These are scary times! The world that was running each day chasing goals, numbers, money, and ambitions has suddenly come to a standstill as we all rest in the comfort of our homes. From barely seeing the face of our homes, we are now locked down, forced to stay in, cook at home, connect with family, work and work out without stepping out. Now, this isn’t what we had imagined when we all made those ‘2020 will be my best year’ resolutions, right?
Well, now’s the time to go through all the photos, videos, write those blogs and reminisce the little things about this big world that amazed us and made us smile. After all, what can be a better way to get through tough times than remembering all the times that you have truly lived, felt amazed and grateful for!
Looking back, I realize that I’ve always been an avid traveller. I am 29 and I’ve probably been consistently travelling for the last 29 years, more so in the last 5 years. I owe it to my parents, who ensured that we took one family trip every year. In fact, even now, my mom chooses to sit and spend our time together in this lockdown to plan our next family holiday to a destination that we collectively love! Have I told you how cool my parents are? Well, I’m going to leave that for another post. But today’s blog is about another trip, another experience.
Talking about my past travels, I’ve had the fortune to be able to travel wide and far across our gorgeous country for most of my growing up years. I often ask myself, what is it about travel that excites me? I am not exactly a foodie, so that’s definitely off the list. Is it the beauty of destinations? Absolutely! But that beauty is only heightened with the right company, experiences and stories that you take back.
In 2014, I took my second trip to Ladakh – a destination that I can easily call one of my favourites after travelling the world a fair bit. In a world where Goa trip plans are made to be cancelled, our trip to Ladakh was rather impromptu, planned in less than a month. After all, it was almost mid-August and we barely had a month left for the tourism season to end in Ladakh. Goes without saying that I was in charge of planning the trip, even without professionally being a travel consultant then just because I had already travelled there in 2009 with my parents. We had rented a car with a driver for the 4 of us and we’re all set to explore the serene beauty and the stunning landscapes of Ladakh.
But the unsaid rule of travelling with friends is that there will always be that one friend in the group who will want things differently. In our group, that was Paras. Now he wasn’t exactly the problem child, but unlike any of us Paras really wanted to hit the curvy roads of Ladakh headed to Leh on a Royal Enfield. Now isn’t that a motorcyclist’s ultimate dream?
It wasn’t ours, because the 3 of us were no motorcyclists! In fact, we just did not know how to ride a motorcycle, let alone the confidence to ride it on these gorgeous yet dangerous looking roads!
Paras didn’t make a big deal about it back then and settled to travel around in our rental car. But even then, I could tell that he wasn’t entirely happy. I only didn’t get why. He didn’t own a Royal Enfield back then.
To be honest, those were the days when the purpose of travelling was merely travelling comfortably and ticking off all the popular and exciting attractions from the list. There was never really a purpose or a theme for a trip, which makes me think of how much the very idea of travel has evolved for us.
Now when we reached Leh, Paras had still not gotten over his Royal Enfield dreams. And without much drama, he rented one even if it was just for the two days that we were to spend in Leh. The four of us split, 2 traveled around in the car and I took the backseat with Paras who was determined to fulfilling his motorcycling dream.
The next two days were about riding zig zag, cutting through the clean air and beautiful images of Leh. Thank God Paras was already good with this beast of a machine, it made our experience of exploring Leh only more memorable. To me, this was a bonus surprise! After all, I was only in it to support my friend. But I can tell, that even 2 days of riding around on his dream motorcycle made Paras extremely happy. And despite the prettier scenes and experiences on our trip, these 2 days were the highlight for Paras and me.
Today, Paras owns his own Royal Enfield. Goes often on riding trips and has found his own separate tribe that enjoys motorcycling around.
That trip made me realize that travel changes us in many ways. Sometimes it is the place, or its memory or a companion – like the Royal Enfield for Paras. And that is the real beauty of travelling, isn’t it? How the experience differs for each of us.
Don’t you agree?
Well, I have something more to share with all motorcycle enthusiasts that will keep you interested all through the lockdown. Royal Enfield is a steadfast companion in any situation and here they have come up with one of a kind contest on Instagram. Do check it out, participate and loop in all your riding friends along. Simple rules, lovely pictures, what more do you need!