Travelling 90 countries at 84? Sounds like a dream right? However, this ‘awesome’ ajoba (grandpa in Marathi) has been living this dream with his granddaughter.

Arun Narayan Sabnis, who lives in Mumbai, has always been passionate about travelling. He inherited this love for travel from his father, who was also a travel enthusiast.

“One day, I went through his cupboard against my father’s instructions and found very old travel pamphlets and postcards of Hyderabad and Kolkata. This is when he told me about his dreams of travel that he could not fulfil,” says Arun.

A teacher of psychology and logic studies, he was selected by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) to teach in a government college in Goa. Later on, he also became a college principal.

Then Arun switched careers to become an estate manager, a marketing manager and a personal manager at CIDCO, where he worked for 25 years.

Though he retired at the age of 55, he continued to work as a consultant for the next five years. Arun adds that his consultancy fees and dividends invested in mutual funds and SIPs are what contribute towards his travelling expenses.

“By that age, I had already fulfilled my family responsibilities of marrying off my daughter, Supriya Pilgaonkar, who became an actress, and my son became a pilot and got married too. So, I had nothing else to do but travel,” he shares.

Today, Arun has travelled to most places on his domestic travel list as well as to other countries like the USA, Europe, South-East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

From trying to stay afloat in the Drake Passage where the waters of three oceans combine to discovering the beauty of the Northern lights, Arun has ticked many once-in-a-lifetime experiences off his list.

Recalling one of his most memorable trips to Antarctica, he says, “Around 2010-11, I went to the Arctic. I went up to 72° North and enjoyed the midnight sun in Norway. There on 21 June, the sun never sets, so you go at midnight to find the sun on the horizon.”

Shriya, Arun’s granddaughter who accompanies him on many of his travels, says, “Ajoba once said to me that his ideal plan to travel would be unplanned travel. He is such a planner, but for him to want to experience this shows that age is just a number,” she says.

At 84, Arun still has no plans to stop and wants to make the list hit 100. “If you enjoy travelling, keep an open mind and go with a clean slate. Take in everything like blotting paper that soaks up the spilt ink from a desk,” he remarks.