As a Traveller I am constantly moving from one place to another. Learning about various cultures, traditions, festivals, languages, laws and much more. I meet people from all around the world and learn so much from each one of them. I am growing with every new experience, every new person I meet, every new thing I learn from a fellow traveller. And that’s the reason I believe that TRAVELLERS DON’T BELONG TO ANY COUNTRY….because they are constantly travelling and they are constantly growing.
I recently went solo backpacking in India. The initial plan was to have a week long trip which ended up becoming an almost month long trip. And I am so glad It did.
Every trip of mine is extremely special to me. It always teaches me something new and this one was no different. I had the most fun experiences and many first timers on this one.
I started this trip from Bombay and the plan was to go to Kasol, Malana, Tosh, explore some places around and come back in a week.
As a Traveller I hate to go anywhere with a fixed plan. I feel it kills the spontaneity. I like to go Travel with no return ticket and no middle plan. And even though I had a plan for this trip I didn’t follow it. And that was the best thing I did.
This was my first time in this side of Himachal. And it wasn’t too late before I realised that Kasol wasn’t the place for me. I found it too commercial. I expected it to be a lil unexplored. After a day in Kasol and spending some time in Chhalal , I went on this trek to Tosh.
Tosh was beautiful. It was exactly the place I expected Kasol to be. Not many people around. Extremely Pretty. And the best part was when it started snowing. It was super stunning to wake up to something like this.
This was all nice and beautiful but it was somewhere a part of the plan. The journey that began after this was totally unplanned and the best part of my Trip.
After Himachal I went to Jaipur for a day to attend a food festival I was invited for. I didn’t want to stay in a hotel so I booked myself in a Hostel.
I was sitting at the rooftop restaurant at the hostel and reading ‘Into Thin Air’ (I wanted to read it after I finished reading ‘Into The Wild’ by Jon Krakauer ). I was the only one sitting at a table which was for 8 people, so a group of 5 girls asked me if they can join in. I said ‘sure’.
After a brief conversation I got to know that the girls met each other while traveling and started traveling together. I also got to know that one of the girl is a chef. She said she is not a professional chef but she loves food and loves to cook. I invited all the girls for the food festival and they happily agreed.
The same day I met this guy from Italy who was in Bombay for 2 months working in a NGO and is now traveling for a bit. I got real positive vibes from all these people including this guy I met. So I invited him as well.
Now we were a group of crazy backpackers in this extremely fancy Food festival called ‘Gourmet Getaway’. Everyone was dressed in fancy Gowns and Tuxedos and we were in our Denims and T shirts. We are backpackers after all. No one was carrying any fancy clothes. We had great food, drank the best red wine and went crazy. We all became friends and had the best time together.
This trip was telling me each day that ‘This is Not it’. I am going to surprise you with new experiences every day. And I was happily accepting and enjoying it all.
The next day, while me and my new found friends were chilling at the hostel we met another crazy backpacker, Jannika.
Jannika was from Germany and unlike my other friends at the hostel who would sleep by 10pm, she was a night owl like me. (Yes, Sarah , Kritine, Jess , Meg and Fatima would eat dinner at 6 and sleep by 10). They called it their Australian culture.
I loved the positivity and the vibe of these 6 beautiful backpackers. We became real good friends and I cancelled my plan of going back to Bombay for Holi and I decided to spend Holi with them.
The hostel we were staying at had organised a Pool party for Holi. We all bought tickets and decided to go there.
It’s so different celebrating a festival in your home country with people from other countries who have no idea about the festival. It’s great explaining them the stories behind the festival and getting to know their side to it.
After a mad Holi party it was time for me to come back to Bombay. The girl gang from Australia left Jaipur. They went ahead with their individual plans. I had my ticket booked for Bombay. And just then I had another spontaneous plan waiting for me.
Jannika was going to Ranthambhore to do the Tiger safari and then to Varanasi. I had both these places on my travel list but I could never go. Jannika asked me if I would like to join her travel plan and I agreed.
