Disconnect to Connect
When the road calls, you just got to go.
That’s what happened to me last month. When the sounds of the city became a bit too much and the noises in my head grew, when I could not see the path ahead and when my head started getting clouded, I knew I needed to escape; not my problems and definitely not the challenges, but everything around me that triggered it. I needed to wash my soul afresh and Spiti gave me just that.
There has been a whole lot of explosion on the travel scene as to how Spiti is a beautiful place to visit; mesmerizing and surreal; how it is a bucket list item and I do not deny that. It is all of the above. But for me it was more than that.
For me the travel to this valley took me back to how it used to be while growing up. On family holidays, there would be no phones and no internet. We would get down from our cars, search for directions from passers-by, rely on our instinct and more often than not, get lost, only to find that getting lost was genuinely the most beautiful memory from any trip. No one told us which cafes to visit and what place to stay. No one told us about the hidden and unexplored corners; we just found them.
And hence when I chose my destination, I decided to get lost, at least metaphorically if not literally.
I took the local buses on the long rugged roads, found friendships and conversations in form of other fellow travelers, bus drivers, post office managers, locals and people I hitch-hiked a ride with, but most importantly, I found a rekindled interest in my own self.
After long I could shut out the voices in my head, the ones that spoke to me about my professional life and how it had been a year since I quit my full time job and how the girl who had always been a step ahead in her life, was falling behind; of how the last few months had panned out work-wise and not matched up to my expectations at all vis-à-vis the voices that screamed about my personal life or the lack of it; the desperate need to find love and the numerous, tiny little heartaches (heartbreak is overtly emotional and dramatic for my taste) that were adding up one by one to make me fear vulnerability on a certain level.
For once, I could forget about these voices and allow the ideas to flow and creativity to take its head, because I was not bombarded with any information. I had no family to talk to nor friends to share this with. I had but me and myself and of course numerous strangers around, and that is definitely a liberating feeling.
It gave me time to recollect and recompose. I could see how I wanted to create the company I started out with a year ago and the importance of creation in my life; I could feel a certain calmness descend on me, to find myself, personally and professionally and I could see that I had miles to walk before I could truly accept and redefine concepts of failure and success, even after moving away from a corporate job.
Of course I totally loved exploring Spiti, going local, the mountains, the momos and the thukpas but then the inward journey is always personal isn’t it.
I still have so many pre-conceived notions to let go of and it was only when I moved away from my environment, hit the road less taken and allowed nature to play its role, could I see them crystal clear.
It is this feeling of clarity that high mountains always bring with them, that motivates me to travel.
Only when YOU TOTALLY DISCONNECT, CAN YOU TRULY CONNECT.
PS — I am curating a trip to Spiti in August after returning from my own adventures. If you are keen on coming along, drop me a mail on email@example.com and check more details at http://unculture.work/collabs/spiti-the-road-less-taken