Himalayas, here I come! – By Athira
The reason I started traveling solo – A Solo Woman Travel Blog!
I am Athira Joshi from Kerala. I love hanging out with my friends and meeting new people, but it is also vital for my sanity to have space all for myself if I want to. Only this way I can process a million thoughts running in my mind and understand what’s going on with my life. I could discover a little bit more about myself through solo trips.
My first trek with strangers
One day I wanted a summer break from my work and searched for weekend trips online. I found the Coorg Tadiandamol trek organized by Muddie trails. I had to convince myself and my parents to book it after some research on the safety of single girl travelers. The trek cum trip turned out to be a very relaxing experience. Away from all the city buzz, I had an amazing weekend amid tea estates with a cozy stay and delicious homemade food. It was a much-needed escape from my daily routine. I’ve found out that you are never alone when you travel solo. The group consisted of close to 25 people from different parts of Bangalore. Organizers Priyanka and Jay were responsible and entertaining at the same time. Met some good people who became dear friends later. I thought that if I didn’t book this package, I would have missed all the fun and been alone at home. Two days finished so quickly. I felt I wanted more of that.
How Brahmatal happened
Fast forward to December, it all started with a WhatsApp status that I came across from one of the co-coordinators of the trip. After looking into the details I planned for my solo trek to Brahmatal organized by Muddie Trails without any second thought, as I already went on a weekend trip earlier. However, a number of thoughts ran through my mind. It was my very first long trip and first time to the northern part of India as well. Being born and brought up in the south I have never experienced winters and snow, which was the major motivation behind this trip.
Check out the Brahmatal Trek Experience here.
My trek experience
The Brahmatal trek was a mesmerizing, dreamy white land. From snow carpet trails, frozen lakes, snow-filled peaks, icy mist on trees, a winter trek in the Himalayas was a lifetime experience. With everything submerged under the snow, the valleys have breathtaking views. Each step you take forward on snow makes a squeaky and crunchy sound. Base camp for the trek was Lohajung where we stayed the first night. Lohajung is at a height of 7,600 feet above sea level and took us around 10 hours drive from Dehradun airport. The trek had the prettiest campsites each of which is unique in its beauty. From Lohajung to Bekaltal to Brahmatal and return, the entire trek was 4 nights and 5 days. As I reached the summit on Day 4 I couldn’t believe my eyes.
My first time experience of snow
From the beginning, I was never a fan of long trips but the result was delightful. I had doubts if I could survive Himalayan kind of winters and snow. I prepared myself as informed by Organizers and became as fit as possible in limited time. Extreme winters and snow was my very first experience. The magical Himalayan peaks which I have seen and learned about in textbooks during my school days were right in front of my sight. We got a clear view of peaks such as Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Maitoli. Immersing myself in the beauty of nature only a single thought came into my mind about my parents. Being “Indian Parents” they didn’t have a second thought when I shared my solo trip plan with them. They believed in me. Without their support, I wouldn’t have done this.
Co-travelers and Trek Leads
We had an amazing group with high energy trekkers who supported one another. All of us glued up as soon as we met. The journey itself was fun with full Antyakshari and other games. The tribe was very diverse – 23 people this time, a mix of South and North India. There was another solo woman traveler too. I had amazing guides who led us all the way through snow-covered mountains and made sure all of us are comfortable during the entire trek. I have made a number of good friends through this trip. The biggest take away is all the positive vibes I gained from the place and the people I traveled with.
Now I’m more excited to explore new places and meet new people. Exploring new places and their distinct cultures inspired me to continue traveling. Each destination has a different story. I am planning to go for more adventurous trips that are way out of my comfort zone.
My advice for solo woman traveler
Be strong. Select wisely. Be safe. Keep Travelling.
As a single girl, be alert where you are and where you are about to be next. Make sure you book your tickets, stays, and get it confirmed by your organizers before you travel.
There was an initial fear of taking the first step. But it turns out you make friends for a lifetime during these kinds of adventures. Traveling solo along with a group of strangers is one of the best experiences I have ever had. That’s what these treks offer you. Each time you travel solo it makes you a little more independent and confident. You push yourself to limit no matter how uncomfortable you are.
You can catch up with me on Facebook here: Athira Joshy
Check out How would travel be post Corona Pandemic!