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Bhrigu Lake Trek: Where it all began!

Traveling is like meditation. From feeling lost, I find myself; from feeling anxious, I find purpose; from feeling low, I find joy; from feeling left out, I find great people.

A great success story always comes with its background scores. While I'm standing tall and proud now after completing my life's first trek (I know I am making a big deal out of it), it goes without saying that there's a story behind this one too! What I am trying to say here is - it didn't just happen out of the blue. There was a sense of purpose all along, coupled with inspiring words from a few dear friends that echoed throughout the process - and eventually, a small idea came to life.

Let me roll back the reel to put some context to this background story. Back in March, it was a crisp morning in Tabo (Spiti Valley), and we had all just returned from our quick neighborhood stroll. We were sipping on our hot sea buckthorn tea while our host was busy serving us homemade flatbreads with achaar on the side. It wasn't just like any other morning - you know why? Cause that morning, some great plans were made by some great people - people who came together by choice and grew closer later. I call them friends now.

In the beginning, I was the odd one in the discussion. These guys were busy talking about their past trekking experiences and where they planned to go next. I sat there with a sense of loss and embarrassment for not taking up half of these life-changing activities as the others had. I wasn't too sure if I was fitting well in that conversation. I was admiring them as I processed their stories in my head. I didn't know what to add or what similar experiences to bring to the table. It was an awkward moment, now that I think of it.

"Why don't you sign up for a beginner-level trek?" - out loud he said. I was giggling inside, but on the outside, I showed no reaction. I was twice as embarrassed. "What are these guys even saying!" But they were persistent. I didn't even know what to make out of this idea. What do I even need to do to be able to trek? Am I even fit enough for this? Am I not too fat to trek? I mean, why am I going to take up something that I will not be able to live up to in the end?

It was a struggle to convince the other part of my brain that trekking wasn't my thing. But then a miracle happened. Somehow, I was talked into it. I knew at that moment that there has to be a beginning for everything - "I might be scared to make this move now, but I will never find out if it's all that scary without pushing myself into it!"

It took me a while, but I was convinced by the end of our breakfast that I will enroll for my first trek - if not right away, maybe a few months down the line. My journey took off that morning itself. I was just waiting for the final day to arrive. From being an absolute dull, who knew nothing about trekking, or where to go sign up for one, or which one to even go for - five months later, I can at least sit with a bunch of trekkers and share my stories (for a change).

Sometimes you need a little nudge - little motivation - and you just need to stick to your game and finish what you had started. That extraordinary morning in Tabo is forever etched in my heart and I am grateful for finding such inspiring stories along the way - stories that allowed me to go beyond my comfort zone and achieve something that I had never thought of before.

When I reached the summit, I thanked these guys for making me see things beyond the usual routine; I thanked them for inspiring me to challenge myself even when I thought I'd not make it to the next campsite. This is my extraordinary story. What's yours?

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