Travelling is one of the best breaks to routine that you can get, and it definitely has some pros and cons to it. However, Shahen Pardiwala isn’t really talking about its cons, but rather the three main aspects of modern travel – Budget, Authenticity and Decamp
What is BAD?
You want your trip to fit into your budget; you want to taste the authentic flavours of the places you visit and experience the thrill of taking off in the middle of the week and retreat to a place that makes you forget about mundane routine.
BAD stands for Budget, Authencity and Decamp. But, how do you take the BAD of travel into account when resorts are charging huge tariffs, commercialization has hit all those nature-abound corners and stolen their real feel and decamp is too far-fetched an option to have a memorable trip? Seems next to impossible? Maybe not! Here’s how you can get the BAD into all your travels!
Fitting into the B: Budget
Fitting everything on the list for a trip in a fixed minimal budget is difficult. But that does not mean you don’t consider travelling at all. Rather, how about cutting down the cost of the stay?
Travelling to a city for a week and rates at hotels seem way too much? How about a free stay at a hospitable Travel local’s house which you can book online? Couchsurfing. com provides a platform for hosts to offer their couches, air mattresses or beds to travellers.
First, you need to fill out your CouchSurfer’s profile giving a low-down about your lifestyle and yourself. Whenever you want to plan a vacation, all you have to do is browse locals and find people you’d like to be hosted by. Next you have to send a personalized couchrequest about your reason to meet, to the hosts you’ve zeroed in. Sending requests to a minimum of five hosts is recommended.
And to think this is an absolutely free service? Amazing, any transactions are restricted but travellers can repay by cooking a meal or a small token of gratitude. However, it gets you the B!
Experiencing the A: Authenticity
What’s the point in travelling all the way to a serene destination 2000 km away from the hustle and then sit in a hotel room watching a daily soap, while simultaneously eating Chinese fried rice and scrolling through your newsfeed? The A of travel is to feel the locale as it is without the commercial garnishing!
Tour to a tranquil destination, but where do you get the authenticity and the raw essence? Homestays are the best options to get to live amidst the actual beauty of the place, and you’ll still feel the warmth of a home. You’ll get to bathe in the nearby river or stream! You’ll get authentic local cuisine. Here are homestays in India to get your A:
Raju’s Cottage: Goshaini, Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh.
If there’s a reason this homestay is mentioned here then it is the word of mouth it has received. Staying true to the A, you won’t find a mobile network there and you are allowed(rather compelled) to get lost in the intrinsic feel of the Tirthan valley. There is not one iota of commercialization here!
What is surprising is the variety of cuisine served. Especially the trout fish, freshly caught from the river that runs alongside (that fish could have very well be your catch!) Apple and apricot juice bottles lie in abundance and you can gleefully devour the taste while sitting near the fireplace.
Raju Uncle (as he is fondly referred to) and his family, will be very welcoming hosts.Your constant companions would be mountain dogs, constantly on the watch! Come out for a stroll and you’ll see the students in the village studying on rocks by the river.
The only thing that possibly connects you to the outside world, and the only way for you to enter this abode is a trolley that moves above and across the river.
Garava Farm House: Panosekond Village, Mangaon, Maharashtra.
This farmstay gives you the A in its own unique way. The homestay is owned and managed by 82-year-old, Jayant Naik and his daughter Poornima Naik. It gives you the perfect feeling of being at home, but of course, away from the bustle and rush in the city.
The homestay is located amidst an agricultural land spread over a vast area, surrounded by the Sahyadris. It distinguishes itself with its feel that is completely cut off from the outside clamour. “I ask guests to switch off their cell phones when they come here. They are delighted when they find out that there is no network over here,” says Poornima.
Your humble agro-guides over here will be the hosts themselves, ready to spend all night talking about their expeditions and sharing their life stories. Your view from the veranda is a variety of plants like mangoes, jasmines, rice, papayas, and cashew nuts among many more! “People know rice as the finished final product, they don’t know the complete process. Here, the process happens in front of them,” explains the owner’s daughter.
Feeling the D: Decamp
This is when you decamp and retreat into a different world altogether, in the most exciting and thrilling ways!
Endless hours of riding through mountains, valley and streams onto a nature kissed journey’s end, exploring sceneries you can’t even imagine and creating life-long
reminiscences, everything; on a bike!
What makes bike trips exciting is the ecstasy of discovering sites with a picturesque landscape? That too, in almost every view, impossible by any other means of travel. Does this excite you and make you pack your haversack? Do that! There are a few resources Ladakh Bike Trip 2016 and Enfield Riders, a motor cycle tour company to get star ted with planning your bike trip.
Talking about cool and exciting ways to travel to your destination, let’s come to the most whacky one – Hitchhiking, or asking for lifts from passing vehicles.It is perhaps the most amazing way to decamp. You just know you have to ask for a lift from vehicles moving by, and let the travel decide where you will land up. Hitchhikers usually ask for lifts from drivers by showing physical signals or written sign-boards. The most commonly used physical gesture is the thumb facing up.
However, you just wondered if it would be actually possible in India, didn’t you? How would you even explain drivers to give you a ride? But yes, it is possible! Travelers who have hitchhiked across India have said that people don’t really know what hitchhiking actually is. A “lift” is what you can ask for! Explaining your situation and moreover stating that you want a free ride can be quite an exhausting process.
Getting lifts on motor bikes or trucks is possible, but usually you might need to engage in small talks with the driver. Silence may lead the driver to suspect you of being a dacoit or robber. Might seem insane, but there are chances you might be thrown out midway. It might be tough, but hitchhiking can get you the BAD, or the bad into your travel!