This state of being , like prisoners in zoo , has had both ups and down. Today I have decided to share with you the darker side of existence during this times. I will admit it took me quiet amount of thought to believe, that I will be vulnerable enough in front of you, and vent out on the unwanted feelings. In years of wandering , I have come to believe that honesty is better to keep, life simple and frank. In a age of think positive , and be positive , I do not know if this post will come out to be a little pessimistic. However , If my venting , matches with your situation, then be assured your and my misery is the same. We are both in the darker phase of the locked down.
One of the effects of social distancing and isolation from home, is that we are left, much more than usual, with ourselves. Who are we when we are no longer reflected in the faces of the people around us? Who are we without all the external recognition? No praise or even rejection. No feedback at all to define us.
This might have left us lost. Or, uncomfortable and unsettled. Maybe you’re feeling a little of that?
I do not sleep at night , only to sleep from morning seven to two in the afternoon. It started with the thought that days are better slept than to be feeling purposeless and locked in room. At night, I feel everything, often inexplicably. Joy and sadness. Thrill and anger. Frustration and ease. And, of course, fear. But also, of course, excitement and connection. To feel it all requires courage. Emotional courage.
It takes a lot to be curious about ourselves, after all.
Often I avoid myself most , like a ostrich putting his head deep into the hole , in the dark. There it sees nothing , and has a feeling no body can see it. Exactly how I try to do with my thoughts. Yet this lock down, has been extending and it was inevitable that my dark thoughts will come crashing down. So after keeping myself lost and happy with new cooking recipes and Netfix shows that I did not even enjoy, for around 50 days of the locked down, I could not bear this helplessness and uncertainty of life that has been thrown to us.
I am a highly social person , an extrovert , who likes to be with people and do new things every moment possible. It makes me good at my job, of being one of the Best Guides to travel with , yet it does not make me a sorted person, in this times of patience and introspection.
No matter , how many videos and podcast from Spiritual Gurus, I hear or read, it just does not make this situation any better. I guess you can relate , that it is harder to be followed, those instructions than to advice our friends , when they say , they are feeling lonely. It is our basic human need I guess to share and to listen, to communicate and to crave bonding.
But with no way out , any sooner , I guess we have to slow down to face ourselves, what some of us have long avoided. It can be scary and exciting , but most importantly do we have the courage. To admit, to accept our darker side.
It is one thing to be all alone in the mountains, with survival in mind , and another to be helpless locked down in uncertainty. And as a part of stepping up , I am sharing this, with all of you , that yes I am also miserable now in the locked down.
Yet now that I have shared , I feel a little more at peace. Admitting my human side, my monsters that rumble up in my ever overthinking brain.
The greatest lesson though from this has been to tolerate myself, even with all my fears , and all my insecurities. May be the most valuable lessons are learnt in the hardest times. Times which we often dislike and we are forced upon , rather than choosing. In a world that runs so fast , and is connected so well, I kept hopping from place to place. Taking in the adventures and wanders, only may be, to keep my brain busy from the monsters that lurked in mind. It is futile to run from them, as they are mine, they are ME. And today or the other , I had to own them. So here it is , I accepting them , and trying to make peace with it.
I am also amazed that when I called some of my friends, who live a same life on road, they have been feeling the same, and did not know how to share and who to share. That I am not alone, makes me believe , that you are not alone too. Talk to people who feel the same. Even if some of them says " They are Doing Great in the Locked down ." , Do not get deter , and call up another.
If not any , let me know, I will share the misery we both carry. There is no shame in finding life hard at times, especially , in times like this.
Even if it seems unending, this lack of freedom , I have my hopes that we will see each other in travels by July!!!!
For people from the sun scorching plains of India , winter strikes to be the most magical time. A time when pleasant weather sweeps in the plain, and the snowfall changes the known landscapes into extraordinary sights. So today I am remembering my first winter in Himalayas back In 2014. Working as a trek leader for an adventure organisation , I was stationed in the region of Dalhousie , Himachal Pradesh, for two long months of peak winter season. While trekking in such environment has a lot of physical stress, but the memories made, are surely beyond what can be termed " beautiful ".