So I postponed my ticket once again and we left from Jaipur to Ranthambhore on a General class train.
General class has its own charm. I had never experienced this madness before. No one has got a seat. You can sit wherever you get a place to sit. And there are atleast 4 people fighting for one seat. The entire coach is full of people with no place even to stand. We somehow managed to get one seat for the two of us ( That too because people knew we are not used to this madness, so they were being kind and offered us their seat). It was a great and a super interesting conversation we had with the people around. Everyone thought I am also from Germany and they started talking to me in English. They couldn’t speak English that well but they were trying with a few words they knew. I played along. I wanted to know what do they talk about me when they have no idea about me knowing Hindi. And I was right. They kept talking about me and Jannika in Hindi thinking that I don’t understand their language. One guy even told his friend about me being on my honeymoon and that I told him that.
I have experienced this on most of my Travel in India where people think I am from Spain. I get treated like a foreigner in my own country and its hilarious. This time in Jaipur when I went to Hawa mahal they asked me why I have a Rs 20 ticket as that’s just for Indians. When I told him I am from Bombay he didn’t believe me and asked me to show him my ID.
This trip gave me a lot of first time experiences. From Travelling on a General class ticket to Having no place to sleep to Sitting near the doors of a train and waiting for the Ticket Checker to give me a seat to Meeting strangers and Traveling with them spontaneously to Falling real sick and running around in a new city to find a good Doctor to walking non stop with a 15KG Backpack on my shoulders to Great conversations with people on a local bus and many many more such brilliant experiences.
Varanasi introduced me and Jannika to our third partner in crime, Colm.
Colm, a 38 year old from London with the Heart of a 25 year old boy. Full of energy and wit. He joined me and Jannika in Varanasi and we were a gang. We spent the entire day Traveling and exploring places together. We would sit by the ghats in Varanasi for hours and listen to coke studio Pakistan and Indian Ocean.
Colm , Jannika and I love food. We went to this cafe called The Dosa Cafe. It’s run by a couple in their 50s. Real tiny place but extremely popular and super yumm Dosas and Upma and Ginger lemon Honey Tea. The man owned a Photocopy shop a few years back. He wanted to do something else and came up with The Dosa Cafe. It started with a very basic menu of a few usual dosas and Idlis but today they have a massive variety of South Indian food. And what I loved about the place was that it had a super positive vibe with love all around. The couple don’t feed you because they want to make a lot of money, they do so because they love to feed people and you can feel it there. And it’s not just Humans who can’t go back from this cafe Hungry, even the animals come here and the man feeds them with the same love and warmth.
After Varanasi, Colm and I were planning to go to Delhi and Jannika was going to Amritsar and Rishikesh. But this time it wasn’t me changing my plan, it was Jannika. Colm and I somehow managed to convince Jannika to come with us to Delhi, spend a day with us and from there she can go to Amritsar or Rishikesh. She agreed and all three of us came to Delhi. We three had crazy time in Delhi and Jannika ended up staying there for 3 days.
Now when the trip was coming to an end for real we planned our next one together. We three have decided to meet in London in November and do a road trip all around.
I am extremely happy and I feel super blessed to have realised how important it is to Travel. It’s the biggest learning one could ever get from anywhere. I meet amazing people everytime I Travel and I am in touch with most of them. Everyone I meet takes away something from me and give me a part of their life and learnings. They teach me to be fearless, to be compassionate , to be kind , to be accepting and to be a better human being. I am growing as a person and as a soul everytime I Travel. Traveling teaches me to break free from this materialistic happiness and learn about the real happiness. It teaches me to celebrate life and relations. It teaches me to make mistakes and learn from them. It teaches me to trust strangers. It teaches me that it’s not about any country or caste or colour, it’s about the person. And that’s why I say it again that TRAVELLERS DON’T BELONG TO ANY COUNTRY AND I AM HAPPY TO BE A TRAVELLER. 😇😇