An Interview with Kanchi
#1 Who are you and What got you into traveling?
Hi, My name is Kanchi, I’m basically from Rajasthan, an ex-IITian, current mathematics teacher and a traveler by heart. I’ve been traveling since may 2016. I got into travelling by chance. After being frustrated with a corporate life, Delhi party scenes and senseless shopping extravaganzas I took a trip to Kasol in may 2016 , Chamba and Dharamshala in June and then Kinnaur – Spiti in September. I was in Kinnaur and Spiti for almost a month and I think that trip changed everything. Since then there has been no looking back. Travelling comes a priority naturally to me now. It’s a necessity.
#2 What is your favourite Himalayan destination and Why ?
I can’t pinpoint a single Himalayan destination . I am attached to all of them through some beautiful memories. For example Kinnaur and Spiti circuit is and will always be very close to my heart as it was my first solo trip. Mechuka in Arunachal is a recent love affair. Like I said too many memories to just pick one.
#3 What sort of a traveler are you ?
I’m a curious Traveller, whatever place I go I try to find out everything about that place. its Mountains, rivers, forests, about its people, customs , local food and everything. I keep my eyes , ear and mind open and try to soak in the vibe of the place.
And that’s why I prefer traveling on low budget and by public transport because that’s how you get to interact with the locals and actually know about the place, and well it’s economical too.
#4 What’s your best and worst experience in the Himalayas ?
I don’t think I’ve had any worst experience in Himalayas, I mean sure I’ve had a bit of problems with public transport, bad roads, land slides, bug bites, extreme weather conditions etc, but they’re just a part of experience. I don’t really mind that.
Like the time when I was in Nako, and first time I saw Milky Way, God it was so beautiful I couldn’t believe my eyes. I lied on a mattress on an open roof and stared at it for at least 2 hours, in the chilly windy night in Nako.
Or like in Bir when I wanted to do paragliding. I reached there in month of January so i had to trek in snow till Billing (take off site for paragliding) . When we reached there it started snowing, so we waited for it to stop and eventually did paragliding. It was an amazing experience and then I partied with the locals of Chaugan village at night, dancing on kangri and kinnauri songs. It was one hell of a day.
Or the time when I sat near Chandertaal lake looking at it, for at least 5 hours , just trying to soak in the beauty of it, mesmerised by it.
Or recently in Arunachal when we reached a village in Anjaw district where there were no guest houses, but then we found a place to camp between a hot spring and milky blue Lohit river.
#5 What tip would you like to give to fellow travellers?
Only advice that I can give or I actually follow myself is that be a responsible and sensible traveller. Be sympathetic and humble to locals and a little less fussy about the facilities and luxuries in Himalayan regions. The life there is tough and since development is less the natural beauty has been preserved. It’s unfair to expect five star facilities in a remote Himalayan village. You’re lucky if you’re getting food and a place to sleep.
Enjoy the Himalayas but Respect them and keep them peaceful and clean.