Walking through hard snowfall , leading batches after batches has a toll on your knees. Layers of skin burn due to the sub zero cold and dampness all around, with fingers and feet having the risk of blood clotting and eventually frost bite. But with such risk and hard work comes the ethereal views of landscapes , that I was lucky enough to capture with my basic digital camera. Check them out and the stories with it.
In the small wildlife sanctuary of Kalatop, nestled in Dhauladhar range above Dalhousie , I was stationed for a month. This was my little cottage. Built during the colonial times with Deodar trees ( Silver fir ) , it was warm inside for the nights. However continuous snowfall kept everything wet and damp, and the fire place could not be used. I could easily call this one of the best homes , I have had my fortune to stay in.
Walking out of the sanctuary , one could reach a tiny hamlet of temporary settlement. During the summer months when snow was no where , this is used by people of nearby region. A nearby Hindu temple which gets opened in summer , brings flocks of tourist , and makes this hamlet the perfect trade post. In the winter , the snow claims there empire , leaving the houses and giving a feel of haunted hamlet.
Even the most ordinary of landscapes turn magical , as snow spreads its wings around. A seating around the corner in the village which might be overlooked in any other times, becomes a perfect spot to romanticize and miss someone you love. How I wish , I had her beside me to sit, and sip in a hot cup of coffee.
Tell me who would you like to have with you , in such a magical place?
Khajjiar is a very crowded tourist spot throughout the year. Its rolling green meadows and velvet touched pine forest depicts a reflection of Swiss Alps according to Indian tourists. Hence it is always flocked by herds of tourist all the time except winter. Winter means roads are often closed due to the high snowfall , and only those like us who has a love for hiking can reach here. The green gives away to white , the famous lake freezes and people can walk over it easily but carefully. A fantasy world is created hence forth, with not much people to disturb you, you might just feel you have walked in Narnia. Such is the beauty of winters.
Heavy snowfall is a common occurance in the high Himalayas. At times with in four to five hours the snow can reach six to ten feet. In such a case, everything is stranded on the road for next few days untill the authorities come to open up. If you are a person who has no much obligations in life , like me , you will have a good time. Or else for people with a limited time in hand for vacation might get stuck and find themselves in knee deep problems , with knee deep snow!
However hard life may be , winter is just fabulous. Personally it is my favourite season. A season when you see the nature has let go of everything , embraced an ending , only to begin anew. Movies like Frozen and Narnia , has always stirred a beautiful picture of winter in mind, and being in India , it is easy to have a budget experience of such a fantastic season. If you are in love with winter , awaiting snowfall or planning to make a magical unforgettable memory like me , do use the next four months from December to March , to fulfill yourself. For any kind of advises or to plan a tour , you can always hit me up. Also write about your favorite memory from winter , I would be glad to know.
People tend to do something right , even though, they enjoy themselves in something else. And the best example of it is, the fact, that so many people I met love the countryside and village life for it's calm , simple and ordinary ambience. Yet they choose to build their life around bustling cities with their stressful ambience. Why we do it , is a deep resonance of the sub conscious mind and it's will to achieve a perfect life , even without knowing what actually " perfect " means for each of us individually. I won't go into that detail, for it's a detour of how our mind works but most of us do what we feel right, rather than what we actually enjoy. The total nuisance is in the Rights and Wrongs, inbuilt in us by years of conditioning in school , family and society.
Anyways , Everytime you visit small villages around the places you travel you get a slight conviction that it's not always peaceful to be trying to be right. And that is exactly this small village and it's residents taught me , while on my time there.
India throughout has picturesque landscapes. The India villages find their places in those extraordinary surroundings to a wanderer's eye. During my recent tour in South India, in the state of Tamil Nadu , I came to know about this village from a local wanderer and definitely made time to visit here with my ongoing traveler from England. It's an worthy effort to seek beyond the ordinary, and that for a Tour Guide means, better service and recognition from his traveler. I couldn't miss out on that opportunity. For a whole day we decided to live and explore around this well kept secret village.
