Finally we bid adieu to 2016 last week and welcomed 2017. Honestly, I have been trying to write this post for over 2 weeks now. Every time I start to write something I stopped, simply because I was unable to decide where to start. As I write this I am still figuring out where to begin, clearly indicating what a wonderful year 2016 has been for me and I am really thankful for it
My Flashback Moments
It has been more than a dreamy walk for me where I was able to achieve much more than I expected and worked on things I wanted to do. 2016 started on a fabulous note when I packed my bags and backpacked in South India for over 70 days without any defined plan. Honestly, it was supposed to be a 10 day trip to Bangalore to meet my sister but I don’t know what jolted me and I changed my plans to travel around Karnataka and parts of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
Those 70 days still feels like a dream and while I was on the road, my email box suddenly popped two links from viral websites- Better India and Being Indian- where I was covered as an inspiring solo backpacker travelling around India for over 2 years.
I came back home in mid March, roamed on the streets of Delhi for few days, took a short trip to Almora (Uttarakhand) with family and made a quick escape to Corbett on an invitation from a resort.
And while all of this was happening, Universe surprised me with something unimaginable. I got covered in Indiatimes and Buzzfeed. I still remember I was in a low network area and could barely access anything while my chat box was getting full with congratulatory messages. The friends who didn’t expect much out of me suddenly started following my journey. What followed were more interviews in Radio Mirchi and main publications like Sakaal.
My negligible social media channels got a boost and I got into collaborations with major brands who wanted me as their face. I always believed that when you dare to dream, just take the first step in faith and the doors get open for you, without you even realising it. I opted to take that first step and my travel journey which was full of challenges initially, seems like a cakewalk now…
The Year was challenging too !
But if my first half of the year was all rosy, the next six months were equally challenging. I cancelled Valley of Flowers and Hemkund trek twice, a dream destination I have been longing to see. I cancelled Stok Kangri expedition and Gangotri, Yamnotri trek due to low stamina. An international trip was very much on the cards which got cancelled due to low funds. I made an impromptu plan to visit Kinnaur for the second time when I got hit with bad viral which prompted me to halt at Shimla for 6 days. I was still recovering when I moved towards Sangla Valley and got stuck in a Landslide for 2 days. Not been able to bear further I opted to come back without much of an outcome.
But All’s well that ends well !
Despite all the challenges, I am happy that I was able to strike off two of my long pending dream destinations in the later part of 2016. I visited Bhutan and Kutch on an invitation from Bhutan Bookings and Gujarat Tourism.
I decided to take a break from travelling post Bhutan, when I realised that I am really low on my stamina while hiking up Tiger Nest, which ideally should be a cakewalk for me. I planned to work on my fitness till the year-end but I guess Universe had another plans. I had to visit Kutch on Full Moon, an invitation I just couldn’t ignore and I celebrated New Year in mountains
In 2016, I also started writing for big media houses like BBC Travel and Indiatimes, something I thought about but never imagined that it will happen so soon and easily. Money flow improved tremendously. I signed good deals.
Way Forward for 2017
2017 is a fresh start where new chapter in life is waiting to be written. New questions need to be asked, embraced, and loved. The answers are to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. I will let this year remain an open book for me, where I shall opt to do something different till what I have done now. May be a more adventurous life clubbed with an international travel which has been in my list for a year now.
I have been yearning to go to Dubai for a while now, after I saw a picture of majestic Burj Khalifa on a friend’s timeline and some cool deals from FlyDubai is seriously prompting me to make a plan. I have been also thinking of making Chennai my base for a month and experience the hidden beauty of Tamil Nadu. Or if things fell in place, I would love to go till Kanyakumari. I searched few websites for hotels in Chennai and seems like I can think about it. I have been also thinking of going to White Ladakh for a long time now.
Though all my plans are subjective right now, one thing is for sure. I will go for Gangotri, Yamnotri as well as complete my pending Valley of Flowers and Hemkund trek this year.
A Note of Gratitude
All and all 2016 has been truly a fulfilling year for me, both travel wise and professionally. I am really grateful that I could make a name of myself in such a short time. Something I really didn’t expect. This wouldn’t have been possible without people who have been motivating me constantly through their inspiring messages.
I admit that it really boosted me and have been my source of inspiration to constantly improve and bring the best out. Thank you for following my journey and being my guidance force always. My family and friends for bearing me and understanding my ignorance. Hereby, I promise to make 2017 even better
Cheers to a New Start 🙂
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