WHAT I DID :
The most awaited summer was after I graduated from Jai Hind College Mumbai, pursing a degree in Mass Media, specializing in Journalism.
My dream after college was to live in the mountains. In December 2017, seven months before graduation I had a conversation with my dad :
Me : “Dad after graduation I need to climb some mountains in order to clear my head. So I’m planning on heading to Dharamshala for a month, maybe longer.”
Dad : “Sure payu whatever makes you happy, but whose funding this trip?”
Me : “Uh you daddy, I mean I haven’t saved up money or anything even from the internships I have done.”
Dad : “I wouldn’t mind paying for a week, If you still want to go for a month, pick up a job.”
Me : (Grunts and leaves the room)
January 2018 (Runs into the room, nudges dad on the shoulder)
Me : “Look, Daddy I found work in the mountains”
Dad : “What, show me that (passes phones to show confirmation letter of Green Trails) this is for four months.”
Green Trails is an initiative of Indiahikes, India’s largest trekking community whose mission is to keep the mountains cleaner than we found it. Soon I moved 2,000 km away from home to live in a rural village known as Lohajung, located in Uttarkhand, India.
Over this brief period of time I engaged with local communities over pertinent issues regarding to waste, the process of waste segregation and the benefits it could reap if done properly. My team and I conducted upcycling workshops with the rural women, taught ‘Environmental Studies’ in primary school. I became a public speaker in a language that isn’t forte (Hindi) with the Market Association and Mahila Mandals.
Similar Reads : How I gave my First Briefing to the Trekkers
WHY I DID IT
Being a Defence brat brought out the travel bug in me, after that you know how the story goes, it’s never the same. Living abroad while growing up, trekking since I could walk, I knew I needed something that made me feel alive, which the city couldn’t provide. Three years living in a Mumbai, the last month my acquaintances sat for placements, I had my confirmation with Indiahikes.
The adventure truly began after my last exam, with a thorough drinking session and dancing till 2 am. Next day I flew from Mumbai to Delhi, took an overnight train to Kathgodam, sat in a twelve hour bumpy jeep ride to Lohajung, which became my house for the next 4 months.
Green trails will always be my dream job! It was truly really special. But I got to say, living in the mountains is not all that merry it’s quite a challenge. You rarely find anyone that would talk about it.
Some days were so tough, I would break down and asked myself, “Why am I here?” But then, I calmed down, took a deep breath and looked around, reassuring myself this was the reason.