“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain
Anxious about leaving my family behind, a gush of mixed feeling was splurging inside as I took my first step towards the airport. Married of early, never having time for myself, and being 24/7 on toes fulfilling motherly duties was getting a bit frustrating. To top it the entire year and a half pandemic hit a stop on all our lives and we were locked up inside our own house. Making it even more of a need to run away and have a breather. Being my first solo trip ever, not knowing about the hacks and tricks, determined of having fun turned out to be a life-changing experience for me.
In all honesty, I was a nervous wreck ball about traveling solo, meeting complete strangers and even being completely alone was quite terrifying. But this trip was a really rewarding experience. Not only has traveling solo taught me a lot about the world, but it’s taught me a lot about myself, too. I’ve learned that I CAN take care of myself and can do all that it takes.
Driving to the airport, it became more than a real day experience. . It was a healthy mix of excitement, adrenaline, and curiosity. I had no clue what to expect but I was confident (which is strange considering how shy I was). Stepping up to the security desk I was full of nerves, but I was stepping off a cliff into the unknown and I loved it. Everything seemed like it was falling into place as if it was meant to be.
The next day, I woke to the calmness of the mountains and opened the curtains of my window(We reached late at night) I was speechless by the beauty I was surrounded with, I spent hours looking at mountains, clouds play, valleys with some snow still in its lap, tree lines, hanging snow, sunrise sunsets, peaks, waterfalls, river flow, wildflowers, and its play around us. I was emotional at this point, unable to fathom this reality that I was embarking on. The river Beas by our side was in a different form with a beautiful mountain backdrop and lush green hills. It was just picture-perfect. There was this odd blend of anxiety and freedom that did overwhelm me. But a mesmerizing view of snow-capped mountains with lush green valleys fading into them made me more alive than I ever was. The beauty that is waiting for me on every mountain top, the purity in the smiles of the locals I yet have to meet, the bliss in every bite of exotic food that is to be eaten, and the sense of home you feel all the while, was constantly keeping me on my toes to explore this beauty as much I could. Never in my life, was I this calm with these many thoughts constantly upon my mind.
With all enthusiasm, we kick-started our trekking trip. Those five days of our trek were the best I have spent in many years. Because the scenic beauty around us was just so calming. No words could do justice. While trekking was a bit challenging for me even after I have been doing power yoga for quite a few months now. Although too much of my astonishment, I did complete all my treks and kept pushing myself. This gave me a boost and filled me with confidence that I never expected from myself to be able to complete a two-way 25 Km trek. Well, this also made me realize how strong our mind is, once we decide to set ourselves in the right state of mind, there is nothing unachievable. It was a truly eye-opening experience to realize the number of things that I was missing.
What made this trip even more amazing was the people I was with. I meet tons of amazing ladies, from all walks of life. We shared fantastic experiences and formed bonds that I know will last a lifetime. I even had a conversation with the locals and complete strangers and got to know their stories; who teaches her kids not to talk to strangers and found herself sharing giggles or two with Himachalipahadi's. This taught me that the world is after all not a bad place. Of course, I am also responsible for my own safety. And filled me with gratitude about all that I had and was blessed with.
Overcoming my self-doubts and the mental block I had, needed to be through. Also, with a lot of support from my husband and my kids that pushed me to take this trip and for proving to be responsible enough to take care of themselves, which is the biggest battle I fought being a mother. Being constantly told to take care of them, having forgotten to live a healthy and peaceful life; it is important for us to take a break from the routine. After all, you can only give what you’re filled with and I wish to fill my family with whole lots of love and peace.
I had no idea that I would return more patient, confident, tolerant, ambitious, and determined. I suppose once your perspective on life is changed you adapt. The idea of traveling alone was daunting, I know but it was such a rewarding and enriching experience. As a woman, it’s more than important to travel alone not be held down by responsibilities, and can be free all by yourself. I just returned from a week’s solo from Himachal and I still haven't come down from the mountains. I have made a promise to myself to gon on treks more frequently and travel as much as I can each year.
A journey of our lovely Flapper Tehseen – homemaker with two kids of age 7 and 11, embarked on her first-ever solo trip to Himachal, narrated to and curated by Sejal Ranka.