From the Chilly nights at Ladakh to the scorching sun of Amritsar, from the deadly roads in kashmir to the smooth sailing Highways, from the mighty mountains of Ladakh ranges to the green plains of Punjab. This tour is unlike any other ones which you might have read in a long time. A tour with no plans, no prior experience and unending quest to fulfill a lifelong dream.Meeting more than a hundred on this solo quest and forging a lifelong friendships.Every step is more inspiring and jawdroping from the last. If you never went on a solo quest before perhaps this one will inspire you to take one. With no experience, no plans and everything done for the first time. Read on to know more.
It all started in the month of August 2016 when I made up my mind to travel to northern part of India. I got inspired by my best friend who had traveled every bit of India and looking at her pictures it actually made me a bit jealous. I had plenty of time because had just finished my graduation and I had not got the call letter from the company i had got an offer from.
I booked up the to and fro tickets to Delhi with a gap of 29 days. I asked my friends and they agreed to accompany on the tour. We researched every bit about the places to visit , drew cost estimates , got best quotes from travel agencies , booked tickets... In the middle of all these,i happened to meet my lecturers who had been to Ladakh. We heard a lot of stories and we literally had goosebumps hearing about the place. Then came a big jolt, just a week before the travels one of my friend dropped out and within a day i was back to square one as all of them dropped out.
I had a big disappointment and i slept on it and the next day voilaa!! i had a great feeling . i asked my friends again with a proposal to cut costs by booking to ladakh on our own but they did not want to take risks. All the hours of negotiations with travel operators,days of research went just down the drain. I had just 6 days left now and did all shopping :a 70l Quechua backpack, a pair woodland hiking shoes,meds,energy bars,sanitary kit,knives,powerbank,usbs,dry fruits,first aid kit.... i had everything anyone can think of .
Its always a dilemma for a solo traveler on what to take and what not especially when someone has never traveled solo before. So i took it all and maxed out on my baggage allowance (15 8=23kg) . Then i had a chance to meet my childhood friend who happened to travel solo for first time in his life. He told me about all the best experiences he had ,voila! i got best tips on where to stay ,where to eat, what to eat......
I had actually thought of booking room and staying alone but thanks to my friend i stayed at best hostels,met best people around the world and made friends with people from more than a dozen countries.
This tour has lot of firsts on cards: first solo,first flight,first rope-way,first rafting,first visit to mountains and lots of firsts.. But let me not bore you to death....
In a time spanning 29 days i traveled 6 states,1 union territory, travelled 10,000km ,met pro travelers from various countries,ate more than a 3 dozen food i have never heard of,had experiences which were incredible (both funny,scary)
In the future posts i will narrate every bit of my travels covering Leh-Ladakh,Manali,New Delhi,Agra,Mathura,Chandigarh,Amritsar and Ludhiana.
The one thing that propelled me to venture on this was the thought that if i complete and return in one piece alive i would achieve anything in this world.Sounds crazy but helped me in tough situations when i lost hope during travels.
Stay tuned to hear from this 22 year old Amateurish solo traveler from Mysore,Karnataka.( Am from southern India and i knew that none knew my place when i met people and so i sticked to southern India whenever people asked me where i was from)
P.s This is the first blog among a series narrating the solo travel covering 10000km 6 states in 29 days.
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