Little did I know that my short adventure trek to Chopta will turn out to be the adventure of a lifetime! I could so much relate to a quote that I read recently by Lin Yutang, “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow”. But for me it was more like an adventure which I survived and at that moment all I wanted to do was to go home and be warm and comfortable!

The only reason that this trek is so close to my heart and I will remember it forever is because I remember how I almost gave up! I gave up on walking further, to save myself from all the pain. It’s good to travel in a group sometimes. If I was on a solo trek I would have been stuck somewhere in the mountains. Not that I mind that, but I would have been surely hopelessly lost!

Some people call it Sagarmatha, while others refer to it as Chomolungma. There was even a time when it was only called Peak XV, and not many people knew about it. However, today the story is altogether different. It is perhaps the most well-known geographical feature on earth. Yes, I am talking about the mighty Everest – the highest point on earth. The pride of Nepal, the mountain peak kisses the sky at 29029 feet. Even 10 Burj Khalifas placed one above the other can’t match that height. Mt. Everest is a part of the Himalayas which didn’t just emerge overnight. It took Mother Nature millions of years to carve the rocky marvel. I guess such spectacular things do take time to form. You’d be fascinated to know that the Himalayas are still rising steadily; about a few millimeters every year.

Southeast Asia is one of the most toured destinations in the world owing to its gorgeous beaches, tropical climate, historical buildings, sacred temples and delicious street food. Another reason for its popularity is its budget friendliness as well as tourist safety. Each of the countries in Southeast Asia has its own charm, which is worth exploring and admiring.

After much chaos and last minute cancellations, I somehow embarked on my journey to the Land of Llamas! It was more of a photographic journey than a road trip! I tried to capture every moment of the trip to avoid regretful moments later. This kind of backpacking and pre-booked trip turned out to be the best of all my travels! It was probably the first time that I pre-booked the hotels and the car; I can still reminisce the baffled voice of the driver when I was trying to explain to him a different and a new route to reach Ladakh, but somehow he understood.

People have all sorts of dreams and fascinations about travelling the world. Then, there must be some, who would like to never get out of their home and for whom travelling could be exhausting. I personally have never encountered one such person in my life, and therefore my conclusion is that most of us love to experience what the world has to offer. Going back to my point that different people have different choice of destination in mind, yet when planning a vacation, most of us come up with names like Goa or Shimla and the likes. Do not get me wrong here, these mainstream holiday destinations are by all means totally worth it. But, the fact is that they are mainstream after all! Most of us have actually been to a few of these locations as kids. Don’t believe me? Just ask your mom and she will take out those huge old photo albums consisting of pictures of you as a toddler, sitting in your parents’ lap against the setting of at least one of those generic holiday destinations. Well, this blog is not written to discourage your grand plans for a memorable break from your routine life, I am just trying to remind you that our incredible country has more than just scenic beauty. The world knows that we as a nation are proud owners of some of the richest wildlife areas found on earth. So, how about ditching the sceneries this time and going off on an adventure with the intriguing fauna of Bandhavgarh? Allow me to elaborate more on this proposition and make you want to arrive at this majestic location by the next flight!

“Surely, of all the wonders of the world, the horizon is the greatest.” ― Freya Stark

This line pretty much sums up the kind of person Freya Stark was. She believed in travelling unimaginable distances, seeing endless possibilities, even when most could see none. For those of you, who don’t know who this wonderful woman was, she was a British-Italian traveller and explorer, renowned for her writings about the Middle East. Her parents are known to have been quite liberal, resulting in her knowing numerous languages as a child, even though she never went to school.

A few days ago, one of my friends returned from a tour of the United Arab Emirates and shared his experience with us. Dubai, the ultimate holiday destination in the Middle East, is where he spent most of his time. I asked him his reaction on seeing Al Quoz, the centre of Dubai’s art; and to my surprise, he hadn’t visited it. I was left astound! I know, Al Quoz is not that popular, but I consider it a must-visit attraction for anyone spending more than a week in the emirate.

India is a land of mighty rivers, and this makes it a perfect destination for a thrilling river rafting experience. For an adrenaline junkie, what can be more exciting than taming the foaming waters of these wild rivers, spread all across the country! Here is a detailed guide to some of the most popular river rafting destinations in India that have been charming and beckoning adventure enthusiasts for a long time.

Aah, Nepal! A trekking paradise! A country, which is home to the world’s highest mountain, needs no introduction to hikers. The country, however, is not only about high peaks, but mountain passes and lakes as well. As a general notion, Ladakh is associated with high mountain passes, but Nepal does not lag behind. It is also home to some incredible mountain passes as well as lakes. What I hope to achieve with this blog is to not only tell you about Nepal’s mountains, but also open up more hiking opportunities for you. Below are some of the most significant high passes and lakes of Nepal that one should know about.

