If you're reading this , probably you are a wanderlust bitten soul like me, only those end up in my life and blog. And with the recent times of pandemic, it has to be hard for you and me. Caged up in four walls , it is natural that we are facing bouts of frustration and severe lack of purposefulness. Even after cooking good meals , watching captivating Netflix shows , it cannot substitute the feeling of wandering and magic that it holds for our heart. However, even if we cannot travel, we can induce some habits that we have while traveling , to make our days happier in mind. I am personally practicing all of this , and it did make a difference in my mindset and happiness quotient.
I would like to share all of this with you , and know if it helped.
1. Don't Mourn the Bad Day , Look for the Future.
Just like while we are traveling, some days are worse than expected. You miss your bus , get robbed , loose some stuff behind or might meet a accident. If you travel a lot , you know how it is that bad days, even if not expected , just arrives.
Do we stop our entire trip for one such mishap ?
Do we give up the joy of discovery of the whole tour , for one such accident ?
I do not. And I think , you never did too. Because , what is an adventure without the unexpected. We just hope for the best, and look forward to the next day of the tour. The current scenario is one such. The present pandemic is out of our control and so is the lock down , and all we can do is hope for the future to come.
I have already listed two places , that I want to visit once this lock down is over. One immediate destination, close to where I am stuck. A bigger destination for three months from the end of lockdown.
Mind it , both destination has to be with in your country. Domestic tourism will continue , even if foreign travel suffers for a year. Fortunately , all countries have beautiful places to visit. Surely there will be such places near your home, and in your country , you need to look forward to. Use this time to research about those places, find best unknown trails to hike or heritage or history filled accommodation to stay. This will definitely help you. Try this and let me know?
Also if you want options of destinations to visit after lock down, I can give friendly suggestions of places, after consulting you on your budget , liking's and regarding where you are stuck. Message me , if you want a friendly consultation.
2. Eat as if You Travel.
While we travel, we are very careful about how much we eat , and what are we eating. Travelers are generally foodies, and like to taste a lot of different cuisines in different places, however , we never eat a lot when we are traveling to maintain health and avoid unnecessary problems of over eating. This is essential to be practiced in times like this. I am sure , if you are connected with me over facebook and instagram , you get to see me, preparing a lot of different dishes that looks yummy. It is delicious indeed , what I cook , but whatever I cook , I never eat a lot.
Savor the best of foods by eating small meals. This helps you digest well.
Moreover, we now have more time to think, which mostly procrastinates a lot. This also induces unnecessary hunger in us, even though our activities are less. To avoid gaining a lot of weight in this lockdown , we must practice eating small meals , if not less. Just as we do , while we travel.
I personally eat a lot of fruits while traveling, it helps serve the hunger and digestion. I am also practicing the same in the lock down. When ever you feel you have a hunger craving, try to go for a banana or orange.
Let me know , your idea of meals during the lockdown.
3. Learn in every Opportunity, you feel like.
While we wander, we are curios and learning. With open heart, we embrace all the knowledge and wisdom, we gain from every people we meet and places we visit. It is one of the most essential part of traveling, and we must imbibe this in current scenario.
Often times , we do not do the same in our daily life, since the views and routines have saturated our willingness to learn and curiosity has been replaced with laziness. We see the world around us in same glasses , and we miss out on good lessons. But this needs to change.
I hope we all learn things in our own liking during this time of lock down. Read a book or watch a documentary, research on Youtube or download a language app to practice, but do not do it , without indulging your mind to learn.
Do not force yourself, and do not take a strict obligation to learn. You do not have to finish a epic Noble winning theory after learning. Do not think, you need to learn something to a optimum level, but keep an open mind , and give at least half an hour of the day to learning something. Sometimes , learning happens naturally when you keep an open mind, like it occurs when we are traveling. We need to keep the same attitude.
I for one, have learnt how to peel the potatoes and onions faster, how to make a Roti circular. I learnt about the Delhi Sultanate and about the tribes in jungles of Borneo , through book and documentaries respectively.
Learning can be of any mean, it does not have to be solving big math's problem or life's existential crisis. It does not have to be for passing an exam or being looked upon as a wise man. Learn because you can, and it is fun.
4. Physical Activities to make our body tired.
While we are on trips, we walk , hike , swim or do things that makes our body tired. It is one of the things that brings a good night sleep , and is a big reason, we find ourselves so happy during travels.
