All posts tagged: Living Like Locals

My Workaway Experience In Rome

First things first: I was not sponsored to review workaway, which may otherwise feel once you read my post, but what can I do if my volunteer stay turned out to be the best. Moreover the fact that I had a great volunteering experience and that I encourage the idea of Workaway-ing, are not linked. In case you’re wondering what’s workaway… Workaway.info is a site where you can find volunteer positions in tourism, agriculture or as an au-pair anywhere in the world, and where potential hosts can hire you. You start by creating an account. All you have to do is sign-up, pay the fee for one year ($29 for a single person, $38 for a couple or two friends), and create a profile and description about yourself and what you offer. Once you have signed up, you can start contacting businesses or local hosts based on countries, cities, and/or type of work. The general gist in each location is that you get a room and board in exchange for 5 hours work a day. Well, that’s what it’s supposed to be like. But that totally depends …

Experiencing A Different Side Of Auli

After a failed attempt to complete Satopanth Lake trek, all on my own, I was literally not ready for another follow-an-unknown-trail challenge. It was time to find a place which offered me a comfortable camping site, and some rest. A good flat space and easy food options – was all I was thinking. And then the wind said “Auli”. I loved Auli. Not because it offered sights that were unimaginably beautiful. Neither was I excited about a riveting ski experience. Some people suggest that Auli has India’s best and possibly the world’s one-among-best ski resorts. And the convenience and excitement of long cable rides makes it even more popular. But there was another side of Auli, much beautiful and less known to its praisers. I happened to explore it as I reached the town in the month of May.  The sun was shining, and snow was far gone. Each gaze beheld a sight of nothing more than dead and glorious mountains – a few patches of grass, however gave the entire mountain a greenish tinge. …

My Journey Into Darma Valley

It was 1 in the afternoon, as I grabbed myself somewhere in the middle of Darma valley, riding under the rocky cliffs that mark the road till Nangling. The terrain looked quite walkable but the comfort of a motorcar was far more appealing, even if you’re to sitting on the roof. The peaks of Panchachuli glacier were still, at least, two days away from me. But I could already feel its presence. The sun was unusually bright. This was definitely higher up. At about 13,000 feet above sea level, the jeep wound up quite a bit. After a couple hours of ride, we hit a rickety local shop for some food. I was ready to order another vegetarian meal – for I was in Uttarakhand, and well aware of its vegetarian culture – when all of a sudden, my eyes caught hold of a sheep who was already butchered. A man was busy taking off her coat. Few people surrounding him on the scene. The lady serving at the shop asked if I fancy some mutton and rice. …

Charanag – Just Another Town, Across The Mountains

When you’ve been traveling 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 sometime 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 days …

Life In The Backwaters Of Alleppey, Kerala

Tourists in their fancy houseboats seemed high in spirit, with their impressive camera doing most of the work. But in the local ferry, the atmosphere was rather regular. Here, no one appeared to be in hurry or amazed by the arresting beauty of the backwaters in Alleppey – one of the prime highlights of tourism in Kerala. I heard a lot about the backwaters of Kerala. I heard that tourists here hire a floating houseboat and wander through its maze of interconnected lagoons, canals, lakes and inlets – home to a dazzling assortment of flora and fauna, and local villages. I heard that they spend days sitting on the deck, experiencing the tranquility of this place, with a book in their hand, while swiftly sailing through one village to the other. I wanted to explore this place too, but my own way. And here I was, in a government ferry, surrounded by a bunch of locals who were heading back from the mainland of Alleppey, with all the ration they needed, and a newspaper that they’d …

A Walk Into The Himalayan Woods

Travelling alone has its own benefits. It gives you that control where you can set an itinerary and then you can ditch it. Spending days in solitude also makes you more eager to chat with locals, absorb their culture and team up with them to make your journey more interesting. And that is exactly what happened to me when I was on my way to trek all the way to Deo Tibba. Deo Tiba is basically a 4 to 7 days trek depending upon how far you want to go. The base camp takes 7 days. The elegant Deo Tiba peak which is 6001 m high looks like half oval shaped egg. The journey starts from Jagatsukh village (about 20 kms from Manali), in a motorcar, followed by a great deal of walking through Himalaya’s pristine and untouched beauty, laced with the amazing forests and snow-clad peaks. But let’s not waste too much time speaking about its specifications, because we aren’t even going there. So as I said, travelling alone has its own benefits. And this journey just proved me …