Month: June 2016

Solo Bike Expedition To Spiti Valley – An Ideal Itinerary

There’re some journeys that leave an imprint on your soul. And my solo bike expedition to Spiti Valley was one among them! Many years ago, my father happened to stay in Lahaul-&-Spiti. He told me stories about Spiti Valley’s raw and uninviting nature. It was from him, I knew how disconnected Spiti Valley can feel, from the real world. Time has changed though. Regular morning buses, which run daily, in different parts, now connect Spiti to its neighbours. Private cars and taxis also, at times, are quite visible. “Surely the Gods must live here, this is no place for men.” Rudyard Kipling But if compared to Ladakh, Spiti valley is still very harsh and desolate. It takes a certain amount of madness to drive on these uninviting, mesmerizing landscapes. And to do it solo – you need to be more than just mad. When I decided to drive solo, through this unfamiliar terrain of East Himachal – home to one of the ‘world’s deadliest roads’ – my sole intention was to see its natural vistas and being …

Tips For Solo Road Trip To Spiti Valley – All You Need To Know

‘We spend our lives trying to become something. To prove ourselves worthy, and important. Until we stand still, one day, facing the mighty nature. It is moments like these when we truly realize, how petty, how insignificant – human condition actually is’ I found myself struggling with these boundless thoughts, regularly, during my solo bike expedition to Spiti Valley – a trip which made me believe, in just 9 days, that everything falls into place when you really want it to. Once you embrace the true spirit of the journey, it reveals itself to you. A road trip to the world’s one of the most isolated roads in Spiti Valley, is nonetheless a tough experience. You need to drive for long hours, look after your ride, calculate kilometres, and take many survival decisions. And doing it solo is somewhere at the next level. Perhaps that’s what compelled me to try it out at first place. Now that I’ve I managed to complete the journey in 9 days and while camping each night, I thought why not …

How To Drive Across Spiti Valley Cheap, And In Less Than 5 Thousand Rupees

Spiti Valley is harsh and inhospitable in nature. With an average height of 12,500 feet above sea level, it consists of high alpine lands scattered with small postcard-perfect villages of mud-homes and monasteries. But when it comes to experiencing it, many find their pockets falling short. “25 thousands for 10 nights? I can go to Bali for a week, for that price,” and they would abnegate the idea. How Much A Prepaid Itinerary To Spiti Valley Costs A 7 to 10-day prepaid bike tour can costs over 25,000 per person – depending upon the number of members and the kind of accommodation being offered during the tour.  A comparatively cheaper option, however, which crams you in a standard 9 seater Jeep – starts from a whopping 15 thousand Rupees for a week-long itinerary. Now the only option is – if you want to do it super cheap – you go backpacking riding uneasy buses and staying in smelly dorms. Or, you take your motorbike out, change its flat tires, follow my 9 Day Bike Expedition itinerary, and have …

Why I Quit My Job To Travel

Last week, I took a wee trip to Rishikesh – the land of sadhus and of many people’s spiritual rebirth. I have a personal affection, some attachment to this place. This is where I once spent two months, practicing meditation and taking spiritual lessons. But this time, my arrival was accompanied by a sense of unexpected realization. I wondered, as I grabbed myself walking along its frenzied, confused walkways, that how lucky I am to experience places like Rishikesh again and again. And yet, it is never the climax of my trip. It is always the beginning. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls” Anais Nin It has been more than two years now, since I quit my job and started travelling, yet I never shared here why and how it all happened. It would be nice to say that I wanted to understand myself, and find my inner consciousness, but frankly speaking, it’s not true. The only part which is true is that I’ve had enough living the same boring 9 …

Timelapse Of My Camping-Site-In-Making, In Chandratal

During my very recent 9-day solo bike trip to Spiti Valley, I camped almost every night. This helped me to keep my budget under a good control and stay away from the most ‘sought after’ tourist places — as I had the security to have a roof at night, no matter where I go. Here, a quick time lapse of my temporary dwelling (on day 8) in making. Pretty neat, eh?Location: Chandra Tal (about 4,300 m above sea level) Also See: Concluding Video Of My 9-Day Solo Road Trip To Spiti Valley Subscribe to my Youtube channel, for more travel videos. 

Concluding Video For My 9-Day Long Solo Road Trip To Spiti Valley

It takes a certain amount of madness to drive on Spiti Valley’s uninviting, mesmerizing landscapes. And to do it solo, you need to be more than just mad. When I decided to drive through this unfamiliar terrain – home to one of the ‘world’s deadliest roads’ – my sole intention was to see Spiti’s natural vistas and experience local and indigenous cultures.Here, a 2-minute video of my very recent Solo Bike Expedition To Spiti Valley. And brace yourself for many such journeys to come… Also See: A One Minute Video Of My Camping-Site-In-Making, In Chandratal Subscribe to my Youtube channel, for more travel videos. 

9 Ways To Travel Smarter And Cheaper

When I tell people that I’ve been travelling for the past two years, without having any source of steady income, they frown upon me, and ask, without sparing a second, “Then how do you fund your travels? You must be rich.” People think travelling is an expensive hobby. They think it is only possible to travel, and travel regularly if you either earn in an impressive figure, or your father was hopelessly wealthy. In my case, neither were true. Perhaps that’s why, when I’d initially told my friends, two years ago, that I am quitting my job to travel, they couldn’t believe me. A few asked if I’d won a lottery.  Sure travelling costs money. But if you do it the right way, you might not need much of it. For example, three weeks in Cambodia should take no more than USD 350. Similarly, two weeks in Thailand should be travelled in under USD 280. And then travelling cheap doesn’t mean living under bad conditions. If you go for local experiences or look for something beyond the traditional way …

The Dilemma Of Leaving Everything Behind And Travel

I remember when I left for the first ever grand solo adventure of my life, after quitting my job, I was feeling a bout of the jitters. Fear, excitement and curiosity – they all were playing their part. I had no idea what to expect. Which guidebook to follow. No one among my friends had ever done it before. In three words: I WAS CONFUSED. I grabbed myself from pondering over this inexperienced moment of past, yesterday, when I received a 700-word long email from one of my readers, mentioning that he has been holding on to a marketing job for the past 10 years, but now he wants to leave his career behind and travel. He wrote to me in search of some kind of assurance. But more than that, as I felt, he needed inspiration. Inspiration to let go, to break free, and experience the world of travel. To Travel Is To Find New Opportunities For me, long-term independent travel is like a holy grail. People who haven’t done it before, have absolutely …

The Joy of Slow Travel

I was recently trying to put all my logical judgments and answer a burning query of mine “why do I consider myself a traveler, when I address most of the people, including many friends, as tourists?” I mean, I take the same road, experience similar locale, and possibly meet the same local people. So why this demarcation? Is it the term ’a traveler’ which has some sort of bounding appeal to it? What makes me a traveler? I realized the answer, on its own, while having a conversation with an old friend, who came home for a quick visit, a couple of days ago. He was getting married in 6 months from now and was busy doing overtime to get promoted before the marriage. Under such convoluted circumstances, I asked him if he fancied a short motorbiking expedition in the Himalayas (I really did mention the word ‘short’). And the first thing he said was: “For how long? Give me the dates when we are leaving and arriving.” I took a little breath, pondered, and then described …