Physical bodies are not meant to be idle, and activities that feel like labor or stress our muscles, helps in health and happiness directly. Very few people do not enjoy hiking or swimming. It is simply because, the natural way of our physical existence is to indulge in activities.
In the lock down , to substitute this habit from travel, it is of most important that we indulge in workout activities , to keep our mind and health at ace.
Instructions and videos on Home workouts are easily available , for beginners and other levels , on internet.
I suggest you try Yoga in the morning and a workout session in the evening, that's what I have been doing. Turn on some music , and do it inside your room , in the balcony or rooftop. This will bring a immediate increase of good mood. I am sure a lot of you , already do this, but for the ones, who aren't , you must. It will affect your metabolism , helping your eating habits and digestion. It will also help you get good sleep and keep the cycle of day and night quiet well. Try this and let me know , how you feel.
5. Meeting New People.
One of the most important thing during traveling is meeting new people and learning about them. It helps us , open a world in its own. A new person , is like a new book with stories to read and know of.
Now substitute this aspect of travel , in this lock down , by digitally connecting with people. I am sure , you do spend a lot of time in social media , even I do , more so in this lock down. Use it to participate and meet new people. Join yourself in social media groups that you have interest about. For any art , photography , wildlife , travel or sports, there are groups in facebook, get yourself added. Participate in fun posts, and connect to people who share good content. They can help you learn about things , and open your interest to many more.
You should also Try to create a content of your liking and share it. Connect with people who find a interest in your content. You will meet a lot of like minded people and soon enough , you can chat and find facts about things that intrigue you.
I love the fact , that I learnt about mental-ism from a new friend connected over Instagram , another shared about visa issues and remedies for foreign travel. On facebook, I connected with IIT and IIM passouts , who would like to open up small cafes and home stays in mountains or travel destination and live life like me. With a lot of them , I have healthy debates and discussion, ranging from various topics as politics to spirituality. All in all, I met amazing people and made new friends. Some have invited me for hangouts in their cities and offered their guidance.
Keep an open mind as we do while traveling, and connect with people. I admit , at times you might hit some people you do not tune at all, and that is okay. Un-following, Unfriending and blocking is as necessary in social media , as it is in life.
But it should not stop you from connecting with your kind of people, your tribe.
So do give it a try. And if this feels we are on same page , do connect over with me too! I am sure , we have a lot of interesting conversation waiting.
So this are some habits from traveling , that I have induced in my days of this quarantine. This has proved to be useful and helpful in making my mind happier in the lockdown.
If you have any suggestion or ideas like this , please let me know. Stay safe , hope to see you on an adventure soon.
A UNESCO heritage city , Ahmedabad has a fine balance of all that is modern and of the past , that is bygone. While famous for its textile industry , which is why it was coined under the British , by the name " Manchester of the East" , this city has a lot of business rush. A huge part of India's GDP comes from this ever money making city and its high merchant culture. However , behind this crazy business hot spot , Ahmedabad holds on to its old world charm, which had interested me the most.
The modern day city dates back to 1411 A.D , when the ruler Ahmed Shah , built his capital by the Sabarmati river , and named it Ahamdavad ( as per pronunciation.) With time, the city changed hands to different rulers from Mughals to Marathas to finally English. Due to this transfer , a multi ethnic community and its presence can be found in this city. With such diversity the city , evidently holds its heritage architecture and culture in tact, all well.
A walk in the old part of the city has been my highlight to understand the essence of this beautiful place. The people in the old city still lives in the old quarters and hold on to their culture. This Quarters an example of old days colonies were termed as POLs. Each Pol was dedicated to a community according to religion or profession they belonged to. The daily life , has changed over time due to the arrival of modern day living and amenities, however , at times , some scenes around the corner , takes you back in the past. I would recommend you to be patient , while taking the heritage walk in Ahmedabad. Sip in the details well.
Jainism is very prominent in this part of India, and for Jains , animals hold a special value. This is why you will see a lot of squirrels and birds nesting around the houses. They are also fed by the residents around. If you take in the detail, every part of the house is a architectural wonder of the old world ,with beautiful craftsmanship. Being a tour guide who finds passion and purpose in history , it is a treat to understand the neighborhood. Each place talks of the history that has been sustained in the continuous living colonies around the old city.