The land of the brave Ahoms, Assam is nothing short of a paradise for travellers. Rolling hills, milky waterfalls, delectable cuisine, informative archaeological sites, interesting tribal people and old shrines, there is so much to see, do and try here. If you are looking to explore the local culture, then visit one of its cities, or better yet, one of its remote villages. For a peaceful getaway amidst nature, trip to one of its scenic hill stations. But, if you are a wildlife enthusiast, then you are in for a real treat. The biological diversity of this place not only makes it one of the best wildlife safari destinations in Northeast India, but also puts it on the global biodiversity map. It is home to numerous endemic plant and animal species, along with several endangered ones. To say the least, on a wildlife adventure here, one gets to unveil the untouched side of Assam; a side that has absolutely nothing to do with humans.

Often, people ask me, “What activities can one try in November?”

November is coming, and I know most of us want an escape from our life since we have been working so hard lately. So, it’s not like we want a break, it is more like we deserve one, or rather need one. It’s been too long since I left work behind and went some place nice and interesting, and met new people who had amazing stories to share. While pondering the thrilling activities that can be undertaken to blow off the boredom in coming November, I came across the following options. Just read through to see if any of these catches your attention. Below, you will also find a few tips to prepare for the activities.

Sometimes, I wonder how it would feel like to reach the top of the highest peak in the world – Mount Everest. I know it would be gruelling, challenging and painstaking to achieve this feat, but somewhere in my heart, I have promised myself to give it a try once in my life. Ever since I saw a picture of the mighty Himalayas in a school magazine, I have aspired to explore this majestic mountain range.

Like any other kid, holidays meant a lot to me, especially when my family planned vacations to the hill stations nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. The snow-clad peaks, the rocky terrain and gushing rivers of this mountain range always enchanted me and kept me asking for more.

Over the years, I have been lucky enough to explore many Himalayan destinations in India. My favourites have always been Auli, Manali, Shimla and Gulmarg, but I can assure you that the rest are as brilliant as these. I have plans to make a trip to Bhutan and Nepal in the future to explore more of this natural wonder called the Himalayas. Besides enjoying the vistas of these mountains, another thing that compels me to go to this part of the world are the several adventure sports one can indulge in. Trekking, rock climbing, mountaineering and rafting are some activities that I love to take part in, in these mountains.

Even though it is hard to choose among the best, but as per my experience and future aspirations, here is a list of the 10 most exciting destinations in the Himalayas.

It is highly unlikely that you don’t like Hindi movies. And if you have seen those typical love stories of the 90s, wherein Switzerland was a rage as an outdoor location, you must have also seen lush pastures, with the backdrop of mountains. The blog has nothing to do with Switzerland. I’m just giving you a premise to what I am about to tell you ahead. Back to the blog,there may have been times that the Swiss countryside shown on TV seemed so pretty that it made you want to go there. If you ask me, it doesn’t make sense to take an international trip just to see an alpine countryside, but if you really want to see such places, there are ways.

The Scottish-American writer, John Muir once said, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness”.

And man, was he right! What could be a better way for people like us to get close to nature than getting lost in the forests! Truthfully, there’s not much of true nature left around us. Humans have gone everywhere; they have taken over nature and established their empire. Today, sky-piercing towers make the skyline, and bustling, overcrowded metropolises, dominate the landscape. Sometimes, it even gets hard to find a lush public park in cities.

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”

This is what the noted author, Edward Abbey has quoted for trekkers and mountaineers. Perhaps, we can consider this as the ultimate wish of a true adventuresome soul.

More demanding the trail, more would be the thrill. As simple as that…!! This specific mindset boosts trekkers and mountaineers to search for more gruelling trekking routes. Indeed, this keeps them exploring new destinations that are actually more strenuous to cover. And if a trek on such routes is accompanied by some of the most astounding vistas of charming surroundings, then the overall experience becomes more rewarding.

Our routine during winters is lying in bed, curled up in a blanket in front of the television. Year after year, this is how we have spent our winters, and especially our winter vacations. I know it’s not just me, who has been living like this, there’re plenty of others too. But, it’s not our fault! I guess it’s just that there is nothing motivating us to get out of our cocoons, leaving those thick blankets behind, to do something. A few days ago, one of my long-time friends asked me what I was doing during this winter vacation, and this got me thinking. I had no answer for my friend at that moment, but I was in search of it, soon after that.