Books do not need a VISA

What if there were no VISA restrictions for anyone to travel to any country, just like birds or animals who do not have the concept of No Man’s Land or Border Restrictions?

I had been pondering on this question for a while now and during my research, I stumbled upon www.passportindex.com, which gives me hope that someday, all the countries will have VISA free access to each other!

What about Passport? Is it even possible to travel without one? 

The answer is HELL NO! Well not exactly, there are ways around, based on diplomatic relationships between two countries. Even “Pets” may require a passport! Don’t believe me? Ok, Read this or this or even this!!!!

I have little or no control over political decisions for VISA free access for humans. However, what I do have is the freedom to make my ideas travel far and wide.

The Concept!

I usually carry a book with me during my travels and it was during one of the days of my deliberate research that I suddenly came up with this silly thought…

How about, once I have finished reading a book, I pass it to another traveller from a different country, ask him/her to read it, write their contact details and forward it another traveller and the chain continues.

Hopefully, whoever reads the book, will send me details on where all the book has travelled with them. I intend to keep a timeline updated for each book that I send out on an adventure around the world. This will help everyone to truly understand the beauty of travelling! 

And maybe, just maybe, whosoever has been a part of the book’s journey, will get to meet somewhere, someday! 

The Book!

Now let me now introduce you to the first book that I have sent out on this absolute adventure.          I am highly excited about it because first time only comes once!

The Great Railway Bazaar                                         by Paul Theroux

Considered a classic by many in the genre of travel writing, The Great Railway Bazaar is a travelogue, first published in 1975 which recounts the author’s journey by train from London through Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and his return via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

I strongly believe in destiny and looking back I can see how various events fell into place.

From the time that I came up with this idea, this was the first book on Travel that I read. The author talks about his little experiences during his journey, instead of the lame touristy highlights. This, to me, is the essence of travelling.

Secondly, I had just about completed travelling through most of the countries in South East Asia which the author writes about and I was sitting on the Yangon Circular Railway on my second last day in Myanmar when it occurred to me that although I had met a number of travellers, I somehow did not find one who could take the chain forward.

Life is full of surprises! Keep your eyes and ears open as the missing piece in your puzzle may just be beside you…

The missing piece!

I had just come back to the dorm in my hostel, however, had to go down to the reception to get the remote for the AirCon. I didn’t even bother to lock the door or wear my slippers as it was a matter of a minute.

At the reception, I saw a beautiful girl from Austria. We greeted each other with a nonchalant “Hello“, however one thing led to the other and before we knew we sat down for our first meal together.

LIFE TIP: Never say No to a beautiful company and traditional Mohinga soup!

She had just embarked on a ten month Journey around the world (from Europe). Most interestingly, she started her journey with the Trans-Siberian Railway and was now travelling through South East Asia!

That’s the same route taken by the author of The Great Railway Bazaar, however in the opposite direction! I was pleasantly surprised.         

I found the missing piece of the puzzle! Lena!

The Journey without VISA!

I met Lena on the evening of 2nd of January’2018. After our first conversation itself, I knew that I had to pass on the book to her. However, I waited until next morning.

We met for breakfast the next day and she wished me for my birthday. I was leaving for Singapore in few hours, and hence we could make time only for a quick breakfast. Since I had already shared the concept with her,  she was psyched when I wrote a note in the book and passed it to her.

I wished her the best for her travels, requesting her to read the book and pass it to another traveller.  Thus, I sent out my first book on a hopeful world tour without a visa!

The book has travelled with me without VISA to Malaysia, Brunei and Myanmar.

What do you think of the idea? Please let me know in your comments and if you like the concept. Please, please please share this post with as many travellers and readers that you know 

Who knows, we may all get together to meet somewhere, someday!

If  you like to read and travel, do start your own chain and send me an email at thewannabetraveller@gmail.com or upload your pictures to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #booksneednovisa  and #thewannabetraveller 

 

16 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Susanti Oh Reply

    Awesome ideas! Hopefully I can be part of the chain and make this concept viral amongst other travellers in this world!! You are my fav traveller, keep on going and you wont be a wannabe any longer. Keep insprie people and glad to get to know you as a friend.. 🙂 xoxo

  2. Avatar

    What a thoughtful thing you’ve written @thewannabetraveller…. we all talk about travelling the world and having read this .. I wish I was a book tucked in a backpack 😃.
    Its such a nice idea to share the books and get to know people from all over the world through a book which will now be passed on from one to next and if destiny permits the book travels back to you.
    Cheers
    D’

  3. Avatar

    It is very wonderful and inspiring idea! Thanks for sharing 😜 Hope to get a book from you soon 😁

  4. Avatar

    This is an absolutely brilliant idea, Saheb!! I hope to find this book someday 🙂

  5. Avatar

    Super Idea! Hope we all start exchanging books on every travel….

  6. Avatar

    Awesome idea . I love it. Hope i have chance to get the book in a nice day 🤩🤩🤩

  7. Avatar

    A book that took me places, while we journeyed ‘along’ !!!

