Forty-five countries and counting. Kavirajan P.K., a sexagenarian from Ambalappuzha in Alappuzha, consumed by wanderlust, is busy globetrotting to discover and experience the world first hand.
Kavirajan, who made his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia in 1979, which was job-related, became an inveterate traveller only a few years ago. “I started travelling widely in 2019 and made the majority of the trips in the past two years after disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I have so far visited 45 countries in Asia and Europe, sometimes joined by my wife Sulochana, and on other occasions travelling solo or in groups,” says Mr. Kavirajan.
An optometrist, Kavirajan runs an optical store in Ambalappuzha and spends for travel from his life savings. “I am running 69 and these travels are the fruits of my labour,” he says.
The globetrotter says that he struggled a lot in the initial years of his life. He went to Mumbai at the age of 23 and worked in a cargo company before heading to Saudi Arabia, where he started working in a construction firm. Later, he worked as a porter at the Dhahran airport before climbing up the social ladder.
“I quit my job at Petroleum Development Oman and returned to Kerala in 1999 to live with my family. I passed a course in optometry before starting the eyewear shop. Travelling, for me, is a passion and a way of living. I want to visit as many places as possible,” he says.
He is set to go on his next trip covering Hongkong and Thailand from August 26. It will be followed by a visit to China late September.
Among the places visited, Kavirajan ranks his trips to Teriberka in the Russian Artic region and Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates arch-rivals South Korea and North Korea as the most fulfilling.
“The journey to snow-capped Teriberka, the last frontier in the Russian Artic, was not anything I had undertaken in my entire life. It was a really adventurous trip where the temperature dips below freezing point in the winter season. Likewise, the visit to DMZ was also a memorable one,” says Mr. Kavirajan who shares his travel experiences through the YouTube channel @worldtravelkavi.