Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016... The Year That It Was.

A known: How lucky you are, you get to travel so much
Me: Like really?! Isn't luck just the outcome of genuine effort and intent.

It's been more than 5 years since I started to travel extensively as a writer... blogger... trip leader and an organizer. The journey was not easy.  I had a different challenge everyday and I overcame it just to find another one standing right ahead. I will share the story of my struggle some other time. Today when I look back at these 5 years, I get overwhelmed with joy and pride. I have apparently traveled more than what an average person travels his whole life!

This post is dedicated to the numerous memorable moments 2016 gave me... let me recall and relive some of them.

Jet skiing at Tehri, Uttarakhand.  It was on a trip to Kanatal with +Chalo lets go India. I reluctantly said yes to something I didn't know I would enjoy so much.

A refreshing morning when I woke up to the chirping birds in an old Rajasthani haweli at Lotwara,  also called the peacock village followed by a perfect breakfast prepared from farm fresh vegetables. 

My birthday month... and I celebrated it with lovely locals and the ChaloLetsGo Barot team. Dancing, singing, laughter along with the local wine made from jaggery served by locals with lots of love. 

And I started the 40th year of my existence, paragliding at Billing (very near to my birth place Baijnath). I did dangerously amazing take off at Billing. Check it out in the video.

(Video credits: Vinod Verma)

Experiencing snow when my friends were crying over hot summers in Delhi was surely the moment that wicked-me thoroughly enjoyed. 

Driving on snaking roads through the hills from Kasol to Malana where after a point it felt like I am entering a dream world. The high hills, the bluest sky adorned with milky white clouds and the cool breeze..!

The giggles throughout our trip to Mukteshwar with awesome travel buddies. The one-liners and the jokes we shared and loads and loads of fresh plums, pear and peaches that we had.

 And not to forget the daring photo session we had on the cliff.

A beautiful morning in the lap of Kumaon hills at a beautiful home-stay in Nathuakhan... feeling the Crisp cold breeze on my face and watching little birds play, I myself felt like a bird ready to fly.

That feeling of being a tiny speck in this huge gamut of universe took me over while I was trekking my way down to Chandrataal. I could hear the silence of nature and could feel its power. Amazing moment it was!

Staying with locals in Mudh, a remote village in Pin valley Spiti is something I will cherish throughout my life. I just wished I had some more days to spend with lovely people out there who have done their best in terms of proving comfort to the travelers visiting them. The most I appreciate is the fusion of cuisines they have done to make the meals interesting. Local Pizza is what they called it. It was the local bread stuffed with cheese and veggies. 

Imagine having it sitting at an altitude of more than 13,000ft...!

Have countless memories of the trip to Spiti organised by +Indian Terrains, will dedicate a full post to it. Here I just mentioned the most prominent one.

Got the privilege to be at the height of 13,000 ft above sea level and at the sea level both in the same month.

Jumping around on the waves and playing with star fish at Mondarmoni beach in the day and listening to the waves crashing on the rocks on the shore at night. 

Witnessed mesmerising sunrise at Chandrashila. Standing on the zenith, I could see myself surrounded by layers and layers of Himalayan ranges and  in front was scarlet sky ready to welcome the beautiful ball of fire, the source of all energy - Sun.

My year seems incomplete without visiting Pushkar. So November was dedicated to my visit to Pushkar. I enjoyed my food the most on this small trip. It's heaven for foodies especially for the vegetarian lot.

The year ended with an encounter with the Beast at Dhikala, Corbett National Park.

     (Picture credits: Anirban Dasgupta)

Wish you all a life filled with lots and lots of exploration and travel..!

P.S. - Don't forget to leave a message for me in comment section :)

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