MY STORY: How We Took Our Toddler to the Himalayas on a Shoestring Budget


In the MY STORY section, we present some of the most compelling and pertinent stories and experiences shared with us by our readers. Do you have something to share? Write to us: [email protected] with “MY STORY” in the subject line.

This is the story of two travellers from two cities. Their passion for travelling brought them together – they met, married, and are now exploring the Himalayas together with their daughter.

I am a born traveller. I love travelling and I am crazy about the hills. At school, I remember turning the pages of geography books excitedly and looking at the atlas for hours. The thought of mauve-coloured skies and bluish mountain ranges would take me into a world of imagination and I would see myself driving over paths that took me nowhere. But the general happenings of life always came in the way of my travel plans; there would always be something more important coming up.

Nivedita was studying literature in Delhi University at the time. We shared this common love for books but our talks always revolved around people and places, which would ignite our deep desire to travel that was buried within. This passion brought us together and we soon married each other. It was after six months of the wedding that our never-ending journey through hills and valleys began.

Our first trip as a duo

saurabh-and-niv

We began by making our bucket list. We wanted to explore the top 100 hill stations in India first and then explore the remaining parts of the globe. Our first trip as a duo was to Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. It was a memorable trip and we covered the entire Kullu district, including places like Manali, Kasol, Manikaran, Marhi, etc. This was just the beginning of our journey through the valleys. It was around the same time that we came to know that a new member was going to join our family soon – our daughter.

Our first trip as a trio

Niti, our daughter, was just 45 days old when we planned our first trip as a trio. This time, our wanderlust took us to Kasauli, a small hill town of enthralling beauty and a picturesque landscape. Unexpectedly, Niti kept her eyes wide open – exploring wild flowers, rare birds and mystical valleys throughout. I felt that she was enjoying her waking hours. It was during this trip that I saw her million dollar smile for the first time. The high altitude was not a problem for her at all and we were happy that she was all prepared to accompany us on our journeys.

Our budget and sponsor:

travelingfamily

We are not preachers of luxury stays and high-end tours. Instead, we prefer budget trips because they help us connect with people. You will not be able to connect with the culture of a place freely if you are sitting in your luxurious SUV; people won’t come to share local stories with you if you keep yourself closed inside five-star hotels and resorts. The highest amount of money we have spent on one trip was $600 (approximately Rs 40,000). I work as a freelance web developer and freelancing gives me the opportunity to work from anywhere, while successfully funding our travel plans.

Future Plans

I am setting up my blog to sponsor my trips in the future. The idea is to help people plan budget trips with examples and learnings from my own journeys. Up until now I have covered about 40 Himalayan villages and towns and there are many more to go. I believe that travelling changes your personality and behaviour and, as the popular saying goes, “It is the only expense that makes you richer.” Join me on my journeys, here.

– Saurabh

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: [email protected], or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

About the author: Saurabh is a freelance web developer and a passionate traveler. He loves to travel along with his family to offbeat destinations and documents his stories at eragenx.com

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