I am travelling as I am writing this. I was born in Dharamsala, a quaint town nestled in the Kangra Valley. I have always loved travelling and exploring different parts of Himachal. This blog is a collection of all my travel experiences instead of a piece written about a particular destination.
Like they say, home is where the heart is and my heart has always been in the hills. As a kid, I used to travel to Dharamsala every year during the summer break with my family. It was a routine affair. Coming back to the city used to make me feel like a lost puppy in the city and the yearning to travel more increased year on year.
Like most Indian parents, my mom made us (my two siblings and I) travel a lot, especially to easy-to-reach places, well connected by road/rail and somewhat commercial. By the age of 16, I had travelled to most of the clichéd places such as Nanital, Mussoorie, Shimla, Dehradun, Dhanualti and the like. There was something unique about each of these trips and they helped me grow as a person. But like we all know, there is only so much one can explore when travelling with family.
So here comes my first solo trip to Mukteshwar, which is a small town in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. From the minute I reached Mukteshwar, I was taken aback by the beauty of this small hill town, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I had the privilege to visit spaces in this town where tourists generally don’t go. The trick to enjoying your trips is to live like the locals do. It is important to try food you have never seen or heard about before; this brings you one step closer to experiencing the culture there. Always try to stay in a homestay instead of a hotel/guesthouse.
What better than travelling with someone who lives to travel? It is best to travel with people who know more and have travelled far. This brings me to my trip to Nag Tibba (Serpent’s Peak) with a friend who is an avid traveller. Nag Tibba is the highest peak, at 3,022 metres above sea level in the state of Uttarakhand. This trip taught me new and different ways to travel and survive. It is like adding someone else’s experience to your own, or maybe just taking away the good bits from it. Yes, solo trips are super important, but never miss out on a chance to travel with people who know better.
Last but not the least; never hesitate to make friends on the go (keeping your safety in mind). Kheerganga is located deep in the Parvati Valley (Kullu Valley) and is perched at an altitude of approximately 2,950 metres above sea level. On my trip to Kheerganga, my friend and I met another traveller who was planning to start the trek around the same time as we were, so the three of us decided to trek together. Getting to know his stories helped me learn so much more about travelling and this was an inspiration in itself.