Nestled among the hills of extended Eastern Ghats, close to the touristic town of Kodaikanal is the small village of Poombarai. The region of this village is quiet dramatic , as it lays in a bowl kind structure , walled by hills on every side. The village is agriculture based and all throughout the bowl, they have perfectly managed step cultivation with inch accuracy of perfection. The different terraces and steps add on to the colours of the village and surrounding, making it one of the prettiest sights I have ever seen.
The houses in the village are made of red soil tiles very ethnic to this land. It is the red soil with minerals that helps them grow such a rich harvest. The roofs shimmer in sunlight , and the walls are painted with bright colours, giving a beautiful eye catching contrast to every corner of this residential area.
My traveler and I , both enthusiastic about this bountiful surrounding we were in, decided to hike around the farmlands before heading in to the village . Eric , my traveler from England was a farmer himself and felt at ease and amazement both at the same time. He knew more about the crops that were growing than me. Probably because he is from the same kind of terrain, where as I am more local to the lofty high Himalayas and the agriculture there.
Prominently five crops were to be seen around. Majority was garlic. The whole area can be called a Garlic Haven, which reflects in the local food we tasted later. Second was the carrots. The sweet and tasty carrots. Other than this you find beans , peas and paddy. In a year they have three types of crops and do the crop rotation, which helps them keep the work on land going.
The farm lands are curated and organized in precise accuracy to use up the land as much as possible to most optimum ability. Tiny trails going through them were chosen by us to walk around, as we saw in far , the local men with strong bulls ploughing for the next set of vegetables. The people of Poombarai are as beautiful as their village from souls. The farmers in the field were so delighted to have us in their field, they offered their produces for us to taste. It was a first time for me to taste carrots straight out of souls and that was delicious. Peas were sweet as well , but I have had it in Himalayas too. Though the love involved in gifting them to us made it special on many ways. I am not a avid vegetable lover , but if I find this kind of it more, I have no complaints.
Lastly every part we went through, we were invited to eat food with them. We could only oblige a few, since of our already vegetable filled-up tummies.
What stuck me most, is though, people belonged to different sectors in financial conditions, that was evident yet all of them lived almost in same ways. Their houses looked the same , and the food eaten. It didn't matter how much they earned , it is their way of living that connected them.
Once we were passing by a house located distant from the main village, in the base of the farming fields. The farmer and his wife was having meal when we were passing by their farm. Without knowing our language, they just with gesture showed us, if we wanted to eat with them.
That was eye opening, to do it to strangers , in middle of your meal randomly. I can't imagine anyone doing that in the technology evolved more educated cities that we are from.
This people work hard to produce the food that we only eat as parasites , and just like me , I am sure a lot of you too, have no idea how to farm or actually create them. It is of no secret that we of all are the most dependant race. The ones that we live in the cities and have no idea of how to produce our own food. And it is such that why we have to keep living there and do things that seem right, just because it covers up our inability to live an independent life enough. Our dependency makes what seems right , and our dependency also does not let us enjoy the things we do. At the end , I am sure most of us would like to know , how to produce our own food, and live this content life that reflects in smiles of the people of Poombarai.
What is your take on this ? Have you ever felt useless because you can't produce your own food ? Let me know. Thoughts are personal and garnered while my tour guiding trip of South India in February last week.
I am considering that if you are reading this , you are either fresh out of school or going through college and have a dream to see the farthest corners of the world. Your friends partying in same old pubs and smoking parlors doesn't make much sense to you , and you find happiness in discovering a old heritage eatery , rather than going for shopping. If this description almost suits you , but you have not much idea how to begin the process of living your dream life , this post is definitely for you.
Here I have synthesized a list of seven super cool professions , that is most suited for students who want to travel the world and beat the conventional work options. Mind it , this professions are only for those who find content in uncertain adventures and want to live a life beyond the comfort zone. Also , all of the following professions are more practical in outlook than theoretical , so you need a lot of passion to shine in the field. Moreover . being very unconventional choices this industries are less competitive and not yet saturated like Engineering or Medicines.
So if you are just ending your school and not sure about what you might just want to do or study in college , this list is going to help you. And for those who are already in college , I urge you , its always best to change the road NOW than to regret far later. So if your current college course doesn't make any sense , change and take up any of the profession listed below for a life where you get to travel a LOT and for FREE , WHILE EARNING MONEY !
