GREENACRES, Fla. (WPBF) — Somen Debnath refers to himself as a global citizen.
It’s a moniker that fits given that Debnath has traveled across most of the globe.
And he’s done it on a bicycle.
“I have been traveling around the world on bicycle since 2004,” he said. “I’ve traveled 154,700 kilometers until now.”
To put that in perspective, that’s like biking from New York to California 38 times.
And all along his travels, Debnath brings his message of love and peace.
“Don’t push people. Just hold each other,” he said. “And let’s make a better world.”
Debnath is from India. He grew up in a small village outside of Calcutta.
When he was 21, he started traveling the country to spread awareness about HIV and AIDS.
He then expanded his campaign to other Asian countries and before he knew it, his trip around the world had begun.
Fourteen years later, his trip is still going and his message has grown to include love and peace.
“I feel the whole world is my home and all people are my teacher,” he said.
On Wednesday, Debnath stopped at the Greenacres Community Center where he met with a group of children.
He enthralled the boys and girls with stories of his travels across the globe, coming face to face with a tiger or living for months with the Inuits in the Arctic.
He showed them the hundreds of bracelets he’s collected from around the world.
“From different countries, people are giving these bracelets because people would like to travel with me,” he explained to the children.
So far, Debnath has visited six continents. The only one he’s yet to see is Australia but that’s on the itinerary in the next two years.
In all, he’s been to 150 countries.
He wowed the children by naming all 150.
He told them he’s now on his eighth bicycle.
The children peppered Debnath with questions about his trip, asking how he gets from place to place.
He said his journey has included 28 rides on a boat and 32 aboard a plane but mostly it’s just him and his bicycle.
“It has become my life,” he said. “And my identity.”
He told the children he relies on the kindness of strangers to support him on his trip, to provide food and shelter.
He said no matter where in the world he is or what country he is visiting, he has not had a difficult time finding that kindness.
“Positive and optimistic thinking,” he said. “They are amazing wings that can make each and every person to make his destiny.”
You can follow Debnath’s journey and connect with him on social media or at his website.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.