Traveling solo is a different ball game altogether and it's an adventure because you rarely can plan it and just have to make it up as you go along. When I thought of the idea of doing a solo trip I imagined I would have plenty of time to work and get mostly bored. I was googling what people do while they are solo travelling whilst my experience was completely opposite from that. I had to find some quiet time for myself to relax.
Most Google searches would result in activities such as observing people, observing nature and trekking to an destination but here is what my answer to this question is - You listen, because listening to others is much more theraipautic than any other thing out there. There are just so many stories that are waiting to be heard, so many lives that you can touch just by listening to what other people have to say. Before this banter continues further ahead, let's meet the people on this journey.
Kunal aka Youtuber
I wish I had half the tenacity of this guy. Why is it still easier to say to everyone that you are an UPSC aspirant than to become a youtuber in India? Clearly the stigma is very alive and very hard to get rid of. After walking 5 million miles he had the energy to speak 5 million words as well, time and again.
Traveling with him was astoundingly simple - I had very little to take care of. He made sure I got the best deals, best knowledge, best experience and best behind the scenes bloopers. May God grant you a youtuber to travel with.
Even when God knocks on his door for gateway to heaven, I am sure he would just ask the other God for better discount while the rest of us pay extra.
Jokes apart, I didn't agree with creative side of his work (obviously that's very little to complaint but as a friend I feel like I have every right to do so). More often than not when we are treading on an off beat path, we try and look for safety and security. Or maybe there is an entire population of India that uses YouTube that I am unaware of, but if I had an YouTube channel it would be entertainment rather than information.
Nevertheless, it's just making that choice, the first step is the hardest to take and as we go along the journey with resolve it gets easier with time.
It's always the local that leave a hole in my heart and ears bleeding. If you are going on a solo trip, make it a point to talk to the security guard , the cook , the driver because it would leave you little astounded and shocked at the same time. Every time I do, I just feel bad to be privileged and growing up with that basic logic of not channeling everything down by my emotional controller. Yes, capitalism is open for all, yes the opportunities do exist for everyone if they are willing to work but for that you need to believe in yourself and have an appetite for taking risks. He was a truck driver previously and had an accident which made his left side pretty much not usable. He became a chef to take care for his family.
The "Five Girls"
I think there was no arrow when God planned the cupid for me :P
I can say that I am omitting the names to protect their privacy but the truth is I don't remember their names. They were staying in the dorm with us and were final year med students or more like final year fed up students. What's interesting was that they were Kota coaching friends. Even I can plan a trip like that. Let's see what those fuckers are upto - asshole, bigger asshole , abroad, abroad, too irritating , too cool to reply to my text. Maybe my friendships were way more real and complex than them :P. Okay, maybe I can't but it was fun bunch of folks and the hangover of their interaction stayed with me even though I didn't sip a single drop of alcohol. Making politically incorrect statements to offend a lot of people is always a lot of fun.
Arun and Nithin
I think Arun bhai was the most knowledgeable person in that camp, It was a refreshing experience to understand the policies of Mughals, British India and Indian government over Dalhousie and how has that shaped the culture. His passion for adventure and building a backpacker house was unmatched. On the other hand was Nithin bhai who was a walking example of Netflix and chill and let's just say no more.
He was the first person I met in the hostel and gave me the boss vibe from day one. He was like that senior in college who has had done everything that is to be done and now just wants to be shining light for other people from his tribe to follow.
There were just lot of nuggets and emotional outbursts not only from other tourists but locals as well. People mostly have plenty of time as they go around visiting places and are open to talking as compared to cities where everything and everyone is a rush (including me).
If you haven't tried to listen to nature then there is no point of making the trip. You need to close your eyes and listen to the rhythmic beat of your pumping heart, the water trickling down from a crib, the gargantuan calm forest looking down for and at us while we crib in vain on our petty issues.
Also, I did zip line, paragliding, multiple long treks and visits to waterfall. Posting some of the pics.