Manek Chowk , the old city square was a hub of jewelers and diamond merchants. To provide security to the shops, they had started a night food market , which overtime became a very popular go-to spot in the city. If you are a foodie, a late night visit to Manek Chowk is must. However , in the day time, it is still a busy market worth wandering to see the old buildings , such as the oldest stock exchange in the country. It is every building telling a story in itself and worth knowing them. It is of no surprise that , Ahmedabad is THE FIRST UNESCO HERITAGE CITY OF INDIA.
Being a tour guide who has worked for some of the most renowned photographers, I enjoy going around places which are photogenic. Ahmedabad surely , does not disappoint with the old charm and vintage rustic neighborhood. For photographers , it is a treat to capture, and special mention to the old wooden doors. Keep an eye for them , their intricate details and curving are finest art in presentation. Such a thing reflects that people , in the city were quite artistic and savored the influence of heightened craftsmanship. It also depicts , peace and harmony was to be found naturally, since only then people could be affluent of such art.
A long lineage of Muslim dynasty has left mark in the old town with the grand Jama mosque that sits like the crown of the city. Built in 15th century , it is an archaeological wonder indeed. Ending the heritage walk here will be icing on the cake. All in all , Ahmedabad , lives up to its reputation and is definitely a city to visit , to learn the culture and heritage of India. Honestly speaking , I never planned to go to Ahmedabad, and it is the presence of a dear close friend who prompted me to go and visit , this beautiful city. I only wondered why I never thought of the city before , as a destination to try. I guess often we miss out on things kept quietlt secret , and I assure you , Ahmedabad does have , quiet great ones up its sleeve.
Ganges is the most holy river of India. This river gives life to a billion population from ancient times.
The walk towards Gangotri glacier always has a guardian mountain overlooking travelers. That is the Bhagirathi Massif that is seen in the above picture. Trekkers make their way through boulders towards the glacier, in supervision of the great mountain that is standing tall.
First light on Bhagirathi 2 Peak. It is one of the moments that no human who witnessed can ever forget. One of my favourite picture taken at 4.30 a.m in morning at Bhojwasa camp 3800 meters.
A moment freezed in time literally. A morning hot tea before we head out from Bhojwasa to Tapovan via Gangotri glacier. The chill was so much even in April end that you could see water droplets frozen on the tents outer cover.
The entry to Tapovan and the legendary Shivling peak in the background. For those who walk this trail, can never forget Mount Shivling. Its existence is ethreal.
At Tapovan there is this small shrine of Shiva Lingam at 4300 meters. Far one can see the backdrop of Bhagirathi Massif and in middle is the great Gangotri glacier. One of the best places for a shrine indeed. For if God is omnipotent, it would definately choose this place as its home.
Last light on Bhagirathi 2 Peak. Taken by trekker Shrabandi Poddar. I was too busy witnessing this rather capturing it. Hopefully this picture freezes that moment in time.
The climb to Tapovan from Gangotri glacier is one of the most thrilling and hard. In the background you can see giant waves of crevices in the Gangotri glacier.
The beginning of the trail from Gangotri Dham, a small town where pilgrims reach by road to worship Ganges. And from this town you take this trail to Gangotri glacier which is almost 14 kms. On the right is Mt. Sudarshan and on the left is Bhagirathi just peeping.
The Bhagirathi Massif in Dusk. Taken by trekker And amazing photographer Swapnil Kambli. I was witnessing it and you can see rhat black dot on the picture. That is me ofcourse. Look how insignificant we are in this universe.
First light on Legendary Shivling peak. You can never forget this moment if you had the opportunity to witness this. Its like your first kiss, always to be engraved in your memory till death takes you. It is this moments that makes us feel , a life well Lived.
A group of porters carry trekking equipments in the trek with Bhagirathi massif on background. These guys are the real heroes in any trekking or expeditions. If you can do talk to them , about how they live. Its a humbling experience and often takes away the complaints we have from life.
The Shivling massif from foot to head shot. Isn't it one of the most beautiful things you will see ? Taken by me in dusk as we were coming back from the Gangotri glacier.
Thats Gaumukh , meaning like a mouth of a cow. That is the snout of Gangotri Glacier , i.e the point where Ganges begin from the glacier. Its a divine experience to see this place. The most important birth place of the most important river in India. Tell me who does not want to witness this ?
That's me , in the Bhojwasa camp of the trek. I hope all of you enjoyed photostory and this does inspire you to visit the place.
Note from the Author,
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. I have collected so many thoughts and stories while being a Tour & Trek guide for last seven years. Sharing with you all, those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust to hit the road"