I have always had a passion for travel and every time I mention this to people around me, I am asked one question. What is Travel?
Well I don’t answer for all travel lovers, but to me travel means to forget the everyday routine and indulge in something out of the regular frame of life. Every trip, every destination is made of discoveries and desires to immerse themselves in a world of cultures, people and manners totally different from us. Travel helps you know others and know yourself through others. Home doesn’t have to be around known people and surroundings, it can be a feeling of actually being lost. To me feeling lost in travel is feeling like home. It’s breathing different air, talking different languages, eating different food and visually enchanting myself through nature’s beauty that keeps me motivated for life. Travel shapes your heart and opens your mind to the various possibilities and stories that exist in the world. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a story-teller.
This monsoon, I was in Himachal, I didn’t have many days in hand so I opted to travel across the most likeable towns. Doing a round trip from Chandigarh, heading toward Manali-Kasol-Tosh-Kheerganga-Barshaini-Chandigarh, I have seen fancy cafes, tried crazy dishes, experienced a crazy-as-hell live band, pondered across the hills, heard local tales, walked up and down a 11km trek, lived in a tent, survived on Maggie, experienced hot spring bath after 7 hours of climbing uphill, taken beautiful pictures and met lovely set of people. This was indeed a life-changing trip in that I met people from different ends of Himachal and heard their stories, some funny, some which moved my heart and some others where my heart actually sunk in despair. It made me realise how much each of us are in our comfort zones and how much getting off our relaxed boundaries can actually change us. I have travelled before, across national and international borders, but there is something about this particular trip that will always stay with me. Maybe the people I met, maybe the stories I heard or maybe the fact that it was my first ever trek. Walking up those vast mountains made me realise how little we are in comparison to the nature we live in. Keeping all attitude, ego and anger aside, I learnt to value the little things in life. I learnt to help people without having any expectations in return. I learnt that untouched nature is man’s best friend. And most importantly, I learnt that it’s very safe for girls to travel by themselves. It’s just very wrongly perceived. In fact, I have never felt safer in my entire life. It finally felt good to be lost in the right direction.
I read this somewhere and would like to quote it –
“This is why once you’ve travelled for the first time all you want to do is leave again. The call it the travel bug, but really it’s the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it’s like to leave, change, grow, experience, learn, then go home again and feel more lost in your hometown than you did in the most foreign place you visited”.