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Humble Couple Travels The World By Saving $4.20 A Day.

tea shop owners

As hard as it is to believe, nothing is truly impossible in life.

Both K.R. Vijayan and his wife Mohana grew up dirt-poor on the streets of Kochi, India. They met 45 years ago and have been inseparable ever since, raising two daughters together and eeking out a living selling tea on the streets of Kochi. Throughout their lives, they bonded over their mutual desire to travel the world.


Normally two humble tea merchants from a third-world country wouldn’t dream of achieving their goals of world-travel, but Vijayan and Mohana are not your average couple. They decided over 40 years ago to do whatever they needed to fund their adventures, and now that they’re in their 60s they’ve accomplished that mission by traveling to over 23 different countries â – so far.

Vijayan and Mohana spend their days working at the shop they own, the Sree Balaji Coffee House in Gandhi Nagar. They have no employees, spending hours a day on their feet serving up tasty teas and coffee. Each day, they set aside the seemingly small amount of $4.20 for their travel fund. They will also sometimes take out a bank loan for their trips. After their adventures, they return to their shop and spend the next three years paying off their debt â – and saving for the next trip.


“Some people say I am crazy,”said Vijayan, “Maybe I am. But, we live only once and I believe that our entire life is a journey and the experiences that we accumulate are our only earnings from life.â€

Traveling has opened up the couples’ minds and broadened their world view so much that they don’t mind the endless days spent toiling over hot pots. They’ve stood in awe before natural and man-made wonders all over the world, noting Singapore, Switzerland, and New York City as their three favorite places so far. Vijayan recalls the amazement he felt as they sat on Eurostar train from London to Paris in 2010, flying under the English Channel at an astounding rate of speed.

Mohana says she was most blown away, almost literally, when they visited the Empire State Building in New York. “We went up 84 storeys and the wind at the top was so strong that I felt we were going to be blown away by it,” she said.


Mohana had never even left the small village where she grew up before marrying Vijayan, but she’d always dreamed of breaking free from the bonds of poverty and seeing the world. Their first journey together was to Egypt, and once she’d gotten a taste of life outside of India she was hooked.


“Initially I was really nervous,”she says. “Going abroad was like going into the unknown. Our first trip abroad was to Egypt, and it was the first foreign trip for him also. But he told me, ‘Don’t be scared, I am with you.’”

Vijayan and Mohana aren’t finished with their adventures, either, and Vijayan says his goal is to see the whole world. “That is my dream, and I have done my best to make it a reality. What God has given me in life is far more than I could have imagined.â€


The couple has now gotten a small taste of fame thanks to a documentary directed by Hari M. Mohanan called “Invisible Wings,” which documents their incredible zest for life, learning, and culture. “Life is beautiful. We enjoy it!” is Vijayan’s simple motto, reminding us all that no matter what obstacles face us, if there’s a will there’s always a way.

Watch the video below to learn more about this extraordinary couple and their passion for travel, and be sure to share.

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