2017 : Twelve Places, Countless Memories
Whatever the question, traveling is the answer.
2017 was a tough year, one of the more testing ones. The year started slow, and suddenly in March, I embarked on a journey of self discovery. It was almost with impulse that I went to Decathlon, got some basic gear for trekking and went on a solo trip. And ever since then, I am always planning my next one.
2017 was a year of firsts. From traveling alone to experiencing snowfall. From seeing the Milky Way with naked eyes to sleeping in monasteries. From hitchhiking to seeing the sky turn violet at sunset. From being lost in forests past midnight to witnessing the true hospitality of the mountain folk. Firsts, with many more encores.
2017 was a year of happiness. Sitting alone on the deserted snow covered cliff of Naddi with Steven Wilson singing Perfect Life. Reaching Kheerganga alone through a treacherous and muddy trek in the middle of incessant rain. Having a cup of tea with your best mates at 10,000 feet. Walking through the streets of Spiti and watching the sky come alive at night. Being able to find a place to stay for the night in the middle of nowhere. Happiness has been abundant and has come at unexpected places.
2017 was a year of new interests. My interest in photography ignited. Maybe it was the solo travelling, or maybe it was the breathtaking surroundings that made me start clicking; but now, I am building new perspectives, both through the lens and the naked eye. I started exploring new genres of music in the mountains, and it’s increasing my attendance at theatres and live concerts. Interests I do not know how else I would have discovered.
2017 was the year of traveling. Taking a break from work and staying in Himachal Pradesh for a month was probably one of the main highlights of my year, and one of the most rewarding experiences. From walking from one village to another for a whole day to the joy of finding a ride to the next stop. From having my Christmas lunch at the last Indian dhaba on the Indo China border to tasting local dishes at village households, the culinary experiences have been pretty vivid too. It was the year of falling in love with Himachal, exploring the major valleys and districts. And now, traveling has become one of the core and most rewarding things for my psyche.
2017 was good. And I look forward to sharing the details of the places I visited, along with personal experiences and suggestions. (My Instagram account might have more frequent posts though.)
I was never someone to start a new year with resolutions, but I hope to travel extensively this year as well. I do not have destinations or places of preference, yet.
But the idea is always going to be to climb higher than I did the last year. Amen.