"Are bhai sun, mein Ladakh jaaru akele!" ;
"Burhan pagal ho gaya hein kya?"
This was the first reaction that i got when i told one of my close friends that i am travelling to Ladakh for 10 days full solo with 45 strangers
Solo backpacking would top any traveler's bucket list and just like them it was on mine. so in the summer of 2019 i just decided that i wanted to do a solo backpacking trip to Ladakh, with the sole purpose of conquering my fears and to do something that i wanted to do for years now. After making up my mind i told my parents about the whole plan and asked if i could go solo, just like my friend's reaction they were a little skeptical in the beginning which is expected but then agreed to let me go asking me to promise them that i'd take care of myself.
And then An 18 year old high school graduate was off on a Solo Backpacking trip to Ladakh on the " 29th of June, 2019".
So after having one of my life's best trips here are,
Six solid reason why you should consider travelling Solo as soon as possible:-
(1) GETS YOU OFF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
What i have always seen is there are certain people who want to live in the most luxurious places and want to see the most iconic and gorgeous views without compromising on their comfort, this is absolutely normal but if you are a backpacker you'd know that its like a backpacker's pre-set mindset that you have to get of your comfort zone to get see some of the most badass locations, because that's who a TRAVELER is. Ladakh to me personally was a huge comfort shock, like yesterday i had someone doing things for me and suddenly now i had to take care of my funds, my belongings, myself etc. Its like someone had put huge load of responsibilities on my shoulder and i had signed up for it. But this was a healthy shock that fine tuned a lot of things in me in a very short while.
(2) A NEW ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED
Travelling solo for the first time is not less than an achievement, starting from making the commitment of facing all your fears, taking care of yourself, doing what is right other than what you want, and to give all in. It definitely is Roller Coaster.If you don't know already i am a travel/street photographer, being who i am, getting to new and unknown places is very important and crucial to me,going to Ladakh for a solo trip was a cherry on top. The biggest achievement would possibly be going to Siachen base camp at around 17,982 ft backpacking. I still cannot believe that i managed to pull this off.
(3) A POSITIVE CHANGE
It changes you, for the good. When you're travelling with strangers whom you've never met in your entire life before and you probably wont in future, you portray the REAL YOU. and when that real you goes around with people whom come from a variety of background and who have extremely different cultures and principles that they follow they definitely have a influence on you. If this entire thing was to be put into a quote, "You are the people you go around with"My first solo trip to Ladakh changed a lot of Pre-conceived notions i had on traveling solo and opened a lot of door's for me in terms of photography and solo traveling. so yes, it did change some things in me for good and it will for you too.
(4) GENUINE FRIENDSHIPS AND MEMORIES
In the words of my grandfather "If you ever want to truly understand and know a person? travel with them and you'll see the best part of them" well this is self explanatory. The bonds and friendships that you make when travelling with someone all day and all night long creating Amazing moments together you will make memories that will last a lifetime.Personally, i did made few of the most amazing friends by the end of the trip, people who were strangers to me in the beginning and the people who're my jigri dost now :p, and even though we may not talk everyday but we do know that we'll be there for each other.
(5) YOU LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE WORLD YOU LIVE IN
Suppose you're left alone somewhere and the only support system you have is yourself? wouldn't you improvise on your decisions and learn so many things you dint know you could do? Traveling solo with unknown people does exactly the same thing but much more and going to unknown places broadens your vision so much and makes you realize that you're so small in this big wide world and there's so much to see which just cannot be done by just sitting at home. I never ever ever imagined that i could successfully pull of such a huge goal that i had at this age but i did, i discovered things about me that i did not know i had it in me. I could positively say that this trip was indeed one of the biggest breakthrough in my life
(6) A NEW ENVIRONMENT IS A NEW YOU
An occasional change from your daily life and from your normal routine and doing something a little different wouldn't really be that bad for yourself. A normal change in the environment once in three months would really help re-energize your body and clear your mind from stress and help you focus on your work a lot more efficiently.
To be very honest i did not have that much stress and i was living a very comfortable and happy life before and i was super satisfied with everything but this trip still helped me to do a self-analysis and help me focus and answer two of my biggest questions of my life that is Who i want to be known for & What i want to do with my life ahead.
In the end, Ladakh has been truly a learning experience and a very important trip for the kind person that i want to be ahead in future. It has been one of the most Badass trips of my life. I encourage every single individual, a child or adult, a girl or boy, a college going broke student or a well earning adult if you have the chance to travel solo to your desired destination? JUST GO FOR IT. Life's too short to sit at home and regret the opportunities not taken. and A HUGE SHOUT-OUT TO WANDER ON COMMUNITY FOR MAKING THIS TRIP A MEMORABLE ONE.
Thank you for your time, stay tuned for more!