Lastly , I have compiled a basic brief on every profession and how is it like to be in that field. For detailed information about which college to apply for, or how to go about the procedure , you can always message me and my consultations are free as long as you treat me with a Ice cream when we meet.
1 . CHEF
One of the most glamorous profession of our times , a good Chef is in demand throughout the world , always. Work load is high in the fresher years as you learn the tricks of the trade , but as some time passes , not only you get to taste the luxury of the hospitality industry , but also you can leverage your professional skill for a work in any part of the world.
You can do a part time chef course ( Diploma ) from any hospitality university or hotel management school , or better go for a full time degree. A lot of good chefs after two years in the industry, get a chance to go on cruises over the Atlantic or Pacific, visiting countries and destinations that you dream of. So if cooking comes natural to you , I recommend you this!
2. Cinematography / Video-graph er & Editing.
All the travel documentaries or adventure movies that we see , depends on the team of amazing videographers and cinematographers that work in it. Needless to say , that had to go to those wild and extreme places to get those shots. Hence , this is a very useful profession to get yourself a degree or diploma in. A lot of good media schools are coming up where you will find the best options to start your mark, on this one. Editing skills on computer is a hard skill to learn , however , now a days , its compulsory for a videographer to learn the basics of it. With a good camera knowledge and editing skill you can leverage your skill to get free stays while you travel at most of exquisite and expensive destinations easily.
3 . TOUR GUIDE
This is the profession , I can vouch and tell most about , since this is what I do. A tour guide is not only a random local guy who takes you around a monument, but someone who shapes a whole vacation and tour experience for people. A Good Tour Guide is always in demand by Travel and Tour companies for rendering the best services to their clients. To put it in words , a tour guide is paid to Travel ! What more could you ask for. The initial days are hard with work on and off , but as your services get popular , you are even invited to work in different countries for premier high class clients. All of this is a reality since , I am living it. To start a career in tour guide , get yourself a course in travel and tourism college. A degree with good human communication and interpersonal skills is required if you want to make a name for yourself.
Another hot profession from the hospitality industry , bar tending jobs are one of the coolest in the world. Not only are you, the heart of the grand parties , but every one wants to be your friend obviously. You seem to have magic in your hands and you are paid well to have a great time. Same as Chefs , you can work in luxury cruises or big party destinations such as Thailand , Bali , Ibiza or summer party festivals all over the world. Alcohols are free , music is free , entry to best festivals are free and over it you get paid for it ! Sounds alluring ? there is a variety of bar tending school throughout to get yourself a degree and a diploma to start your journey!
A naturalist is someone who is an expert tour guide only for specific regions with vast amount of knowledge in its field. Naturalist mostly work for expedition companies or wildlife sighting tours. A naturalist might be expert on Tigers and work for big luxury jungle resorts or they can also be expert on Arctic weather and work for cruises that ply to Antarctica. Naturalist is the hardest of all the profession mentioned here. There is no direct course to become a naturalist, but ways to become one. You need to be an expert in geology or oceanology , or an expert on wildlife by studying zoology or attaining a research. Once you are an expert you are open to submit your knowledge to find a work in expeditions. Best suited for people who would love to work with animals and wildlife, or extreme earth conditions such as polar regions or dense forests of Amazon or African wilds.
Though it is hardest to build a profession as, yet , they are the most likely to work as direct employees for big companies such as Discovery and National Geographic.
One of the most saturated profession in the modern times, photography has its own glamour and high demand in every business and life styles. Even though saturation is high , work options are always in demand. Getting a degree or diploma in photography will help you an easy access to media industry. There are so many different choices of field in photography itself which you can master and make a name for yourself. If you are keen on travel and documenting or journalism , you must master street photography. If you like glamour , you can become a fashion and wedding photographer. If adventure is your call , landscape and wildlife is your niche to go to. Whatever field you choose , travel comes alongside with it all. A lot of you might be good with camera and call yourself an amateur photographer, but to work full time and make a brand for yourself a degree in this field is essential if not mandatory. A good photography school will not only help you with knowledge and technicality , but being mentored by right successful photographers help in networking and giving you a head start in this competitive profession. So try out for a photography school or media university to start on this.
