Yesâ€¦ you heard it right. To travel is to live. You must be wondering how come it is?
But for a wanderlust and Explorian like me, this is as real as my name. What we all want in our lifeâ€¦ to travel, fall in love and be happy right? So, I travel a lot, fall in love with my destinations, and thats why I am happy.
Travel makes you realize that no matter how much you know, there is more to learn always. We are not here to pay the bills whole life and die one day. So live, laugh, love, and travel That's my only therapy.
So it was last week of February when I got a call from Shridhar who is working in Paris as a material engineer, and he concluded his message in just one sentence. I still remember, he said, Hey Explorian.. get ready with your backpack, landing next Saturday at Delhi and we are going to Mt. Kedar Kantha trek right from there.”
And then I realized that we had made this plan 2 years ago but couldnt make it because of our job commitments. But anyways, I started my packing which is not that complicated for me, because after traveling 21 states, more than 200 destinations, 8 Himalayan treks and 10 road trips across the country it is just a routine work for me.
I couldnt even wait for 5 days to catch my flight for Delhi and start my another trip to the Himalayas.
Finally, the day is here. I crossed the boarding pass barrier and checked in to my flight with butterflies in my stomach.
Our first base camp was at Sankri, a small Himalayan village and well-known in most of the Himalayan trackers. Sankri is a beautiful Indian village situated in the lap of Himalayan range of Uttarakhand state, 1920 meters above sea level.
Our car was passing many beautiful sites behind and that explorian child in me was getting happy with those astonishing views.
From Delhi to Dehradun, and from Dehradun to Sankri â€¦.! It was a long 20 hrs journey but after reaching there every second spend was worth it.
I can still feel the Goosebumps when I am writing about it. We reached around 2 oâ€™clock afternoon and directlyÂ went under the hot shower.Â That beautiful evening was accompanied by local people with local folk songs and Pahadi momos with hot soup.
The chilling cold of 3 degrees welcomed us with the snowy wind. Â it was 12 of midnight and I was still waiting for morning to start my trek.
Shridhar was busy with his DSLR and lenses to capture milky way at the sky full of twinkling stars. Early morning Thapa (Our trek guide ) came with coffee and all our trekking equipment like trampons, getters, snow sticks, navigations, ropes, and other stuff.
After breakfast, we left with sparkling eyes all over up to the Himalayas to conquered Mt Kedar Kantha. Next 8 days we spent in or on the Himalayas.
Our first-day target was to reach our first base camp i. e. Shepherd campsite till evening. While tracking, even 4 km climbing might take around 8 to 10 hrs. Thatâ€™s what my experience is till now. It was a sunny and fresh morning. The temperature was around 7 to 8 degrees but due to extreme metabolism of the body, we were not feeling that cold at all.
Another group joined us at the same route. What else you want when you have a company of same crazy buddies like you (Sarcasm!! )
I can write many pages about the beauty and that astonishing environment of Himalayas and my track, butâ€¦. Limitations â€¦ HaHaHaHaâ€¦! With breezy wind and splendorous views, we reach to shepherd campsite and yes. I met with a handsome friend there. A mountain dog. I named him as .
No matter if you start your journey as a Solo Traveler but this nature will never let you alone. The group was about of 11 travelers till evening and we settled our camps there. Meeting new peoples while traveling and sharing our experiences with each other is something which can be understood only by a hardcore traveler.
All I really want to do is, spend my life traveling the world, reading books that take my breath away, drinking all kind of tea and occasionally write something. Is that too much to ask for?
Just imagine that you slept at night with clear sky and chilling wind and you woke up early morning with 1 feet snow around you. Yeah seems so filmy na.. but it happens guys. I fell asleep at around 3 oâ€™clock midnight because of heavy snow deposit on my tent. I cleared my tent roof by tapping from inside by my snow stick. I just checked the temperature in my navigation deviceâ€¦.. it was -4 degrees. The only thing I could do at that time was to pack myself in my sleeping bag and went to dreamland. Fortunately, I was already in heavenly dreamland.
Thapa was a good cook and his tasty food was helping us to gain stamina for next day climbing.
There is nothing like that feeling you get when you arrive at a place you have never been. I could spend my whole life traveling towards that feeling. Sleepless nights, no luxuries around, so long away from materialistic life and making tons of memories every minute. you can get all these when you stop loving materialistic things and start collecting memories by traveling.
After crossing altitude of 10000 feet, the speed of climbing gets low because of extreme changes in climate. but we had to climb 3000 feet more to reach to Mt. Kedar Kantha Summit.
More I climb up on the mountains more I become crazy, but its all because of the nature and splendorous, and fascinating beauty of scenes around me. One cannot sum up all that feeling in words. Someone said exactly right that travel leaves you speechless and turns you into a storyteller.
After 6 days of exotic and sleepless exploration, and before few steps of our final summit point it was almost impossible to step forward due to extreme tiredness. But the feeling of achieving an extreme point of that mountain was the buster dose for all of us. Achieving 14000 feet in snowy heaven is something you can’t forget throughout your life.
We started our last attempt to reach the summit so early in the morning so that we could spend as much as the possible time over there. A day before we enjoyed snowfall during our campfire dinner, which was another extreme experience for us. I clicked around 1200 pics and 50 videos in all my rout.
Believe me, my traveling pics are the biggest asset of mine. Around 11 o clock finally, the eyes could see the exact point we were climbing for from last few days.
Feeling Goosebumps even now when I am writing this line and memorizing that very moment.
3rd March, 1.00Â o clock finally we reached the point of Mt Kedar Kanth.
I stand at one corner of the mountain and gathered every possible glimpse of that place. Unbelievable, Unexplainable, and unexpected feeling. I pulled out my diary and wrote some lines. I sat on a rock and recalled all my life again in a few moments. Around 14 peoples were around me but it was so calm . only white heaven and chilling wind. More than enough for Explorian like me.
Traveling messes you up but in all the good ways. It leaves you always craving for more, an addiction that can never quite be met. Every place, every trip, every person is a new adventure; pulling you deeper into the love of wanderlust. Fill your soul with adventure and traveling and you will live a fulfilled life. For sure. I can spend all my life on achieving the same feeling I felt at this place. With millions of memories and billions of experiences, I had to return to our base camp before its getting dark. Life is all about that. Everything which is so rare is so precious precisely.
I left beautiful Uttarakhand with the promise that I will be back to Himalaya once again soon for my 9th trek. No matter what life will play with me in future but my future will be full of travel stories. There is a reason why my friends call me Explorian