Leon Logothetis went around the world on a vintage yellow motorbike with a mission: to live by the kindness of others and pay that kindness back to them.
It sounds like something you’d find at the multiplex, with an all-star cast, a finely tuned score, and tears timed to fall at the just the right moments to soften up the Academy voters’ hearts. But Leon Logothetis wasn’t travelling by a script.
Get to know the man who travelled through the United States, Europe, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Canada in a deeply personal way few of us will ever know through a special Q&A.
- What was the most unexpected thing that happened during your travels that became your book, The Kindness Diaries?
The most unexpected aspect of my whole journey was the level of generosity I experienced. I have embarked on these types of adventures before and I new that generosity was out there. But to experience it on such a diverse level was amazing. Yes, there were always people who didn’t want to help, and that’s 100% ok as I left with no expectations. But when you meet that one angel who helps it reaffirms your belief in humanity. The 24 hour news cycle always paints the world as a dark intimidating place. And yes, there is a lot of darkness, but I believe there is a lot more positivity. A lot more genuine love and people living in a non-judgmental way than we could ever imagine. I have found that if we don’t jump out of comfort zones we will be forever living a small life. I say, why? Why live small! Live big. We all deserve to live big. Each and everyone of us. I hope you find your courage and go out into the world and live fully and kindly…
- How did you feel about your reception in parts of the world where Americans are generally frowned upon?
It was certainly quite a challenge in some areas. What people didn’t know was that I was giving back on the journey. I had to keep that part of the adventure a surprise. So, all they saw was this Englishman travelling on a yellow motorbike and asking for assistance. I couldn’t accept money, but still the site of a westerner without any money didn’t always sit very well. People would question me. I remember I was in India and a chap came up to me and said “I don’t understand, you are from America (!), you must have lots of money”. And yes, I did have money, but for this social experiment I didn’t and it was very difficult for some to understand. I think that the beauty of the journey was that it forced people to break down their stereotypes. And by bringing down our stereotypes we are more able to connect with each other on a more real level.
- What do you hope readers will take away from the book? What changes do you hope it will inspire?
My biggest hope is that readers take away that everybody can live their dreams. Too often we get stuck in a rut and we end up living other peoples lives or we become slaves to our jobs and our mortgages. I am not saying that financial security is not important, it is very important. What I am saying is that there is a way to find financial security and live your dreams. Dreams can start small. It doesn’t have to be a journey across the world on a yellow motorbike! It can be taking small steps to becoming a published writer. Or small steps to opening up your own business. Thousands of small steps lead us to our destination. We all deserve to live FULLY. We all deserve to live BEAUTIFULLY. We all deserve a chance. And so do you. Go for it!
- Given the chance, would you do this again, and if so, what are places you would like to visit that you weren’t able to?
I would definitely do this journey again. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to travel the world and meet so many inspiring people along the way. It changed my life. There are always places I would love to visit that I wasn’t able to go to. For example I have, for many years, had the urge to visit the Pyramids in Egypyt, for some reason they have always had this hold over me. Hopefully I will get the chance to visit, maybe not on a vintage yellow motorbike…
- And if you were setting up a display for your book, what are three items you would include?
If I were to set up a display of my book I would definitely have my vintage yellow motorbike tag along. Without that bike I wouldn’t have made it around the world and I owe it a debt of gratitude. Even though it did keep breaking down! I would also have a video of testimonials of all the people I met along the way. A video where people would get the chance to share what our random meeting meant to them. The good memories and the not so good memories! The final thing I would have is a huge dream vision board so that people walking past the display could put down their own personal dreams and hopefully this would inspire them to go out and live them!
Learn more about Leon and his adventures at www.KindnessOne.com.
All images used by permission.