One week leading to the Thailand trip, I set out to write a long list of fears I wanted to conquer through the whole experience. I even asked several of my close friends to help me point those out. Many times while travelling we tend to forget that along with the luxury of relaxation, we have an opportunity to really step out of our comfort zone.
Recently I have been really fascinated by Buddhism - especially the intense devotion and motivation of the people to study the religion. To be frank, I was never curious about learning about Hinduism and I don’t see many being curious about the same. I met several people in Thailand who have been staying there for months to learn more about the teaching of the Buddha and practice meditation. There sure must be something of Buddhism which even attracts several atheists to give religion a shot.
Just about 12 hours to go before I fly off to my first longish solo travel to the much famous land of smiles. My mind is wandering in all sorts of directions, but the majority opinion of my brain cells is - “What the hell? Don’t go Achyut!”
For people who know me, understand how the word travelling can ignite a spark within me. For me, the only positive of staying in Delhi was being at an overnight distance to most of the destinations in the Himalayas. Three weeks into my first job, I was starting to curse myself for wasting three weekends and so hastily I booked my tickets to Dharamshala and my accommodation at Zostel-Mcleodganj. And this is how I found my north star, something that I can always go back to - the concept of travelling alone!
We were failing to book a self-drive car for the last three weeks – sometimes due to license issues, or sometimes due to sheer bad luck. But not this time. We booked a Ford Figo(never book these, it will be the driver’s worst nightmare) from Zoom Cars well in advance. And since we had paid the money as well, there was no turning back. Thus, finally, Wayanad it was.
After a full week’s planning to hire a self-drive car and head out for a road trip, we finally ended up booking a train ticket to Pondicherry. I had recently bought a recording device to record my travel tales on the go so that I find it easy to accumulate it in a blog. I tried it a few times, but I find it better to write it down in Google Keep and then later decorate it into a blog post.
I woke up to the roller-coaster ride of our Himachal State Transport bus when it reached Bhunter(a small town before Manali). Last night was tough after being stalled at Ambala Cant for more than 4 hours waiting for our bus to which we finally gave up and boarded the local state transport bus. But as soon as we got down at Bhunter, the cold air brought a sense of freshness in our bodies. We had to search out our bags for warm clothes because it was damn cold. We looked somewhat like this –