Where it all begun! (Bhutan Travel Diaries)

November, 2014

One humid afternoon in Mumbai…

I was browsing the Economic Times website looking out for macro-economic content so that I can brag about it when asked in the job interviews. After reading an article on what Raghuram Rajan was doing to keep up our struggling economy together, I found a suggested reading with the title  – “The last village in India

It was an interesting title but given that it’s a Times group website, I had my reservations before jumping to conclusions. I clicked the link that took me to the ads-only paper Times of India’s website and the article detailed about some of the exotic places in the Himalayas. Chitkul is widely referred to as the last village in India in travel circuits. You cross that village…better prepare yourself to find monks of Tibet or  face the PRC army.

The last village in India is not what excited me but the sheer idea that I could get away from this mundane life and materialistic world only to get drenched in the nature’s beauty certainly did. I started thinking how I would reach this place from Mumbai post my MBA and how much would the budget be. I had a plan to stay there for a week or two and indulge myself with some writing or wandering in the woods of the Greater Himalayas.

I could imagine this whole stream of events glazing in front of my eyes. It’s like these tiny moments of imagination that make my heart-beat stop for a second, give the much-needed adrenaline rush and drench in joy. The thought of going there had such an impact on me that I wondered what it would have on me when I actually visit this exotic place.

But things don’t go out as planned always. May be that’s why life is such an interesting journey to me. If someone would ask me…what’s my favorite journey, LIFE is my answer to them. There are many hair pin bends and steep curves than any road that’s been there or will ever be built.

And on one such steep curve, I came across this tiny place called Bhutan overlooking India’s shoulder and taking comfort in the warmth of seven sister states. The Himalayas cut across the length and breadth of this tiny mountain nation and their only connection is India. It is one of the very few untouched nations in the world’s tourist and backpackers’ circuit. Woah!!

I started to read right from Wikipedia page to every other article written by Tom-Dick and Harry that I could get my hands on. One can’t quantify time when doing something that’s close to one’s heart. And it’s true…damn true! I couldn’t see how hours slipped under the hood  like seconds while I drowned in articles about Bhutan and my interactions with the travel forums and biking groups.

I can vouch that the time I traveled in planning for Bhutan in some ways outweigh the real trip. I started to discover things about me that I was never aware of. There you go, my Johari window too expanded to let in more light!

The best part of my story was that it all started with my plan to travel to a place I thought I knew like a pro on a bike that I wasn’t sure if I could ride. Welcome to bag packing and travel at will!

Welcome to Mission Happiness Trip!

P.S. This is the first among the series of posts narrating the experiences I had on the dream trip to Bhutan, my first ever biking trip. 

Pic Credits:  Travel Blog

To read the next part of the series, click here

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