The word travel can mean different things for each. Could one imagine what it could mean to a child? Perhaps it would be just another intriguing world surround the child within with its massiveness. Exploring the newest of places at a tender age can also make one more perceptive when they are growing up. Instead of flagging their birthplace as their own, solo traveller children make the world their home with each place having its own essence.
Exploring the strange world at the age of eight is Upasana Kakati who looks at the vastness of the world with the eyes of a child. Moreover, as a travel blogger, much of her journey is for the content itself. But, what people forget are the hidden and undocumented personal experiences that she carries within. Journalling her adventures through the lives she lives, this is the story of a solo traveller who sees the world as her wish list.
A Lecturer Turned Solo Traveller
A full-time lecturer from Nagaland, for four years, Upasana travelled to explore her birthplace during long weekends. Juggling between a full-time job and a passion that drove her was challenging. Furthermore, she planned her long term travel during summer and winter vacations.
In 2019, Upasana took a step to quit her job and moved to New Delhi to earn her living through online tutoring. That way, she managed her funds through online teaching and freelance writing.
The World Of A Child
Upasana did her schooling in Dehradun. Being from Assam, she was sent to a boarding school at the age of eight. As an eight-year-old, the grandeur of Delhi was overwhelming, coming from a small town. The hand-pulled rickshaws, old dusty lanes, the architectural marvel and not to forget the delectable street food caught her fancy. That is her first memoir of travel. It changed her perspective, opened her to newer experiences as well as made her realise the world is not an oyster.
Adventure in travel
Every travel has its own adventure. Upasana recalled derivation of adventure from the culture and people. She talked about her love for solo travelling. In south-east India alone, she has covered various destinations. From remote places in the North East to bigger metro cities, solo travel taught her a lot along the way. According to her, it pushes one out of their comfort zone, makes them a better manager and teaches one so many cultures.
Moreover, travelling through remote and offbeat villages, it made her believe in humanity. Some strangers had been so kind and selfless along the way. It made her independent and faced things in a completely new light. Furthermore, when she had been facing emotional hardships, it was a solo trip that healed her soul. It pushed her to write and find her way to communicate her journey.
Giving an insight into her style of travel, the solo traveller talked about homestays. She called them the best way to live among the people and understand the culture. Upasana is a giver and a keeper. While choosing a place, she takes pride in learning about how people earn their livelihood and living. Furthermore, she is also a trekker. Reminiscing her hikes, she talked about her exploration into the Himalayan ranges and the community settled there. One of her wishlists still includes trekking the altitude with the locals.
A Roopkund Getaway
Talking about her bucket list accomplishment, Upasana squealed talking about her solo altitude trek to Roopkund. A Himalayan trek is not for a soft soul. Booking an experience on a whim, she trekked with twenty strangers. It was exhilarating. With falls in the snow, twisting of an ankle and heavy breath, it was a tough one. However, the view, the supportiveness of strangers and the blanketed beauty of the world made it a life-changing experience.
There was no looking back. An iron fist in life and perhaps, one would realise that the world is not so bad after all.
Love For People
Meeting new people is a blessing when travelling. They are the soul of a place after all with civilisations settled from generations. One such journey that made her want to make a change was in Manipur. Discovering the Loktak Lake in Manipur, the travel blogger left for a solo trip. Booking a stay near the fisherman family at a homestay wouldn’t be something everyone would do. However, for Upasana, it came as a tricky yet blissful blessing.
She recalled feeling at home for three days when she was treated as their daughter. Breaking the language barrier, she communicated with signs and smiles. In addition to that, the homestay was run by Sangai Moonlight camping but managed by a local fisherman family. The morning she had left the place, the hostess hugged her and cried, bidding her goodbye. Imagine having an impact in a land away from yours. The bond is something is cherish. For her, travelling is a blessing when she meets beautiful humans along her trip.
Bucket List Goals
Upasana has always wanted to explore the lands offbeat to people yet rich in culture. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan offer some of the best raw natural beauties and locals who stay in harmony with it. In addition to that, she has always wanted to travel to the corners of Kashmir.
Upasana’s has kept her motto never to treat travel as a competition. The moment one starts travelling for competition, they lose its essence. Her passion for knowing the world has kept her going. Documented or undocumented, the desire for it fiery and kept her zeal for writing and exploring alive. Financial independence is another key to keep it going. A solo traveller and explorer at heart, her neverending wishlist is inspiring.
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