This world traveler, TV host, and philanthropist, who quit the daily grind at the office to listen to his “inner rebel,” repays the generous hospitality of strangers, whom he meets on his travels, with kindness.
Leon Logothetis, 40, has done it all—he quit the office in London as a broker in 2005 and opted for the open road to live a life of adventure, inner peace, and fulfillment.
In the National Geographic series “Amazing Adventures of a Nobody,” he traveled through America on a meager 5 dollars per day, the United Kingdom on 5 pounds a day, and Europe on 5 euros a day.
In the Netflix series the Kindness Diaries, with US$0 in his pocket and a heart filled with compassion, he set out on a journey of a lifetime on his vintage bike and visited about 90 countries.
In association with First Book®, he drove from London to Mongolia in order to raise money to buy 100,000 books for needy children in America.
“I started doing this because I was in a lot of pain—emotional pain,” he told TODAY. “I was wearing a mask, as many of us do.”
“I felt very alone, very depressed, (with) no real sense of purpose … I felt like I was living someone else’s life.”
The most precious lesson that Logothetis learned was from a homeless man named Tony. With no possessions, Tony gave what little he had with a generous heart. He shared his shelter and even some of his meager belongings. He learned from Tony what true wealth is: Kindness begets kindness!
“I could lose all of my money,” Logothetis said, “and if I did lose all of my money, and I started to be mean to people because of it, then everything I’ve done in the past decade was pointless.” He urges people to listen to their “inner rebel”:
“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?”
He recommends that even if you do not have the required finance to travel, take baby steps. Start saving some money on a periodic basis, or start small, taking a trip that lasts only a few days.
Logothetis says one should listen to one’s inner voice. “If I listened to everyone around me all those years ago, I’d still be sitting behind that desk,” he said. “The trick is not to tell anyone what you’re doing until you’ve done it.”
“The best thing about doing it on a budget is that it enables you to connect with people,” said Logothetis.
“When I end up in a foreign country, I am a guest.”
“So when you sit on the Mongolian border for three days, and someone comes on the plane (intercom) and says you have to sit for two hours, it’s like, ‘OK, I get it.’”
He says what you see on the news shouldn’t “cloud the ability to go out and have a transformational experience.”
“There is connectivity out there, and there’s kindness out there,” he added. “And that was one of the greatest lessons I learned.”