She believed she could, so she travelled alone.

Tripoto
18th Aug 2019
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Day 1

After procrastinating my solo trip for a couple of years now, I finally decided to go for it. I had this strong urge to meet the mountains and specifically Himachal mountains from almost 6 months now and I delayed the want waiting to find someone to accompany me. Then somehow I started coming across the pictures of Himachal that provoked me and the craving for the mountains got out of hand. So much so that I finally decided to go there alone. Was scared that I would change my mind so didn't give myself that time and booked the flights right away and then I allowed the feeling sink in that I'm really doing this.

For most of the people it's not a normal idea to travel alone and I didn't know if I would enjoy it, frankly speaking because I have always had a company for my travels. But that exactly made me think that I should definitely go solo this time to experience it.

Coming to the trip I chose Mc Leodganj for obvious reasons. Cool cafe's, great hostels, known place, Tibetan culture and most importantly the Himachal mountains.

Day 1 was just about traveling from Mumbai to Delhi and Delhi to Dharamsala.

I took the bus from Delhi to Dharamsala. The bus left at 8.30-ish from Delhi - Majnu ka Tila and reached Dharamsala early morning at 7. Costed me 850/- rs. I would recommend this bus.

I believe in budget traveling so I took the metro from Delhi airport to reach Majnu Ka Tila. The metro is right outside the airport making the commute easy. Costed only 90/- bucks.

Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Day 2

Reached Dharamsala early morning. The first thing I did was to stare at the mountains and soak in the feeling. I'm here, right in between these gorgeous mountains all by myself. It was liberating. Then once I felt it completely I started looking for a cab to reach my hostel which was in upper Bhagsu. To give you some background of the area, when you travel from Delhi, Dharamsala is where the bus drops you which is like the main town. From there, Mcleodganj is upward about 7km. Bhagsu is an area in Mcleodganj where the Shiva Temple and Bhagsu waterfall is located and Dharamkot is upward of Mcleodganj by approx. 3-4kms. Now when I say even 1km it's not a straight walk in the mountains as you know it, so it takes generally more than 40mins.

It was blissful to be here, right in the middle of these humangous mountains and greenery. It was early morning so there was dew on the leafs. All so fresh. I reached my hostel, dropped the bags and left for a walk. Wandering without a map or clear destination in mind was new but so exciting. I reached this gorgeous area, stopped to catch my breath and sat there for almost two hours. There were so many different kinds of birds chirping around. Cool breeze on my face and mountains for my company.

Had you asked me here what do I want else from life, my answer would have been absolutely nothing more than what I'm experiencing right now. But then we are only humans and after couple of hours my tummy wanted more from this life. So I went back to my hostel for breakfast.

The people I met in the hostel who run the cafe were amazing. They were locals so they spoke about the place and played lovely music. Actually the music was amazeballs. That reminds me I forgot to take their playlist.

By 2pm I left for Shiva Cafe. Let me make one thing clear here, my intention was to just be at this place. So don't expect me exploring a lot of places and writing about those here. It would just consist of cafes, walks, food and experiences.

Ok, so coming back. I hiked to Shiva Cafe which was super challenging. Well it depends on your fitness level but still I would say it isn't a cakewalk. But the views make up for it. Actually over compensates for all the short of breath and tired that you would get.

Finally reached Shiva Cafe and realised this was the best decision. This place is something. I never wanted to leave from here. The food is good and I had cold coffee almost everywhere in this trip.

The weather, view, good food, beautiful music, book and of course my cold coffee is what looked like a perfect life.

Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amruta Gadgil
Day 3

I woke up early around 6:30-7:00 and went out to absorb the freshness in the air. The cool breeze and the smell of mountains. Went for a short walk, petted the dog and came back to the hostel to sleep again. Hey, I woke up early on my vacation, I'm allowed to sleep for sometime again.

