At the age of 15, Aakash Mishra founded “The Golden Bird Foundation” a ‘Non-Governmental Organization”. Later, as his organisation grew, volunteers from IIM, IIT, Symbiosis, Nirma University and eight different countries joined him in this endeavour. After organizing the Indore Cyclothon, he wanted to travel across the nation. Ever since, Aakash has crossed 45, 000 km riding his bicycle and hitchhiking across the nation. He says that he craves for the extraordinary.
This entrepreneur covered 60 cities hitchhiking and cycling over thousands of miles.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE
- Why he began so early in his time.
- How did he hack his hustles.
- Essentials of traveling when going solo.
- Covering approximately 60 cities within the Indian territory so far.
QUOTES AND TAKEAWAYS
- “Winners don’t do different things. They do things differently”
- “Arise. Awake. And stop not until the goal is reached” – Swami Vivekananda.
- I aim to go fearless! I travel with confidence and courage.
- I am aiming to travel from New Delhi, India to Islamabad, Pakistan.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY.
I am a social entrepreneur and I run my NGO The Golden Bird Foundation which started on February 2012. We work on five different verticals – education, woman empowerment, hunger, healthcare and environment. I started this venture at the age of 15. As I was very young, no one was taking me seriously. It took one and a half years to get my NGO registered under the name of my mother Rani Mishra.
WHAT WAS YOUR MOTIVATION TO BEGIN SO EARLY?
I was crazy to learn more about computers from a very young age! By the time I was in the ninth grade, I had successfully completed various computer courses from Cisco, Microsoft, CE-Council & RedHat but due to financial limitations I could not continue it.
At that time, I was reading many books by Swami Vivekananda. That is how I got reminded of a very famous quote by him which says, “Arise. Awake. And stop not until the goal is reached”.
This is when I realized I really want to do something for India and for humanity at a large. I was not physically fit to join Indian army. Hence, I thought founding The Golden Bird Foundation to do something good for the society and for India.
“I try to acquire motivation from everything I around me. Even when I listen to EDMs!”
FROM WHEN DID YOU START TRAVELING ACROSS THE NATION?
I got lucky with traveling since early childhood. I studied in eight different schools which took to three different states. I lived in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand. Later, in the eleventh standard I went to Delhi, Jaipur and a few other places for the work of my NGO.
I was always excited to get a bicycle since childhood. But again I faced financial problems for I could not buy it. After which I worked to earn the money and could save an amount of Rs. 50,000 and was able to buy myself the bicycle which I use today.
It was when I had organized the Indore Cyclothon under The Golden Bird Foundation, I was able to ride to the nearby cities which were about 50 km to 100 km from Indore. At the same time, my friends from New Delhi were asking me to meet them. So, I rode my bicycle and reached New Delhi.
Last December I cycled to Mumbai to join for a journey. After this I kept riding to nearly places like Bhopal, Jabalpur and other such places.
Later, I was asked to reach Google in Hyderabad to speak as a motivational speaker. I had cycled to Hyderabad as well. At present, I reached Chennai to become a speaker of International Youth Summit 2015. The officials of the IYON Summit asked me to collect soil from all the five states I would be crossing to reach Chennai from Madhya Pradesh. They planned to plant a tree after my name with a mixture of all the soil. This is how I aim to create my opportunity.
I believe in the quote that, “Winners don’t do different things. They do things differently”.
HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED ANY DIFFICULT SITUATIONS WHILE TRAVELING ALONE?
I have never really found any difficult situation by traveling alone. Again I believe in the saying which says, the less people you chill with, less nuisance you deal with. When I meet people I try to understand whether they are my inspiration or is it the other way around. Accordingly, I try to give time to all such people in my life.
WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS WHICH YOU NEED TO CARRY WITH YOURSELF WHILE TRAVELING?
I have only three things! My camera, my mobile and my bicycle. I make sure I have music playlist and I am well connected to social media.
PEOPLE SAY WHILE TRAVELING SOLO THEY LIKE TO GO WITHOUT A CAMERA TO CAPTURE THE MOST OF THEIR SURROUNDINGS. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS?
I’m trying to find my future in traveling as well. So documenting my moments is a good option for me. When I ride for about 100 km – 200 km in Indore, I do not carry my camera because these rides are just for myself to enjoy my time and being alone.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF YOUr JOURNEY YOU HAVE SET OUT WITH VERY LESS FINANCIAL SUPPORT. HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THIS WHILE TRAVELING?
I aim to go fearless! I travel with confidence and courage. I put up at dhabas, petrol pumps, etc. Once I reach the destination I live with my friends of the city. I have been really good with networking.
HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE OF LIVING IN a PETROL PUMP AND DHABA?
That is where the real experience of traveling arrives. In such situations, we face a lot of fear, we are afraid of losing our own things and our lives. I have been scared of losing my bicycle, my phone, my camera. This fear is nothing but just an imagination in our head. The good thing about fear is, when you go towards it, it goes away from you.
During such travels, we must also be very attentive, we should always keep our eyes & ears open. I have always been very attentive, whether i am in bus, truck or anywhere anytime.
HOW MANY CITIES HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO COVER SO FAR?
I try to cover at least 15 cities from each state through which I travel. So far, I have approximately covered 60 cities by riding and hitchhiking for nearly 45,000 km. I am aiming to travel from New Delhi, India to Islamabad, Pakistan.
HOW WOULD YOU DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN A TRAVELER AND A TOURIST?
People who are tourist like to plan. People who are travelers just need a reason to travel. If you call for us, we will arrive.
ANY ADVICE TO FELLOW TRAVELERS?
You might not have a place to stay or the best safety measure but here I request you to come out your comfort zone because we never learn or experience anything new being in our own comfort this is we call it comfort zone. Learn to move with courage.