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Life of a trip leader: the one year milestone

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Celebrated 1 year of trip leading yesterday. You know how they say life comes full circle? Well, it really does. I was lucky enough to have celebrated by 1 year in the very place where I led my first trip – Tirthan.

Trip leader Niyati Saxena

This 1 year has filled me up with memories for a lifetime. Be it night snorkelling for spotting glow fish phytoplankton or kayaking into blue lagoon caves, jumping into icy rivers or trekking through snow clad peaks. And yet as beautiful as the places I visited may have been, the best moments are those shared with people. The time a girl cried and hugged me as we meditated in a 100 year old monastery in Spiti; the time when a tripper said he had the best birthday of his life with us when he got to celebrate it after 2 years; the times when we’ve danced in the middle of nowhere from roads to mountains to beaches to fields and had people look at us as if we are crazy; the time when we completed a trek and people hugged each other and me because they thought they won’t make it; the times when someone has sat in a cosy little hotel room sharing their struggles with absolute strangers and cried and smiled at the same time. There have been times on the roads where things got tricky and while I was handling people I was blessed to meet those who would insist on checking on me; hah once I had trippers stressing about how I would go for a back to back trip while I was busy dancing even with fever. When roads got rough people came out of comfort zones to step up and help not just themselves but even the unknown.

To see an introvert singing loudly around a bonfire, to see a reserved person jump to hug a fellow tripper, to see folks loose their inhibitions and dance with one another, make jokes at and throw snowballs at each other, to witness airport goodbyes where people have cried after knowing each other for just a few days, to see my trippers make video calls and to have reunions..gosh, I could go on and on.

This 1 year has been a range of emotions. While “Society is a crazy breed” and that remains undeniable, I have been lucky enough to witness the better side of humanity. The laughs, the love, the kindness, the affection, the madness and everything in between. And just when I thought I’m super lucky, I got even luckier as I received a surprise at my doorstep right now. I’ve just returned from my Tirthan trip today morning and the bell rang with someone holding a cake, a bamboo plant and a sweet congratulatory card for me. My Auli Christmas 2019 batch sent out this bundle of love and made my one year anniversary just that much more special. It’s one thing to touch a milestone, it’s another to have made such friends out of strangers who cheer and celebrate your milestones.

Auli group trip packages

Sending out some snowy love to everyone who’s been a part of the journey. Big hugs.

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