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Bestselling author and Netflix series host visits Carbondale

By Tyra Wooten

New York Times bestselling author and host of the new Netflix series The Kindness Diaries shared his nomadic story of trotting the globe with local residents at Longbranch Café & Bakery on Wednesday.

Leon Logothetis came to Carbondale as a part of his tour across the U.S. He has shared his story of traveling the world at dozens of cities and on “Good Morning America” in hopes of inspiring others, and his YouTube series has generated millions of views.

Logothetis said he was a broker in London before he left his desk job to travel across the U.S., Europe, India, Cambodia and Vietnam on his vintage, yellow motorcycle.

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“I had everything on the outside but felt emotionally and spiritually bankrupt on the inside,” Logothetis said. ”I quit my job and started to travel the world on kindness.”

Logothetis said his Netflix show outlines his journey of asking strangers for shelter, food and gas on a daily basis.

“I was won over by the generosity of humanity,” Logothetis said.  “From the homeless man who shared his blanket on a stormy night, to the poor farmer who helped me with my broken-down bike, and the HIV-positive mother who took me in and fed me.”

When people helped Logothetis on his journey, he would surprise them by paying for their housing expenses or college tuition before moving on to the next city.

“Success is not just about how many zeros your bank balance has,” he said. “It’s also how much you can impact the world through the way you treat people.”

Elaine Ramseyer, general manager at Longbranch Café & Bakery, said Logothetis’ message inspired her to travel the world “in hopes of making a difference through kindness.”

“He’s trying to articulate a message of unity and love which is sorely needed in this world,” she said.

Ramseyer has traveled to four different countries this year to gather paintings in an effort to raise money for 550 Bangladeshi orphans at the For Kids’ Sake Art Auction on April 28. The proceeds will provide 6,600 hygiene kits, 14 new toilets, 1,100 new sets of clothes, six arsenic-free deep water wells, 550 sets of new bedding and various expenses for doctor visits.

“Its very easy to get lost in the material world,” Ramseyer said.”[Logothetis] has had a profound and direct experience that he is trying to share, just like I am.”

Staff writer Tyra Wooten can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @twootenDE.

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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