A little girl used to travel from one corner of the country to another with her mother who was a member of parliament. Her mother had to travel to many places as part of her job. So from her very childhood, the little girl named Eliza visited most of the divisions and many districts of Bangladesh.
Travelling started to mean more to her than just seeing a place.
After completing school and college, Eliza got admitted to Eden Mohila College to study English Literature.
Now Eliza Binte Elahi travels out of passion. She started a formal visit to all 64 districts of Bangladesh on May 17, 2016 from Boldha Garden, Dhaka, and completed it on August 28 this year. She is now working on her project: Quest, A Heritage Journey of Bangladesh.
Being a student of English literature, she was inspired by descriptions of ancient Greek and Egyptian times, and their sculptures and history.
"I am fascinated by history. I can feel the presence of a time, of the people living it, of the socio-economic situation of that time and culture through historical works. They seem so lively. Nothing is more exciting to me than this," said Eliza.
This gradual realisation turned Eliza into a traveller, a researcher and a preserver of historical documents from across our country.
'I am a history lover, an archaeology lover, and a travel lover,' said this renowned traveller.
Before that she had the opportunity of travelling to 25 countries in Europe while she was doing her Phd in the Netherlands. And then she came to realise that our country is also rich in history and culture, and that should be show cased to the world. Eliza has been working on tourism from 2008.
"I want to see history connecting with tourism, and through this I want people learn about the assets of our country. Many countries have excelled in this sector. It's time for us to do so as well."
Eliza's passion for Bangladeshi heritage is evident in her research, which is also based on the possibility of turning the scattered historical places of our country into profitable tourism destinations.
The topics of her two research papers are; 'Publicising tourism: opportunities and challenges in the context of BD', and 'A Communication Plan for the Bangladesh government: How to promote BD as a global tourist destination Online and Offline.'
"There is ample opportunity to develop heritage tourism in Bangladesh," she said in excitement.
Eliza had to arrange many things to fulfil her passion for travelling. She self-financed all her tours. So it took 20 years to complete her travels to 47 countries.
Eliza considers travelling to be work. And when it's about travelling through her own country, it's like a duty to her.
"I had to gain my family's trust regarding my work. They used to think that it was pointless. Now they understand my passion," said this travel lover.
To complete her knowledge about any particular place, Eliza reads district gazettes, available books and write-ups, and talks to local people first-hand during her visits.
After travelling extensively in Bangladesh for the last three years, Eliza couldn't specify any particular favourite place because she loves to see the uniqueness and individuality of every district.
To her, the two main obstacles to travelling to many places in our country are lack of proper infrastructure and difficulty in finding accommodation.
In her words, "Not only is there variety in our archaeological heritage, there is also variety in our culture, traditions and practices. These are significant parts of our heritage and must be preserved."
Eliza has also written two books on her travel experiences.
After travelling to all the districts in Bangladesh, and to 47 countries and 256 cities of the world, this middle aged woman isn't ready to end her long journey yet. It's like a beginning for her.
"I have to visit the districts again because I have to track the changes that have come about over time," said this ever enthusiastic heritage lover.
She is eager to arrange heritage tourism fairs in divisional cities, write books, and of course continue travelling to fulfil her ultimate vision of seeing Bangladesh become a global heritage destination.
She thinks the government should declare a Global Tourism Day so that people can learn about our culture and heritage.
Eliza will be travelling to three more countries this year to achieve her goal of travelling to 50 countries.
She welcomes any call from any corner of the country to talk about her experiences and vision.
Passionately she says, "I just need a platform and an audience to talk to about our own history, and the importance of preserving it in a way that will contribute to our economy."