When you’ve been travelling for long enough, you start calculating the benefits. You wonder whether your travels have made you a better person and whether all these journeys, that you’ve so far taken, have given you a deeper understanding of yourself – from within, and without
I found myself pondering over such infinite and boundless thoughts as I decided to stay yet another day in Charanag – a small village in Himachal, secluded from the-road-much-taken towards Manali – where I ended up being the (only) tourist in the entire town. Though in my mind I’ve always been a drifter, it’s places like these, that slow down my movement.
As I wandered through its small, cosy alleys it struck me that going slow, and sometimes going nowhere at all, and just sitting still – killing every minute as it approaches you, with a new challenge – is the best of all joys.
And here, in places like these, you find that joy. The joy in sitting still. In studying locals, and following their cultural routine to each day on end – while being amazed, almost incessantly, at their overall lifestyle altogether.
“Life here, is good,” said a voice inside me, as I found it escaping me, no more. I’d no plans, as I go about my every day here. Talking to locals, and sometimes, going on long and exciting walks with them, was the only few tasks.
I feel as far from the bustling life in Delhi as I geographically am.
In fact, I feel like I’m here and now. I’m this moment. I’m this thought. I refuse to dwell on what has been or what might be. And that’s what my travels, and places like these, have taught me – to live free.
And as I write these words while overlooking at Charanag, and a few other neighbouring villages, I only remember the words of Robert Frost…
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by”
Charanag is a small town situated 30 km away from Manali, in Hallan Valley. Home to a few dozen houses, the town offers a perfect tranquil atmosphere to those looking for a rural respite in the beauty of Himachal. Since Charanag has no tourist infrastructure, come here for not just for its fantastic views and fresh air but for a 100 percent local experience, and experiencing being the only tourist/or a group of tourists around
Further Reading about Charanag & surrounding, here: Hallan Valley In Himachal Pradesh