I had always planned on traveling to West Meghalaya, towards Nongstoin and onwards to Tura, but could never make a concrete plan. None of the frequent Shillong visitors in our small town had ever ventured to that part of the state. There was no need, they said. You will want to see Shillong town, the road to Sohra, Cherrapunji and probably Dawki if you have that extra bit of adventure in you. They were right, of course, in their own ways.
When I showed the location of Nongkhnum to my family, they were skeptical. They had played it safe all these years, like all tourists in Meghalaya, and stuck to the common path. The roads are unknown, the weather unreliable, and the people strangers. I would have agreed had this still been 1995, but technology had enabled us to travel beyond our wildest imaginations. People make bucket lists all off the internet, without the need for consultations or calling distant relatives. I convinced them and we were off the next morning, crossing Shillong just after eight.