birdwatching (http://flickr.com/photos/gurumlore/sets/72157600183662895/), people watching (http://flickr.com/photos/gurumlore/sets/72157600588440842/), good food (http://flickr.com/photos/gurumlore/sets/72157601014200571/)
Music, Movies, and Books
Movies - anything not too Hollywood or Bollywood. From "Ghost World", "No man's land", "Black Cat, White Cat" to "Gods must be crazy", "Kilometer Zero".
Books - mostly non-fiction that has the ability to violently upset my existing ideas/beliefs. Recent reads include "Art of Travel" (a gem!), "The Big Questions", "Lady and the Monk", "Dark Star Safari", "To see every bird on earth", "More sex is safer sex" (a book on economics - outrageous), "Fooled by randomness", "Vagabonding", "Black Swan" (usually found in the "economics" section, but is almost a philosophy book), "More than you know", "Survival of the sickest", "Empires of the word". Also John Le Carre, Bill Bryson, Alain de Botton, Crichton, Grisham, R. K Narayan, Salman Rushdie, Herman Melville.
Music : well, almost anything. My Morning Jacket, Brett Dennen, Tracy Chapman, U2, Indian classical, ghazals.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Have touched all lower 48 US states (+ Hawaii) in a 53-day, 15,500 mile road-trip, couchsurfing most of the way. Alaska, I will be there soon!
Did Cape Town to Djibouti overland by public transport, then a loop around the middle-east, and finally down Cairo to Cape Town overland by public transport.
Had great fun while trying not to pay bribes in Kenya, Congo & Madagascar.
Ended up in a 'love motel' in Paysandu, Uruguay after finding out that showing up without a booking for 'semana cerveza' (beer festival) wasnt a good idea. But what an experience. Still brings a smile :-)
I have seen life in Death Valley, CA.
On seeing my passport & all the visas within, I have been invited by consuls at various embassies around the world. They all wanted to hear travel stories!
Motorbiked through some amazing countryside in Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia.
Been deported from turkey to iran while trying to cross by train because the turkish authorities thought my passport was fake!
I have seen a Hyena not far from home!
Have climbed Adam's Peak before dawn and seen the sunrise and the shadow of the peak behind.
I let my jaws to drop after seeing the main temple at Ellora.
Have been on the Kerala backwaters for a good 6 hours on a singe day!
I have been on the summit of 2 active volcanos - Mt. Merapi, Indonesia & Mt. Nyiragongo, Congo - and lived to tell the tale of sulphur fumes.
Followed stunning looking butterflies in northern Thailand.
Have been dragged and almost beaten up by a drunken cop who kept accusing me of being drunk in a temple!
Saw Dok Krachiao flower fields in Chaiyapom.
Met, and still meeting, people! Interesting and good ones, mostly.
Sat in a Korean language class (of around 30 girls) being taught in Vietnamese in Hue. I don't know Korean or Vietnamese, but still didn't fall asleep.
Driven a motorbike with a flat front tire, for 50 kms, on a lonely dark highway, with drizzle, in Cambodia ... and survived!
Have waded through a croc/hippo infested river - that was a border!
Taught English for a few days in remote areas around Livitaca in Peru.
Walking around Resistencia (Argentina), trying to locate the 'hidden' sculptures / art objects.
Falling off the planet, in Moroni, Comoros.
Teach, Learn, Share
I would love to learn French/Japanese/Chinese on the road. Have been wanting to learn some sketching/painting too.
I can finally do the hoop, and teach it now!
I can show you what to pack and not to pack for a trip! I am onto my 5th, or is it 6th ( i forget!), configuration.
Handy when it comes to all things tech and gizmos.
Love thinking about small improvements to existing things that could make life better, convenient and more eco-friendly.
Can do a beginner's lesson or two in watching birds.
Got some Swing lessons from couchsurfers. Would love to try more, and improvise/teach what little I know.
I can talk about investing and finance, and startups, and planning for the long-term.
Countries I’ve Visited
Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City State, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Countries I’ve Lived In
India, United States