Swati Mittalhad been following This Guy’s On His Own Trip for 5 years. As 2020 begun she finally took the plunge and took her much awaited trip with OHOT. She visited the snowy Tirthan Valley and was found jumping about on rocks and running up and down the hill. Once they were back she emailed us this thank you note for trip leader Niyati Saxena.
“I always kind of had a fascination for discovering new places and exploring the lands. And I still remember clearly the moment when my friend told me about Neeraj’s Adventure. How he decided to quit his job and follow his passion for travel and was out exploring the world solo. With dreams of my own to travel to far and distant places I was instantly hooked to his story and when he started doing trips and taking other people on these wonderful adventures, I knew that I wanted to one day join him on a trip. And finally after 5 years I had the opportunity of going on a trip to Tirthan Valley by this moment I was so hooked to the stories and updates on OHOT’s insta account that I felt like it was now or never.
The trip to Tirthan Valley was led you, Niyati a.k.a. the most amazing trip leader I have ever come across. You are joyful, cheery, fun loving, fierce and most of all adventurous. I mean who takes trippers down a mud trail to explore the river side in the valley gorge while the car is waiting for the traffic to clear up ahead. It’s never easy for me to open up to strangers but like you said later on our conversations were so casual and free flowing it felt as if we had been friends for a long time. This time around the last week we were sitting by the bonfire and sharing our romantic escapades with a bunch of strangers. Something that I never imagined myself doing in a hundred years but being around you it sparked a new life in the flickering flame of adventure within me.
I have had this dream of hitting the road and living the nomadic life for quite some time and I know it’s no piece of cake so somewhere within my heart I always had this sliver of fear that ‘what if I fail?’. But talking to you it made me realise you either go with the flow or stay at the river bank wondering about what could be? Getting to know you and discussing all my plans for the next few years with you was quite exhilarating. It was like you knew exactly what I was thinking about. Sharing my travel dreams with you was the best moment for me and now that I think about that walk to Gushaini a week later I feel pumped with determination to see it all through.
I have experienced adrenaline highs before and gone exploring random trails in the mountains but nothing can compare to the feeling that I experienced crawling up the snow-covered trail at Jhibi waterfalls or climbing up the stream instead of the normal road. You helped me reconnect with the wild and reminded me of the first time I tasted the elixir of adventure. Reflecting back on the great time we had together on that trip I wrote earlier this morning –
Out of the blue one day,
A voice within me asked, “Who am I?”
And for the first time in life
I was faced with an endless debate.
Torn between my dreams
and others expectations of me
I knew my soul was lost
somewhere along the way.
But being the adventurer I am,
I decided to get lost a little more.
This time in the wilderness
to rekindle with my inner la loba.
So here I was in the middle of a valley
talking to you about lost dreams.
Your migrant musings sparked in me a new life
and my dreams didn’t seem so a distant anymore.
We might have started off as strangers
but when we lost track of the distance traveled
and the bridges crossed,
I knew something stronger was forging.
Your words they inspired me and
Fueled the dying fire of curiosity within me.
Watching you talk about your journey
Gave me hope and made me believe in my plans.
And someday when our paths
Shall cross yet again on another road
I hope you don’t have to ask for a hug
but rather just claim one.
And then when you ask, ‘what’s up?’
I’d take a knee and look up to you
and say, ‘I did it’.
I hit the road and I hit it running
and your words they guided me
every step of the way.”