For many travelers, setting a budget marks one of the first steps of a journey. But for Leon Logothetis’ globe-trotting adventure, his allowance was simple, and stark: $0.
Logothetis, 40, instead relied on the generosity of strangers for food, transportation and lodging — a journey documented in the Netflix series “The Kindness Diaries.” Though the show’s travels took place in 2013, Logothetis is comfortable on the open road, having quit his job as a London broker back in 2005. So far, he’s visited nearly 100 countries.
“I started doing this because I was in a lot of pain — emotional pain,” he told TODAY. As someone who worked in finance, Logothetis appeared to have everything he could possibly want, but it was a different story on the inside. “I was wearing a mask, as many of us do,” he said. “I felt very alone, very depressed, (with) no real sense of purpose … I felt like I was living someone else’s life.”
It’s a feeling that resonates with many workers today, as more people are looking to escape the traditional workplace, and prioritizing experiences over things. But quitting your job and making drastic changes can be daunting for anyone. Logothetis spoke with TODAY to share his top travel tips and the biggest life lessons he’s picked up along the way — many of which can’t be learned in the office.
1. True wealth is not in our wallets; it’s in our hearts.
One of the most emotional moments on Logothetis’ journey involved a homeless man named Tony. Though he had almost nothing, Tony shared what little he did have, including his shelter and some of his belongings.
2. Making a big change is a risk, but doing nothing is also a risk.
Are you unhappy at work, and constantly shutting down an inner voice urging you to see the world? Logothetis recently advised a friend: “Do you want to look back when you’re 90 and think to yourself: You had this urge to go out and live; you had this urge to go out and travel, but you never did it?”
For him, pain was the motivating factor. “It forced me to say, you know what, whatever the risks may be, it is more risky for me to sit here and live another person’s life,” he said. “It is more risky … to lose that opportunity when you feel like there was this momentum to shift the way you live your life. The rewards are so great if you get it right, and if you get it wrong, you go back to work.”