Chapter 1: The first step...
Updated: May 22, 2019
"Journey of thousand miles begins with a single step"
It was the time when social media had not completely taken over our lives. People who used to travel then were those who had a passion for new experiences. The trend of posting multiple photos with the tag line of "having fun" was still a few months away.
I was going through my own share of "early mid-life crisis" and wanted to give a new direction to the way I had been living so far. The deep desire for adventure traveling had always been inside my heart, but I had been quite successful to keep it buried under the multiple layers of fundamentals of living a regular life. Born and brought up with middle-class values of a tier 3 city of India, the confidence of venturing unknown territories had always been missing. Being a workaholic attributed to taking limited leaves and I have always spent those days by visiting my family. And by this year, I was approaching 32, so immense pressure of getting married and settle down. So in simple words, I was alive but I did not have a life.
While I was always fond of my work, it became more interesting by listening to the travel experience of my supervisor cum friend. She and her husband had covered some serious kilometers on a motorcycle and the places I have never heard of before. While I had nothing to add to her stories, her travel stories made me realize that there is a universe beyond my world and I need to explore it.
That year in April, I had met Shivani. One thing I can tell that we were a little different from the usual couple. It was not my first relationship and she has a different personality altogether. Our discussions were never around having dinner and going on usual dates. But, we both had a keen interest in traveling, we both wanted to explore the Himalayas and that too on a motorcycle. Both of us couldn't do it earlier as both of us were looking for a company.
God/Universe has a very amusing way to answer our prayers.
I got my co-pilot.
Since none of us had any experience of riding a motorcycle nor we owned any motorcycle, we thought of taking small steps. There were initial challenges: choosing the right place, taking off from work and money. We both were looking for a relatively less crowded place, in the lap of nature and within our modest budget.
During Thanksgiving in the USA, Shivani gets two offs on last Thursday & Friday of November, along with weekend off of Saturday & Sunday. And my supervisor was pro-traveling. Mission leaves: Done!
This was the first time we both were venturing out of the city, without telling our parents. So we can't go too far. We relied on a public conveyance, so we zeroed on to Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand. Mission place: Done!
It was an off-season for that place, so accommodations were relatively cheaper. Mission expense: Done!
We spent three memorable days as it was quite a first on its own: the first vacation since I started working, the first time we saw snow capped Himalayas (and remained awestruck for weeks!) and the first step towards our bonding and believing.
How happy were we? You can tell by the pictures:
Lesson learned: No matter how small the step is, if it is taking you towards your dream, take it. Most of us could not fulfill their dream because they could not start. At times, we wait for a favorable situation, at times for a right partner and we keep on waiting for "someday". Trust me, now is always better than someday.
When we started, none of us knew how far we would go. But none of it would happen if we haven't taken this step.
Now in hindsight, I can comfortably say:
“The journey of thousand miles indeed begins with a single step”