This particular bike trip to Lahaul valley was by far the most dangerous and the most amazing road trip I have ever taken. We rode through stones, dust, rains and clouds, besides the occasional good roads. Each moment during the ride was breathtaking with the view of beautiful sceneries and the fear of falling off the cliff. We were patient, we were careful and we were excited. However risky the trip was, the entire journey and the destination in particular – Chandratal lake – were mesmerizing.
No words and no pictures can explain the surreal visual beauty. If I pen down the intricate details of the place, calling it an exaggeration would be an understatement. But this part of my travel diaries isn’t about the beauty of the place but about the joy of traveling. Over the recent months, I have realized the beauty of enjoying simple and small things in life. And being a traveler has helped me discover how much this particular habit makes me feel alive, every single moment. Ordinary things in daily life have somehow turned out to be extraordinary when I travel.
The battle for a good sleep
Nature’s voice is hushed; the placid, lustrous waters mirror the dark sky. The starry night just a surface above the top layer of the tent. You’re sharing the tent with two others. You are feeling terribly cold and somehow manage to squeeze into the sleeping bag. You zip it up and carefully align yourself inside, leaving little space to breathe. The moment you’re up tight in there, you start feeling hot again.
You are forced to fight a battle but you can’t make a choice yet. You keep searching for a comfortable position until the tiredness after a treacherous ride seeps in and you go blank. You start having a sound sleep even before you realize. You are not sure if you like the uncomfortable feeling but you are having the best night’s sleep ever, with nothing else to worry about, for the moment.
The taste of something hot in a cold weather
It’s a nice atmosphere. A little drizzle along a with a nice breeze. You’re standing there shivering, your teeth cluttering and your body vibes oscillating. You yearn for something warm , something hot that makes you feel comfortable. For me it’s hot chocolate, it could be coffee or tea for you. But definitely something hot. You gaze at the glass but it’s only when you hook the glass in your mouth, your teeth clenches so tightly on it that you finally become stable after a long while.
The glass in your hand trembles a little bit as you cushion it, softly lift it up and place it on your mouth. Your taste buds in your tongue are desperate to feel that touch; touch of something deliciously hot. The first sip is such a big relief. It doesn’t matter that your tongue burned a little bit. For that moment, nothing else is more important. As the first sip drops down your tongue, something gets triggered and there is a jolt on your spine that rises up and you feel warm. You feel good.
The art of losing yourself in the moment
Driving rash was a norm and I used to drive like a maniac in the city but it’s different on the mountains. The beauty lies in a slow ride when you lose yourself to the moment. You learn to be patient, you learn to enjoy nature and you are safe when you drive slow. You have this urge to sing a soothing song and drive to your rhythm.
Your mute half-open lips and tender, wondering eyes are in complete awe of the beautiful landscapes. A cool breeze brushes through your face as an embodied smile runs across, and that becomes your most treasured moment. Your eyes capture the light that long sought across the mountains on the back of summer skies and that’s when you become the moment. You are in touch with nature and you feel alive.
I travel very often and I try to live in the moment. And if I don’t, I feel like I’m losing a part of myself. Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to live in the moment. One does not love breathing.
Each time I travel, something races by my heart, something catches my eye and catches it in such way that I take a deep breath, a long look around and keep wanting to travel again and again. From intricate detailing to flowing silhouettes; from fierce passion to untold stories, travel has given me my best times. My travel diaries say something about me, about my life, about my world. It is a telling detail that opens up a window into my life.