The highway to happiness

Road trips

The highway to happiness

Bengaluru has its fair share of young IT professionals who don’t think twice before they pack their bags and head out straight to the hills, beaches or just about any place that beckons them to escape the maddening pace of an urban setting.

They confess that these road trips not only help beat stress at workplace but also help to rediscover themselves. Most of these youngsters travel on bikes, cars or jeeps and say that the travel is not only exciting but also an extremely risky proposition.

“You have to be prepared for the worst,” shares Harilal Krishnan, an employee with Cisco, who recently went atop Khardung La in Ladakh by bike.

He says the recent tour offered him “a never-ending excitement”.

Talking about how these trips are rejuvenating, Harilal says, “I always travel with a group of friends. We never collaborate with travel agents but plan everything on our own.

There’s a sense of excitement in planning something from scratch. We may make mistakes or sometimes our calculations may go wrong but it is a great learning experience.” He states that there’s an immense amount of preparation that goes into every travel. “We have to not only be physically strong but be mentally prepared as well,” he adds.  
  
Those who are a part of regular biking expeditions wish to call themselves “travellers and not tourists”.

Anoop Vrinda, who runs his own startup, says, “These trips help you understand how the localites live and what food they eat among other things. They teach you how to face the challenges of nature, overcome unexpected obstacles and cherish the overall experience.”

Anoop’s most recent trip was through the beautiful and scenic landscapes of Chandigarh, Jammu, Kargil and Leh. “There were 16 of us on 13 bikes who set out on a trip to Ladakh. There were accidents, breakdowns and natural disasters enroute that stopped us many times but our determination saw us through. We forgot the hardships that we encountered along the way as we reached our destination,” he recalls.

Another professional, Jitesh Pamnani, describes his recent bike ride from Manali to Leh as a “dream trip”. “The ride began from Manali via serene, foggy and rainy stretches, until we hit the dangerous Rohtang Pass to reach Sarchu. From there, we rode to Baralacha La Pass and eventually reached Tso Moriri in the Ladakhi part of the Changthang plateau in Jammu and Kashmir,” he explains.

He says the best part about the trip was pitching tents beside the calm and beautiful Tso Moriri Lake. “This was definitely one of the high points of the trip,” he says. Jitesh adds that they rode non-stop for eight hours, until they saw a sign board which read ‘Welcome To Leh’.

Sharing his experience, Jitesh feels that it is best to keep an open mind when going on trips like this one. “During the journey, there were no roads at some spots and we had to ride through gravel, pebbles, sand, stones, fields, water crossings and then suddenly, if we were lucky, a smooth road would appear,” he recollects.

There are those who go on short trips as well, which could span over a weekend or run into a week as well.

Abin John travels in his jeep or takes bike rides to places like Munnar and places around it. “Meesapulimala and Kolukkumalai in Tamil Nadu are our favourite hotspots.” He adds, “After a hectic week at work, one of the best things that a couple of my friends and I do is hit the road and travel to the nearest getaway. These trips instill a lot of positivity and help focus better. They teach you that life is not as easy as it seems  to be.”

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