We have seen many people who have dedicated their lives to travel. But Kumbu alias Jibin Madhu is a unique traveler. The 24-year-old Kottayam native continues his adventurous road trips by earning income from a food stall set up on his Yamaha FZ bike. Emphasizing the importance of the bicycle in his life, he calls it “Padachon”.
His interesting travel stories on the bike with a mini kitchen can be found on his YouTube channel “Kumbu travel”.
“I have been traveling for a year. It was on April 1, 2021 that I embarked on my journey with only Rs 5000 in my pocket. I have worked in many hotels like dhabas to cover travel expenses. During the trip, I modified my bike with facilities including a kitchen and provisions to store water and other essentials. Now this bike is helping me generate income to continue my journey,” he said.
Adventurous travels and the life of a vlogger
Interestingly, his trip was unplanned. According to him, this is part of his fight to survive in life.
“I covered almost every state including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh. After crossing Nepal and Myanmar, I wanted to go to Singapore. But due to border tensions, I abandoned the plan,” he shared.
“I visited ordinary people like farmers in many places and captured their lives on my camera for my vlogs,” Kumbu said on his YouTube channel Kumbu travel. The YouTube channel showcased his adventurous travels, including his days in Dzüko Valley and his solo overnight camp in Meghalaya. Interestingly, he also took part in the farmers’ demonstration in August.
Traveling by bicycle with so much luggage is not an easy task. Now I am stopping in Arunachal Pradesh as my motorbike engine was damaged. I need to raise over 10,000 to fix my bike to resume my journey. Many people have helped me on my journey. Some people also provided financial assistance. I can’t forget them, Kumbu said.
The mini kitchen on Kumbu’s bike attracts many people to him. After parking the bike, he prepares tea, coffee, noodles and omelettes for tourists. He earns Rs 500-600 from his small business.
“It is very difficult to find a restaurant in the highlands like the northeastern states. Thus, I can earn a good income with my small business. I carry native Kerala (Kuthari) brown rice. So when I meet Keralites, I will cook Kerala style food for them. So my customers from Kerala will be doubly happy as they will crave for Kerala food on their long journeys,” Kumbu described.
While continuing the journey for more than a year, Kumbu faced many problems. “I only took a few clothes because the trip was not planned. Once I was too cold during the winter. So I set my clothes on fire to warm myself up. If I got sick, I rested in my tent. Because there is no other option,” Kumbu said.
Talking about travel expenses, he said he prioritizes fuel expenses and vehicle repair.
According to Kumbu, nothing is an obstacle when you have the determination to travel.
“If you have a small vehicle that you know well, then you can definitely explore the world. I modified my bike as an income generator on my way to various destinations. I have worked in hotels and gas pumps and done many chores in my life to continue my journey,” he added.
Talking about his family, Kumbu said they are very supportive of him.
“My family members were angry when I left the house without informing them. But now they wholeheartedly support me,” Kumbu revealed. “I want to travel more, meet people, explore lands and cultures. Now I want to fix my bike and resume my travels soon,” Kumbu said with a laugh.