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Back then, there was only hope.

The first time I stepped out of India, was when I was over 24 years old and I did it with my own money. There wasn't a single traveler in my circles. The only people I knew who were or had been outside of India, did it for either education or work. But deep inside, I always craved to crush boundaries.

The means were modest, the dream was distant, any sort of encouragement or push by kin or society lacked, but all the reading I did as a kid fueled a desire. And my parents are to be thanked for this, my dad bought me tons of second hand books. This vintage National Geographic magazine from 1949 is one of those. I started looking at comics by the time I was 2 and reading not long after I was 4. I read about the world, global affairs piqued my interest and I was captivated by the photos. A future devoid of exploration and photography couldn't be imagined.

25 years after I first saw this copy of Nat Geo, I have explored almost 30 countries and own 2 cam…

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