Hello, my name is Victor Murthy, and I suffer from a serious case of wanderlust.
I grew up in the US, but my parents are from Belgium and India, so growing up in a multicultural household definitely helped instill my desire to discover the world. My first major stay abroad was when I studied in Paris, followed by a summer internship in Guadalajara, which paved the way for a year in Mexico City through a Fulbright García-Robles binational business grant after university. After stints in New York and London, I found my way back to Paris, where I currently live.
My policy on travel is to do things local-style. Sometimes, this means actually being a local, which is why I am such a fan of living in foreign countries – more time better allows one to truly get to know a place. Most of the time, this just means spending time with the local people whenever possible; learning a bit of the language always goes a long way. Having a friend who lives wherever you’re visiting is always an excellent to discover local haunts (and perhaps have a couch to crash on). If not, make some friends! Being social and getting to know locals and fellow travelers is the best way to go about it. I’ve gone on trips by myself only to come home connected with new friends that I ended up going on subsequent trips with and that I can now visit around the world.
Travelling off the road means doing things your way. Avoiding cookie-cutter guided tours, doing your best to immerse yourself in the local culture, and trying to take public transportation when available, even if that means ending up on a chicken bus in Guatemala (which was a great experience). Travelling off the road means leaving your fears behind. Travel by yourself, make new friends, go off the beaten path, take risks, do things you normally would not. Travelling is an excellent way to free yourself of your inhibitions and to dare to be different. That’s what travelling off the road is about, and the best part about it is that some of that freedom you feel when you travel translates back into your everyday life, opening your mind and your perspectives, so that hopefully we can all start thinking a little more outside the box.
So what are you waiting for? The world is waiting.