Around 12:00-ish left for this cafe which was always always always on my bucket list - Illiterati Cafe. Decided to walk down to main Mc Leodganj. On my way found this cute Tibet bakery which had the best chocolate rum pastry. Yes, walking was worth it else wouldn't have found this gem.

Finally reached the cafe, ordered a cold coffee (of course), picked a book and sat here straight for the next 7 hours (yes, you read that right). I just didn't realise where the time went. I read, ate, paid attention to the every changing weather - you could see the mountains and then in no time they disappeared behind the fog, spoke to some really nice and clever people and spent some real quality time with no one but myself. Guess, this is what we never do. Having time for everyone but ourselves.

I forced myself out of this place because it got so dark and I had to go far, also hiking some part, remember as the cab goes only till a certain point?

But left contended. Thank you Illiterati for surpassing my expectation. Came back to the hostel to a good musical night. Ate my dal chawal and cold coffee (Yes, with dal chawal - so what ????) and went to sleep like a baby.

Oh yes, so last evening was not so good. It was my first day which went well, came back to hostel early evening to myself and then as the sun went down I felt lonely. Writing this so you know it's not all just fun when you travel solo but mostly it is ????. You just need to know the facts so you know what to expect.

So I suddenly started feeling dull and lonely and all the synonyms of sad. Didn't know what to do and was too dark to go out so spoke to couple of friends. But then I had come here on my own for a reason right, to spend time with myself so I went to my room and sat there doing self talk. Yes, it worked. Bottom line, speak to yourself and remember to be polite and honest. Acknowledge every thought and put it to rest.

So was I feeling lonely? Sure, but I never didn't want to be there, and I never wished that anyone were there with me. I knew that I needed to do this and that I needed to do it alone.

Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Day 4

Today I felt a bit adventurous so decided to step out without a plan. I'm telling you, it's very exciting but super scary. 50-50 share of both these feelings especially because you're on your own. I left and started walking upwards (told you, felt adventurous today but what was the need to go upward ????) with no clear direction in mind. And I got lost ????. But I assure you it was fun. Of course at a point it felt like I'm going to be stuck here forever (obviously a lil drama here) and I started laughing at my own thoughts. Then decided to find my way out and got back on track. Met this amazing Spanish woman who lives there now. We spoke for about an hour and I learnt so much about her that will stay with me for life.

Finally could see a village and was super hungry and tired. Had no idea where I was or how far I was from my hostel coz of this stupid promise to myself of not using the maps today at all. Decided to go sit in the first hotel/cafe I come across and hog. Didn't do that coz someone told me to go to this cafe which is really good but another half an hour walk. So I obviously walked against my own will and finally reached the cafe. This was Dharamkot.

There are so many Israeli's who live here and have shops full of beautiful dream catchers of so many kind. There was a waterfall nearby and the sound of gushing water was heavenly. At the cafe was welcomed by these 5 dogs. Reward for walking that extra half an hour I guess. Ordered my cold coffee and their special thali and played with the dogs. Have no pictures with them coz they don't leave you even for a sec and hate when you touch your phone. No, I'm not kidding. Such cuties ❤️

After pleasing my tummy and resting my feet I left for the hostel. Again, without maps and this time I was scared because anytime it would turn dark now and I would be doomed if lost. But with the help of people, my own gut feeling and recognizing the roads from where I came I finally reached a familiar road. Sigh of relief. Reached the hostel to this beautiful music and people playing various music instruments.

What a perfect end to the day.

Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Day 5

Had to leave for Delhi this evening so tried to make the most of my day. Went for a healing therapy, yoga session and Odissi dance class. I know I should have done at least one in the last 3 days but I'm a slow learner. Please go for these classes when here because they're really good. Very different and soothing experience.

Left for Delhi in the evening with memories that will be only mine.

I urge you to go for atleast one solo trip if you haven't already. I travel a lot but still took so long to go somewhere on my own, but like they say "better late than never".

Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Photo of She believed she could, so she travelled alone. by Amruta Gadgil
Be the first one to comment