Walking the world

KATHMANDU: As everyone dies one day, why not risk our life?” says Vladimir Nesin, 63, a Russian citizen, who has walked here to Nepal. He started his journey to travel barefoot around the world 16 years ago with this this thought in mind.

And now, after travelling to Australia, Britain, America, Japan, Korea, China and 122 other nations, Nesin has finally arrived Nepal.
But isn’t travelling barefoot uncomfortable? This it seems is not true in the case of Nesin for whom “wearing shoes is uncomfortable. I wanted to explore and feel the world through my feet”.
Nesin was a truck driver, who later worked as a Judo trainer. But he wanted to dedicate his life to the world because of which he started his sojourn. Reaching this stage, he feels the world is a common home and he’d rather focus on things like how do people live around the world. “I am a citizen of the world, therefore, I want to see the world and the lives of the people in different parts of the world,” he says showing his world passport given to him by the United Nations to travel the world as a peace messenger.
“To see the real world, one has to walk. Travelling by a bus is worthless,” opines Nesin, who remembers how people even offered to buy him shoes after they saw him walking barefoot.
For the first nine years, Nesin carried $365 per year in his pocket. He managed the money, living on one dollar per day. Sometimes he slept in a tent and at other times people invited him to sleep in their homes. Now, Nesin receives $2,500 from his pension every month and he relies on this amount for his journey. Currently, he gets by on three dollars per day.
When asked about his family, Nesin reveals, “My son accompanied me on my journey for nine years and sometimes my wife was there too. I talk to them through the Internet.”But for the last seven months he has been travelling alone.
Recollecting his experiences and memories, Nesin says, “Through my journey I met lots of people from ministers to rickshaw wallahs and saw many beautiful places.”
And Africa was worth remembering “People there told me about the practice of Voodoo (black magic) which I found quite interesting,” he reveals.
This passionate traveller says he did not face any difficulties during his journey, except when he had malaria while crossing Africa. He has also not faced any severe injuries in his feet.
And he has a determination that “until I am bed-ridden I will walk.” His next destination is Bangladesh.
As of his experience in Nepal, Nesin found Nepali people very welcoming and kind. Compared to developed countries “people here are so warm”.
But he urges the people in the world not to be bound by materialistic things. “People better love the world the way you love money, then it’s better whatever way you follow,” he suggests.

Source: Ritzy Sedhai, The Himalayan Times.
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