    Interestingly, I know another friend who loves leaving her books at airports, bus stops, or railway stations wherever she may have concluded her last few pages. She leaves a note, expressing how the book impacted her life, wishes them good luck and then passes it on to be picked up by a stranger, and hopefully keep the chain going. What a lovely idea I thought ! And now, I am amazed how you are taking a similar idea step ahead.

    I feel, Travel is so personal to each individual, we all embark on these journeys for varied reasons, some to get away from stress, some to visit and learn about new places and different cultures, some to find companionship, some to find – ‘themselves’, I am sure there are many others. Whatever the reason, during my journey, I will love to stumble upon books that tell me where all they have been and what all experiences they shared with their earlier travel-mates. Maybe even encouraging me to live some impromptu adventures while WE travel together. HOW WONDERFUL ?!!

    Wow! Let’s see if I become a part of the journey on ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’ someday. Or if YOU find a book that once travelled with me. 😉 Till then, I wish you my best Saheb !!

    Stay this adventurous forever ! Xx

  8. Avatar

    I think the idea is great. I usually buy a book from the places I travel to. Later I write down the date and place I bought it from. And now when I look at my bookshelf, it is full of books from so many places. Looking at each book brings a fresh memory of the places.

  9. Avatar

    Terrific idea.
    A world where books travel and gather experiences, not dust. 🙂

    Have always exchanged books with people I’ve met while travelling, really like this added dimension to the whole thing.

  10. Avatar

    When I first read the above, my initial thought was how dreadful would I feel in letting go of one of my books and possibly never seeing it again. But as I thought more about it the fear of losing a book was overcome and overshadowed by the excitement of the thought that, however remote the possibility might be, the book might be in hands of people, in all probability, I might never meet and yet, someday end up back with me at an airport or a bus stop or a train station with musings of people who picked it up on the way, at a whim or a moment of curiosity or just plain boredom, having traveled around the world and in some way shape or form imbibed a part of the person who read it, photographed a piece of the land it traversed and in a very organic sense grown along the way.

  11. Avatar

    Hi,Saheb. How are you!
    This is an interesting idea. Very creative.
    A book is traveling around the world,I really want to know which country the book is in now.
    I really want to be the next messenger of this book.
    but I think,This is harder than the initiator of the book I am going to see.
    Haha. Because The opportunity to take the passive is always much less than the opportunity to take the initiative .
    “World without VISA”,I used to think about this problem.
    I hope there is no VISA.This way I will travel around the world very easily.
    My Hong Kong friends and American friends are always lucky to avoid the trouble of handling VISA.
    We can only respect the system in which this society exists.If without these systems, perhaps the world would be chaotic.These things should be the problems that politicians and state rulers should think about.We can only accept it.
    Many people have never been abroad.But they hope to get a US visa for the first visa.But the chances of such success are few.If you have gone abroad many times,Have a good credibility,I don’t think all countries will reject such guests. Haha, what I said is credibility,In this way,A world without VISA is impossible to achieve.
    Saheb,I really like your article,read your blog,Let me know more about the thinking of an Indian.to me, India is a very mysterious country.Because I don’t have an Indian friend,So I can only understand India through TV and movies.But only to understand one side.Everything is not absolute.Not all Indians have the same personality qualities.Not all Chinese have the same personality quality behavior.These need to be influenced by some cultures,
    Part of the impact of the family environment.
    Fortunately,Now, the Internet is very developed.No VISA on the Internet.The only thing you need is VPN.We can understand the world through the Internet.The world is no longer a mystery.We can always find the answer we want…
    Of course, we still have to travel , because the feeling is that we need to see use our eyes, our nose to smell, and our hand to touch.

    • Avatar
      Saheb Reply

      Hi Meizhou,
      Thank you for your comments. The last that I remember is that it was in HongKong. I haven’t heard back from anyone after that. I am hoping that someday, someone will get in touch, be it tomorrow, day after or many years later.

      All I can do is hope…

      Haha, if we ever meet, I shall hand over another book to you for it to start its journey. A new story with new people maybe?

      There was once a world without Visa and all it did was bring WAR to each other’s door. Hence a VISA is a requirement to keep our animal instincts at bay.

      Yes, countries should start collaborating more in terms of trade and cultural exchanges to relax the Visa rules to help more wannabe like me visit their land and spread the word about the all the beautiful people all around the world 😊

      India is truly a country full mysteries. It would take me 7 lifetimes to know everything about my own country. Haha! So I need to meet you soon to start telling you about mine and knowing from you about yours 🙂

      The world is slowly merging into one. There are only better times to come and hopefully, everyone will get to travel and find the answers they are seeking!

  12. Avatar

    Thank you for your reply. I am really happy.
    ​God really cares about me.
    ​I not only have the chance to see the sponsor of this project.And there is still a chance to get a new book,Let the book start traveling again,Suddenly I feel a sense of responsibility. Let this book Responsibility for fulfilling its mission.I can’t let it lie in my drawer forever, and I can’t just give it to someone who doesn’t like to travel and doesn’t love books.
    ​I hope that I have the chance to follow you to see India, the Indian culture, the Indian color, the Indian taste.
    Thank you! Saheb .Please keep going to write the blog, I am your loyal reader.

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