Here are a few celebrity travel experiences, some journeys inspired them, some left them humbled and some left a bitter aftertaste.
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As a teenager, Steve Jobs went to India in search of enlightenment. A brush with lice, dysentery and a near mob thrashing after he protested at being sold watery milk later, he returned home disappointed. However, the trip did prove to be a turning point in his life. In his words, "we weren't going to find a place where we could go for a month to be enlightened. It was one of the first times that I started to realize that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Karoli Baba put together." Neem Karoli Baba was the guru he was seeking. Maybe India helped him discover the innovator side of him.
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Angelina Jolie is an epitome of beauty and humanity. As the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, she has travelled to troubled and crisis affected countries such as Sudan, Jordan, Kosovo, Cambodia and Ecuador. Her travel journal titled Notes from my travels was published in the year 2003. Full of touching personal experiences and inspiring stories, the journal is a must read for everybody. It was during her travels for the UN that she met and adopted her son Maddox.
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After 22 years of playing for the world's greatest football teams, when he retired in the year 2013, David Beckham just wanted to be able to go anywhere without having a fixed schedule. The star decided to go on a bike trip with three of his closest friends. We quote him, I wanted to do something that we would all enjoy - I'm a big motorbike rider and so are two of my three friends that came with me on this trip. It was the kind of journey that had no schedule. It was important to also find somewhere where I was unrecognisable, and we found that. This epic journey of his through Brazils Amazon was well documented by BBC. He loved the anonymity of riding through the rainforest but the journey wasn't without its challenges. Although he loved the sense of freedom, he struggled with sleeping in a hammock! He got to explore the vast wilderness and meet the forest tribes and he even had to explain what the game of football was to some of the children from the tribes!
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Everybodys favourite villain! Thor and Avengers Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) was recently featured in Empire Magazines 100 Greatest Movie Characters issue. But did you know that this malicious villain on screen has the heart of gold off screen? In the year 2013, Tom put his acting assignments on hold and went off to Guinea in West Africa to meet Guinean children, families and communities. He also visited several UNICEF projects to learn more about their work in child protection, education, and water and sanitation. Coming away humbled, Tom has been supporting many different causes since then, using his celebrity status to draw attention to various charities.
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One of the richest women in the world and the most powerful celebrity in the world according to Forbes, Oprah Winfrey is hardly an unknown person. Known for her talk show, her humanitarian work and her steely determination, Oprah had to face racism in a progressive and beautiful country like Switzerland. The story goes that while browsing for handbags at a popular store, she asked to see a particular bag. The shop assistant told her that the bag was too expensive for her and maybe she should check out some other bag! Being the kind lady that she is, Oprah refused to press charges against the store. But she did talk about the incident while being interviewed saying, there's two different ways to handle it. I could've had the whole blow-up thing and thrown down the (American Express) black card, and all that stuff but why do that? But racism still exists, of course it does."
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If theres one person who went on a journey that changed his outlook about life, it is Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself! In 2005, when the star was shooting for a TV series in South Africa, he was abducted at gunpoint! He and a couple of his friends were driving back to their hotel when their cars tyre blew. Before they could change the tyre, they were attacked by armed car jackers! Somehow, Benedict and his friends escaped. Speaking of his terrifying experience he said, It really, really enriches your values in life. It's incredibly important."
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Everybody knows the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. But not many people know about the story behind how it all started. When Melinda and Bill Gates travelled to Africa for a fun and adventurous safari with other couples, little did they know that their journey will end up being a life lesson. On their trip, they came face to face with gory realities like poverty, genital mutilation and malnourishment. Says Melinda, it made me realize I knew nothing about that culture. It started Bill and me on a series of learning journeys and questions.
J. R. R. Tolkien:
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Known as the Father of Modern Fantasy Literature, when J.R.R. Tolkien was three years old, his father passed away rheumatic fever. This left the Tolkien family without an income. Hence, Tolkien's mother took him to live with her parents in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Later, they moved to Sarehole and then to Worcestershire village. As a kid, he enjoyed exploring the nearby places of Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and Lickey and Malvern Hills. These childhood explorations later inspired scenes in his books. Infact, he even used his aunts farm name Bag End in his famous book The Hobbit.
Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience- Paulo Coelho.
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