Internationally praised, ‘An Indian Backpacker’s Diary’ is a captivating travelogue that flows directly from the meticulously maintained diaries of the author who had recorded his experiences as a traveller across borders, countries and societies. Its simple language and vivid portrayal of destinations, interaction with people, and their culture bring alive the world’s exotic scenarios for the reader to perceive and feel the vivacity of the happenings.
The author flew to Afghanistan from New Delhi in 1975 and from there he backpacked for months traversing across several countries of Europe. He crossed even the Arctic Circle from Sweden and reached Nord Kapp (Norway), the northern most point of the world towards North Pole.
In 2012, at the youthful age of 66 plus, he took another backpacking trip for 80 days when International Youth Hostel Federation (or ‘Hostelling International’ as it is known now) completed 80 years of its formation. This travel took him to 22 countries, even as he had not researched the route or the border crossings nor made any reservations for stay or travel. He had virtually put himself in a black hole. But the result was wonderful! He was welcomed everywhere he went – loved and feted by unknown people of unknown places.
The book provides readers an insight into the essentials that would make even the first-time travellers’ experience most enjoyable, highly informative, adventurous and thrilling. The author has suggested many innovative ideas of transportation and stay viz, ‘youth hostels’, PG, camping, multi-tiered modes of travel including hitchhike, rides, ships, boats, buses, shared cabs, trains and airways.
Dr Harish Saxena has had amazing travel experiences of the World full of nature’s bounty and beauty, and its people with their compassion and understanding, boosting hope for universal peace and harmony.
A ‘WORLD’ OF PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK:
“Tourists flying in and out of countries today don’t get any sense of distances, or slowly changing landscapes, and climates. Harish Saxena visited 107 countries around the world, but he was not ‘collecting’ destinations. He immersed deeply into the countries he saw, the people he met and different cultures. His mission always has been to contribute to a better mutual understanding and peace. His diaries are not only a personal memory but also an amazing historical document of worldwide travelling…”.
Angela Braasch-Eggert Hamburg, Germany,
President, International Youth Hostel Federation, UK
“Dr Harish Saxena, who adorned different positions in IYHF and YHA of India, is a veteran trekker and traveller. He has vast experience in the field of youth hostelling and his sincere efforts as the President of YHAI resulted in setting up several youth hostels in our country which helped young trekkers to stay at a reasonably low cost. His book will be a great asset to those who love travelling and they will surely take guidance from it. His book will be a jewel in the library of any trekker or traveller…”.
Justice Anil Dave,
Former Judge, Supreme Court of India
“Dr Harish Saxena was travelling the world as a backpacker all his life long. Harish is a committed supporter of the youth hostel movement ethos and a true believer in peace and international understanding. His book is a useful testimony which could inspire the new generation of travellers and make them aware that travelling is a life experience which opens the door to a great knowledge about the cultural diversity around the world. It is a way to promote peace, tolerance and respect…”.
Edith Arnoult-Brill Past-President HI/IYHF FUAJ General Secretary,
“Harish is truly a diplomatic ambassador of peace and understanding He kept travelling across the world, even after retirement, spreading his experiences and spirit of tolerance and love wherever he went. His experiences are priceless...”.
Dr Mandour MD Ex Dean of Doctors,
Cairo University Hospital, Egypt
“It gives me immense pleasure to see this book on Dr. Saxena’s travel experiences. Generations would certainly be benefitted by reading your compilation of experiences. As a staunch believer in Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology, he is a role model for younger generations…”.
Padamshree Dr S.P.Verma,
Vice-President Gandhi Global Family, India
“Dr. Saxena arises above the narrow mindedness, prejudices and bigotry which ail the world today. His backpacking travels contribute to the future of friendship and peace. He builds bridges and spreads goodwill wherever he goes. Mark Twain has hailed travel as necessary to ‘broaden your view on life which cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner. His diary both educates and inspires the spirit of adventure...”.
Igor Jurisic President, Hosteling International,
“It is a matter of great honour for us that Dr Harish Saxena was the first Indian to serve as President of IFYH for eight years and promoted the apt theme ‘peace and understanding’. His backpacking travel diary of 1975 and 2012 will inspire and motivate many young people to take up such adventures...”.
Dr.CNN Raju Global Council Trustee United Religious
Initiative San Francisco, USA
“Dr. Saxena’s exceptional leadership and valuable contributions to the High Hostel association helped promote its philosophy of peace and International understanding around the world. Dr. Saxena has added great value to his journey by writing his book...”.
Sheikh Anis Abdul Malak Former President,
Lebanese YH Federation Beirut, Lebanon
“Harish is truly an international person, beyond all political, racial and religious differences. He has promoted international youth tourism by personal example and enthusiasm. This book bears testimony to his sincere efforts...”.
Sardi Gyula Former IYHF Board member Budapest,
“As a novice traveller I have always benefitted from Dr. Saxena’s rich experiences in international travel specially during those days when there were scant internet facilities and travel portals. I am sure his present book ‘ An Indian backpacker’s diary’ will inspire many young people to explore the world. For others it may even satisfy their wanderlust without travelling...”.
Prof. Panav Desai, Former Professor and Chairman,
Centre for studies in Science Policy JNU, New Delhi
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