A Note from a First-Time Backpacker

Backpacking as a concept fascinates one and all! Living like a nomad in new and strange places, talking to new people from all over the globe and eating different kinds of food; whether you are a person that can pull it off or not, the thought of giving it a shot has definitely crossed your mind at some point in time or the other. Bringing the concept of backpacking to India, The Land Out There is one such company that is making travelling across the country easy and affordable for youngsters like us. Based in Bombay, TLOT is run by two young minds, Sherwin and Divya, and gives you the closest experience of backpacking that you can have.

I recently went on an 11-day trip to Himachal Pradesh organized by them and I have to admit that each day was spectacular and brought in something new to look forward to. Involving beautiful locations such as Mcleodganj, Mandi, Kasol, Malana, Kheerganga and Pulga, the trip consisted of bus rides using local state transport, taxi rides, walking around nature trails and hiking up and down mountains and valleys. What made it backpacking in true essence was that we carried limited clothing in one single backpack, we had to be independent and take care of our own bags, we stayed in rooms with the most basic amenities, we used local transport for conveyance, and we had ample time to explore the place on our own and get a feel of it individually.

I’ve done a 14-day biking trip to Leh-Ladakh with Tyremark. I’ve felt the adrenaline rush of reaching the top of a snow-clad mountain and feeling like you are on top of the world. But the highlight of that trip was being on bikes, having authority over your own transport, exploring nature in its true form on two wheels. But getting the actual feel of a place, walking aimlessly on its streets, seeing the content and happiness in the hearts of people who are satisfied with what they have and spreading a smile or two amongst the locals there is something that only this backpacking trip could have given me. We were on our own, like lost souls, but still in a herd, free to do whatever we wanted to but also bound somewhere by the influence of the people with us. We were free, we were out there to explore, learn new things, feel the love, give some love, have random laughs, create memories and cherish them for a lifetime!

Keep following the blog to read about how I spent these eleven days amongst the peace and glory of the mountains.

Karishma Rajan

The founder of The First Fork, Karishma likes to live in the moment and take life as it comes. Originally from aamchi Pune, she is swalp Bangalorean at heart and loves the Mumbaiya energy! Biking adventures, good food and inappropriate humour are things that get her going and she fantasises about going hitchhiking around the galaxy one day.