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Man from India ends '30-in-30' challenge in Bay Area

Rajeev Gupta set out to travel across the United States and meet 30 American families in just 30 days.
"30 in 30" is an online campaign you might have seen on social media sites. It is one man's journey that took him cross country to learn about 30 American families, in just 30 days. His travels ended Thursday night in the Bay Area.

Rajeev Gupta is a Fulbright Scholar and shared with ABC7 News what his opening line was as he traveled west on his "30 in 30" campaign. He said, "Hi, my name is Rajeev. I'm coming from India and driving from New York to California to meet 30 American Families and hear their stories."

Gupta is making a documentary as well.

"I set on this trip 30 days to meet 30 families across the country, so I can share their stories back in India," Gupta said.

Every day, he would stop in a new place and start talking. His final stop was Berkeley and Vince Dee, whom he has never met, agreed to not only talk with Gupta, but also to let him stay at his home.

"I'm looking forward to being able to talk to him and find out things about his way of life," Dee said.

Gupta has found places to stay on this journey in three different ways. He would use referrals, the website CouchSurfing.org -- which connects travelers with strangers who have some extra space -- and he would simply meet someone on the street or even knock on a door and ask for a chat.

When asked if anyone ever turned him down, he said, "No, not really."

A slew of stories, pictures, and moments followed. He even stayed with cowboys, an LGBT family, and a single father.

"It has taken some un-conditioning of my own cultural baggage to accept and celebrate that that's another form of family," Gupta said.

And as the Fulbright student walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, he realized just how much he has learned about Americans in such a short time.

For more on Gupta's travels, you can check out his website.
Related Topics:
society travel golden gate bridge blog india culture lgbt Berkeley San Francisco
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