Hippy trippy in Manali

1st Nov 2014


Photo of Hippy trippy in Manali 1/1 by Varsha

A dear one once told me that when I share my experience I should ensure that when she reads it, it should sound like I am sitting in front of her and reciting my travel story to her. She told me not use many fancy words, but to just keep it simple and sweet. I have been holding myself back for a very long time to share it, but then I did realize it's more fun if I tell you my story, my way in my words. So, here it goes...
It was a series of events/ incidents (both good and bad) which changed the course of life for me, more so, some changed the events themselves. This journey alone was an eventful one to sum up...I know that not everyone, but many do have a reason to travel and my reason was no different. I just wanted a getaway from a busy life, the corporate world and the crowd and be somewhere where I could be at peace and mix amongst unknown people. As nice as it sounds, let me tell you that it is not easy to travel alone and spend days wandering by yourself. Regardless, I decided to run away (not literally) and do what I feel like or be where I want to. It all started in the arms of the great Himalayas and as I am writing this, it just takes me back to this untamed beauty of the nature. Here I was, in Manali and to be specific in Old Manali. I spent 17 days travelling alone, made new friends, saw new places and came back with a bag full of memories. No matter how much I talk about this amazing place, it's still less. This place has a magic and the kind of magic that spellbinds you and makes you feel like you belong to this place.
It's a small village with sparse population but the things you see and experience here are something else. I used to spend hours looking at the mountains, clad with snow. The pine trees and I never got tired of looking at this site. Locals were so humble, simple people and when one talks to them their simplicity is just amazing. This place has some small cafes, not the fancy ones but the ones which are unique in their own way. People come to these cafes, converse with strangers, make friends and it is just amazing to see everything going around you. Everyone around you has a different lookout towards life, so different than yours and this is what travelling brings to you. Know the unknown, be a multi dimensional thinker and much more. And this is where it made me think what do I want to do in my life? What is going to keep me happy in long run? Am I doing what I like? I had vague answers to all these questions but eventually I did have answers to all of them, but I am not going to disclose any of them now or else it won't be fun reading ahead. First few days I didn't have any friends or didn't know anyone around, so I walked down to almost every road I saw and somehow I did manage to enjoy it. Though I was alone strangely it didn't feel like I was, and I realized that I enjoy my own company more than I enjoy anyone else’s.
Slowly, people around my hotel got to know that I was a solo traveller, and was trying to explore the place and that is when I started knowing people around. I started to have lengthy conversations in turn making friends. I kind of started having fun being around strangers. I made some great friends during my stay and we still keep yapping over the phone about our time in Manali. We always made sure that we start our day with a ride to vashisht for a cup of coffee and then do whatever we feel like. Freezing ourselves on the bike rides we had such a good time and no matter how cold it was, we always did whatever we wanted to. We went to Solang valley almost every day and not because I really love that place, but only because I loved the road to the Solang valley. Every time we travelled back and forth, we stopped by the river for a smoke and sat there for hours doing nothing. We never got back home until it was pitch dark and couldn't bear the cold. Landing back to the hotel, we always turned on the heater and tuned into some radio station as we had no music system there. We spent nights listening to music and chatting. I never bothered to see a lot of places around as I was elated with everything that was going around and I couldn't ask for more and I did not. My friend was a local so he made sure that I know everything about the place that is supposes to be known or not known. He had immense knowledge about the history, tradition and the rich culture of this place and was never tired of telling me about it. In these days, I forgot that I was on a vacation and didn't want to end it ever. But then I had to say goodbye to this place and friends. This place brought so much change in my life and changed my perception about so many things. Finally, I knew what I wanted to do in my life and what makes me happy. So, I said to me "The Journey has just begun and must go on as long as I can..."

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