Growing up in the chaotic fast-paced city of Mumbai, I have always been a sea lover. The sea resonates with me and it reminds me of home. Every time I am in a city that has a coastline I feel at home. The sound of the endless crashing waves soothes me and takes away my stress.
Mountains are nice, but every time I visit the mountains, after a while, I long to come back to the sea. Just sit at the beach and let time fly. Working for a backpacking travel company, I went on a month’s long trip to Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh. This trip changed my perspective of being in the mountains.
I was looking forward to travel to the backpackers’ haven, Parvati Valley, which included places like Kasol. I knew I would long to come back to the city. But backpacking in the Himalayas during the month of February was different.
Here’s are a few things I learnt during a month-long travel to the Himalayas:
1. Early to bed and early to rise-
City life often gets too monotonous and boredom leads to excess use of social media. Being out late until wee hours becomes a lifestyle. Hectic work life and irregular unhealthy eating habits get you lethargic. When you’re backpacking and constantly hitting the road every day either hiking or trekking your body gets its physical workout followed by a goodnight sleep. Waking up to the rays of the sun glittering on the peaks of the snow-capped will make your day.
2. Adapting to unpredictable weather and uneven terrain-
The Himalayan weather is unpredictable and it rains and snows abruptly. The temperatures fall way past one’s bearable limit. Backpacking the Himalayas even for a week help you get acclimated to the weather. One also gets used to uncertain weather and you’ll learn to be vigilant and prepared.
3. Minimalist attitude-
The mountains are full of nature and solitude. However the lifestyle in mountains are tough. You may have to tick off a few things you would generally include in your shopping list. You consciously learn to use the bare minimum things available at your disposal. Leading to a minimalist lifestyle.
4. Shed the cosmetics-
With the fresh air and nature all around, one starts to feel good inside out. With the walking and hiking while in the Himalayas, you no longer feel the need to impress people. Makeup and cosmetics don’t feel like a necessity. You will learn and appreciate yourself.
5. Silence is golden-
You’re so used to the city chaos that silence doesn’t feel good. In the mountains however silence helps you discover and get to know oneself better. Silence becomes a gateway to ponder and get answers to life’s questions. You start enjoying the silence.
6. Appreciate the little things-
You’re breathing, you have your basic necessities and you’re alive. With the minimalistic attitude that the Himalayas teaches you, it also helps you appreciate all the little things in life. Being grateful for a morning chai to getting access to clean drinking water.
7. Humility transcends-
If your suffering far too much vanity, living among the mighty Himalayas can leave you to your knees. The very thought of being a meagre individual amidst the mountains is a thorough lesson in humility and respect for nature.
Backpacking through the greens you often filter the noise and clear the clutter in your brain. To some extent, you might even find clarity to a long-overdue gruelling concern. Sometimes all you need is solitude for self-discovery.
So take a plunge, backpack and head to the Himalayas.
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