Travel

On board with Drew Binsky

World traveller Drew Binsky is amazed by the story of Vijayan and Mohana, the tea-seller couple in Kochi, who took the internet by storm when news of their travels came out. A video of theirs that Drew posted on his FB page has already crossed four million views. It features the couple in their Sree Balaji Coffee House in Kochi, talking about their passion to travel. “Life is beautiful…we enjoy it,” it shows Vijayan say, holding Mohana close. Drew comments below the video that he is moved by the couple’s commitment to fulfilling their dream of seeing the world.

On his first visit to Kerala, Drew spent two days in Kochi, exploring the city and sharing his experiences with his fans who follow him online. Drew seeks specific experiences while in a new place. Another of his Kochi videos showcases the beverage juggling acts of the street-side kulukki sarbath makers, whom he refers to as bartenders.

Drew is one of the most followed travel vloggers in the world. His social media accounts—FB, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube put together—crosses two million followers. The 27-year-old has just about 22 countries left in the world, which he hasn’t yet visited and he is all set to do so before he turns 29.

His vlogs are immensely popular on the internet. And for those who prefer to read, his blogs carry detailed accounts of his travels, with information on the place and tips to deal with every possible conundrum an aspiring traveller could possibly encounter. He is also extremely accessible, anyone can contact him, even be a part of his travels.

The youngster from Scottsdale, Arizona, first started travelling while in his junior year in college, in 2012. Since then, he has hopped from continent to continent, soaking in the joys of travel. He soon started blogging about his exploits, and people took note. The blog found sponsors and he used the earnings for his further travels. “Each place and its people have interesting stories to tell. They have their own culture and I love to learn more about them.” He researches the place and does his homework before embarking on a trip.

Drew has made Bangkok his base. “It is less expensive, well-connected and has delicious food.”

He has been to India twice, to different northern states. He finds Kerala cleaner and the coconut-based cuisine was a surprise. “It is very different from the food in the rest of India and I loved it.” Food, however, is the least of his concerns. “I eat just about anything. I’ve tasted live octopuses, scorpions…I’ve had dog soup in Korea, and even Balut, which is duck embryo.”

He has been to troubled territories and unpopular ones, such as North Korea, but came away with pleasant memories. However, there have been places in which he has felt unwelcome. In N’Djamena, Chad, in north-central Africa, for instance, he was harassed. “People were aggressive and I even got chased. It was a harrowing experience.”

Making daily videos is not sustainable, so Drew is looking at long form—a TV show on Netflix, for instance. He also plans to organise a camera crew to follow him on his travels. He had taken on board Michael as his full-time cinematographer to help him with documentation.

Drew’s girlfriend Deanna, shares his passion for travel. “It may look like a lot of fun, but it could also be exhausting, there’s a lot of work involved. But it is worth it, because the world is so big and so beautiful,” she says.

Follow Drew Binsky’s adventures on @drewbinsky on social media

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 11:47:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/drew-binsky-plans-to-travel-to-22-countries-in-two-years/article25950022.ece

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