Saturday, Feb 24, 2018 | Last Update : 05:20 AM IST
Ebin Jose quit his full-time job to travel around the world.
Travelling has emerged as a significant aspect in everyone’s life. But in the midst of these casual travellers is a breed of travellers who put on their globetrotting shoes, bidding adieu to well-paying jobs. For this rare breed, each day is an adventure waiting to unfold. Travelling, to them, is synonymous with living. They realise that the magic of places goes far beyond the highlighted itineraries of guide books and pictures.
Such is the story of a passionate traveller and hardcore food lover from Kottayam, Ebin Jose, who moved to Somalia as part of his management job in 2000 but quit it in 2016 and returned to Kerala. By that time he had already travelled to 19 countries during 16 years of professional life. The year was also when he shifted completely to travelling — hitting the open road or hopping on a plane to a destination unknown. He has helped a friend elope while in Somalia, lived in a cubicle for over seven months in Eritrea, trekked the Tossa Mountains in Ethiopia with his three-month-old baby and walked with African Elephants in the Murchison Falls National Park of Uganda. He also started a YouTube channel to share his travel experiences and in between found time to turn an author by writing under the pen name E.Jey.
It can be terrifying to leave a secure job but to Ebin, wanderlust was deep in his blood. “My job with a developmental agency in Africa was something that helped me explore a majority of destinations. The job helped me dig into 15 out of the 19 countries that I have toured to. Yet, to stretch my wings as a dedicated traveller, the job was an obligation,” he quips.
Having travelled to almost every nook and corner of the globe, his recent travel over the year-end was planned as a project in India — #OutOnRoads4Hornbill — coinciding with the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. The 30-day travel project was a road trip with two of his friends and he travelled from Kanyakumari to Kohima. Explaining more, Ebin says, “We were living the cultural richness of India from south to northeast. Over 8,000 kilometers and 15 destinations; we lived a gypsy life from 20 November for a month and celebrated the cultural extravaganza during the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland.” He has shared his experiences in Jaunt Monkey — his YouTube channel. Meanwhile, he kept updating his blog.
Ebin takes a moment to recall his favourite spots. “I am in love with every country and every place I have been to. Nepal was the first country that I travelled to. Somalia was the first African country I flew into. Egypt, Ethiopia, Maldives, Uganda, and every other country that I ventured into are special to me.”
Taking off to worlds unknown may sound romantic but the support and unconditional support of a partner is crucial. Ebin’s wife Kalpita Chakraborty has been the ying to his yang. He says with lot of pride. “A man is incomplete without a woman and if I quote the Bible, ‘A blessed man’s wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table’. My daughters need a little more time to stretch their wings. Well, when it comes to support, their (my family’s) curiosity to listen my travel stories and thrill to watch my travel videos are just enough for me to fuel my year long travels,” he says.
Ebin also found his calling in the love for the written word. He has already published a novel ‘Afflictions of Love’ and a collection of short stories ‘Ordeal and the Horoscope’. He is busy with his second novel, ‘Somali Days’. Before he ends, dreaming of his next destination, he ruminates, “We do not know even a small part about our planet. My travels are to find answers for my questions. Yet, a whole lifetime is not enough to answer all my questions.”