7. Adventure Professional
This is again where I started my journey with after college. I had no idea about it 8 years back when I started, since this was just coming up. Today Adventure industry constitutes a major part of the booming travel and tourism sector, and has the most potential future growth. Having a adventure industry experience for me means , I will never go out of jobs since there are very less competition in it. So if extreme adventure is your calling , then becoming an adventure professional will be your blessing. Adventure professionals can be categorized in three fields , air , water , and land.
Air adventures consists of knowledge and courses on sky diving , para sailing or para gliding.
Water adventures consist of snorkeling , rafting or scuba or other water sports.,
Land adventures consist of mountaineering , trekking and hiking.
You have different adventure schools from where you need to get yourself a degree , since adventure is a high risk industry, most big adventure brands is likely to prefer candidates with a solid degree and proof of know how , in the field they are applying for. I can definitely guide you if any of you are highly interested in making a life outdoors. The perks of this profession is amazing lifestyle , a home in exotic places of the world and making a huge amount of fan and followers through your work. So if you have an inclination and want to start on this path or any of the above and need practical guidance and advice, don't hesitate to message me!
Lastly , when I was young and just out of school and through college , I rarely had anyone to know about this options and choices. Fortunately I always paid heed to my instincts and heart, and with my passion and hard work, I am a successful travel professional today. It is our duty to help any one of you , who might be going through same stress and anxiety of finding a right next step.
Life is an amazing thing and it gets better like wine as you grow older , and your adventure starts today , so push off those stress from less marks and entrance exams , there is a whole world of Travel waiting for you , and you can make a living out of it ! I am mostly available on my Instagram or Facebook to any of you who would require a help to start a profession from one of above.
There are two kinds of people in the world, I believe, one those who Love camping and the second is those who Have Not Yet Done camping. There is no other class who does not love it. Here in my thoughts I put down, why it is so essential to us. Though there are hundred reasons and effects that can be found, here is the three basic and most pivotal of them, according to me.
1. Time is a perspective.
From childhood, humans are trained to be time oriented. Our life is ruled by a dimension found by us and now dictate over it. Wrong as it is, we are merely slave of it un till you realize that it is nothing but a perspective. While camping, mornings necessary does not mean alarm clocks, you wake up yourself with the first rays of sun and chirping of the birds. You do not eat because there is a time to breakfast and lunch, but because you feel hungry! Hence, if you are regular to camping you give up the notion of worrying about Time and its concept as created by man. You just do things because you feel like doing it. Following this, you would not age just because the man made principles and a hospital document states it so, neither will you bemoan things that you have not done earlier, instead will figure out a way to do it when you feel it to be.
2. Worth of oneself.
When you camp in a vast meadow in front of a mountain or a ocean, often do we just roll our eyes in awe at the hugeness of the things in front of us. At night we might see the milky way galaxy spiraling the sky or uncountable stars making our roof. Well the awe is actually our understanding of how vast is actually this universe and its elements. I am sure everyone who has ever camped has had this effect. The magnitude and intensity of this elements are beyond our basic calculations, and then in a slight moment, you feel so worthless standing in front of them. You feel so insignificant, so small and so negligible. It is a good thing, we understand, our worth. Feeling insignificant also gives us the notion of how small is our worries and stresses. For all that is out of our control and we shall not change anything with our stress and worrying about it. It will result in making you feel free and unburdened with a lot of useless conceptions we are fed with. Hence, you shall live more happy and free.
3. Nature is the Cure.
We might invent and discover new techniques and machines, medicines and other stuffs, but we cannot mark our efficiency of curing abilities that of nature and its elements. From producing natural happiness and kindling peace in us to inspiring us to have a better living, nature is the solution to all our problems. The shiny green of the nature is the best cure to eyes, walking on green meadows in bare feet helps the best of blood circulations. No medicine can do such stuff guranted. Health is always kept up to mark by the touch of nature. No anti depression pills will work so magic as does a camping and your time in the open vastness. Hence, men can make medicines, nature makes miracles.
There are so many other effects surely yet. Let me know which one is your favorite and you believe it so. To head for a camping soon kindly connect now.
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. 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"