Disclaimer: This isn't an itinerary of a trip but about anything and everything that one goes through while planning for one of the most awaited trips!!
Ok, so now let's start with introducing the soul character in our story :) Ever been a solo traveller to a completely unknown place? Or at least the 'organizer' of your group trip? Two roles don't differ much, I guess! Being the former, I believe travelling solo teaches you a lot every moment about yourself and the world.
Why and How I ended up choosing Sikkim?
I have been travelling solo to different parts of Himachal Pradesh for my last few trips which were making me quite comfortable. That's how we humans are, right? We end up comforting ourselves most of the time. That's when I thought that I didn't want to travel just but explore more and everything!
As compared to North or any other part of India, North-East is less explored which makes it an obvious reason for me to explore. Going through many blogs, Instagram post, articles, videos (whatever Google baba could provide me with) I came across this lake called Gurudongmar Lake - yes, the same lake you see on the image above!!
It was July end when I decided that I want to travel to Gurudongmar Lake for its beauty and for the reason that it was the second highest lake in India. As I learned more about Sikkim - home to three of the highest lakes in India, one of the biggest monasteries and also the only state which shares world's third highest peak and India's highest peak - Kangchenjunga with Nepal, I could only think of experiencing Sikkim entirely and completely.
How I planned to cover Sikkim in the least time?
This was the first time when I was attempting to cover the entire state within a few days. It was August first week when I started talking to locals from Sikkim to understand everything that would help me in my trip. And how do I get locals? Oh yes, quite obvious! All possible social media platforms :) Plus Army brats do have someone or the other in all parts of India! (found one person from my parents' contact too)
So! All these efforts together took one month of planning including learning the map of this little state, getting in touch with the management of different homestays and studying when tourism in Sikkim becomes off-season or on-season - which led me to design my trip that would probably cover 80% of Sikkim in the least possible days.
Approaching near to My Travel Day :)
Like a super curious kid, I used color pencils and sketch pens to draw that perfect itinerary in my Travel diary. Packed all my favourite books to read during my journey. My not so funky tees, and more than loose pants were all packed up and ready to be on my shoulders in that heavy rucksack. Oh ya, how can I forget my only travel companion! My DSLR <3
Everything was ready, my flight tickets booked from Bangalore to Bagdogra Airport. Few taxi drivers and homestays communicated about my arrival date and time. Set to start my journey.
Every plan seem next to impossible within 24 hours!
It was the day before my flight when I started getting calls from some homestays and taxi drivers that I have to either postpone or cancel my trip. It was because of heavy rainfall in Sikkim which led to massive landslides destroying many roads and blocking multiple areas. More than anything 1-1.5 month planning was hard to just let go. Hence ignoring every negative news I decided to leave. It was late night when I finished packing last things for my trip. Provided that I had to leave early morning for my flight, I was trying to look for some state bus which would drop me to Airport at minimum possible cost. And then suddenly a news flash as soon as I open Google baba!
NH10, the only road that connects Sikkim to rest of the country gets washed away due to overnight rains. Tourist stranded on either side of the road.
The Last point of hope for me dies here...
And my bad luck or good luck, whatever one finds! I work in the IT sector and leaves don't really come easy in Private sector job. Overthinking every aspect, I decided to not cancel my trip but postpone it.
On the same leave application email to my colleagues, I almost heavy heartedly replied to cancel my leave for the time being. Toughest part! Was to believe that the next morning it was not going to be Sikkim but Office.
Sikkim before anything now...
Does that also happen to you? You want something so badly to happen and when it doesn't for some unexpected reason....you become more dedicated and determined towards making it happen the next time???
Yes, that's what I am going through each day of my life since last few days. All I could think of, dream of is Sikkim. That colorful page of my diary awaits its perfect end.