Benny Prasad: Meet The Fastest Man In History To Travel The World

Benny Prasad: Meet The Fastest Man In History To Travel The World

Success Stories

While most of us in our childhood dream of a chocolate castle or a room full of toys, Benny Prasad dreamt of visiting one country before he dies. And an encounter with Jesus at the age of 16 changed the course of his life. Guided by faith, Benny embarked on a journey that led him to every corner of the globe. After travelling to 245 countries in just six years and six months, he now dedicates himself to mental health awareness through his cafe in Bangalore. 

Q: Your childhood dream was to visit every country in the world. Can you share the origins of this dream and what inspired you to turn it into a reality?

It was never my childhood dream to travel to every country. It was something beyond my imagination. In my childhood, everyone told me I was a failure and would amount to nothing. My father worked as an aerospace scientist, and we stayed close to the airport. I used to see the aeroplanes take off and land daily. As a child, I always dreamt of sitting in an aeroplane and taking off and travelling to one place. 

Coming from a Christian family, we had a Bible that showed the map at the end. This was about Paul’s journey in Asia in three different colours, which fascinated me and sparked my desire to travel. The origin of the dream of travelling was after seeing the maps in the Bible and after my ‘encounter’ with Jesus when I was 16 and on the verge of committing suicide.

I prayed to God to fulfil my dream of travelling to one country before I die. In 1998, I went to my first country, Sri Lanka, and that is how my dream became a reality. I prayed to God again to send me to one country every year and in 1999, I went to England and the USA. In 2000, I went to Holland, and I went to Nepal and Tibet in 2001. 

I came to understand that what I deemed impossible was entirely achievable for God. God has all the supernatural powers to do the impossible but our limitations always limit us in terms of understanding the divine nature of God. In 2001, I gave up my whole idea of travelling to different countries. It wasn’t until I prayed to Jesus, asking, “What is your dream for my life?”  That’s when a voice came in which said “I want you to travel to every country by 2010.” And so, that marked the beginning of this extraordinary journey.

Q: Planning a trip to every country is an enormous task. Can you walk us through the planning process and how you organised your itinerary over 6.5 years?

Travelling to every country was a tough challenge, something I’d never done before. So, I needed God’s wisdom as I didn’t know how things would work out. Money and fame weren’t my goals. In 2000, I released my first album, ‘I Surrender All,’ and sold CDs to fund my travels. 

I stayed with families, not in hotels and ate whatever they offered. I avoided ticketed concerts, aiming to inspire people. From 2004, I travelled to around 50 countries yearly, paying for my tickets, and covering 15 countries at a stretch. Back in India, I’d focus on sorting out visas for my next journey.

Q: Throughout your travels, you documented your experiences through music. How did each country influence your compositions, and can you share a memorable musical moment from your journey?

At the age of 16, I decided to kill myself because of a broken childhood and health complications. That’s when I had an encounter with Jesus Christ who assured me that despite the world deeming me useless, he could transform my life. That’s when I picked up the pieces and began practising music at the age of 19. As I travelled, I met with other musicians and collaborated with them, and they, in turn, influenced my music.

Views of Benny Prasad

My most memorable concert was on the Pitcairn Islands, nestled in Mangareva, French Polynesia. It takes two days to reach by boat and is available only once in 3 months. I likely was the first Indian to have reached Pitcairn Island. The locals had never met an Indian. Performing in an Adventist Church, where almost the entire island population gathered, is a memory to cherish forever. Another memorable moment was performing in Antarctica for the scientists and geologists at the Chilean base. 

Q: Your journey is not just about breaking records but inspiring others. How do you hope your story motivates people?

My music goes beyond the boundaries of just entertainment. I have always used that to help people know that I, who was once suicidal and broken, could overcome that phase and look at life from a positive life, they should also not give up. I always tell people to never allow money to be the defining factor. My aim is to encourage the young and elderly to pursue their dreams.

Q: Your World Record journey may be completed, but how do you continue to explore and inspire others? Are there new adventures or projects on the horizon?

World Record by Benny Prasad

Presently, I am in Bangalore. I have built a cafe, Chai316. It is a counselling cafe working in the area of mental health. It is not a commercial cafe but serves only tea, and the prices are decided by the students themselves. We focus on students who are depressed and feel lonely.

Our goal is to listen to them, and just by listening, we have been able to help many young people come out of depression. Every week, we are helping one boy or a girl who is on the verge of collapsing. We challenge people to look at their life with a fresh perspective rather than quitting it.

Benny has chosen 32 out of the 257 nations he has visited for this travelogue. Every story within this travelogue is entirely authentic. You can read his book here.

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