Vagabonding: 15 months on…


The adventures have begun.

I have lived a few lives. The stories keep piling up. I do not recall them; all at a time. Some days are tough. This is what I have chosen for myself. Traded money for time. I spend my days as I wish. The desires are limited. There is no rushing of any kind. No desperation to achieve anything, materialistic or otherwise.

Yet, the adventures will go on. Many more lives will be lived. Mountains need to be climbed. Intriguing travellers await a brief exchange. A thousand emotions to witness. Endless blurry stories to live and narrate.

Also read: The longest night of our lives

Vagabonding days

2 months in Sikkim went by exploring the little villages and admiring Kanchenjunga. Every street of Kolkata was marched for food while Banaras has been all about people; fascinating and unique.

And before the first Sun of summer arrived, I was in the mountains. 6 months weren’t enough. Nor will a lifetime be. And yet, I came back to the plains, riding on the autumn breeze. The days need contrast to be appreciated. Change; is what has been driving me all this while. In landscapes, scenery, weather, culture, food and people.

My time in Varanasi made me realize that the solitude of the country wasn’t necessarily what I needed all the time though that is exactly what I started craving after a highly active, entertaining social month where I had lost track of time. The same was the case in Pushkar where my cameras never left the backpack. Days were spent basking in the sun without any need to be productive. Sharing time and stories with fellow backpackers without any apprehension or pretence has been an understated joy, I had dreamt little about.

The bliss in inactivity is a treasure only a few can discover.

The experience: Backpacking in Varanasi for a month

There is an excitement to witness the colours of sunset and to hike for scenes only a few lucky ones have sighted. To live days as they come by. Time is running out anyways. Rough days at sea are part of the nomadic lifestyle. This is what makes life interesting. We sail on, embracing gratefulness.

When asked about the best place or experience, the general answer from all long-term travellers will mostly be similar. And that is understandable. It will always be difficult to pinpoint one. There is seldom any one event or happening that has been life-changing. That said, for me, the time spent on treks in the mountains has been the most wonderful. Nature’s enormity, it’s beauty and soothing music have been a force pushing limits within.

The experience is incomparable with my day-dreaming days. Karma is action. Given a choice, I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone. This is bigger and more unpredictable and beautiful than my imagination in every way. No longer poisoned by the burden of expectations from civilization, above all myself; I feel free.

If I were to die today, I wouldn’t care. But it is time to live.

The unknown awaits.

October 2021 was when I started my journey after quitting my corporate job in Gurgaon. This has been a conscious lifestyle choice. A decade of dreaming.
Here is a brief of my journey: Sikkim- Kolkata- Varanasi- Delhi- Chandigarh – Tirthan valley- Shangarh – Parvati valley- Manali- Ladakh- Chamba valley- Lahaul- Rajasthan

Also read: Biking in Rajasthan!

2 months in Sikkim. What did I do?

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to,
To see behind walls, draw closer,

To find each other and to feel.
That is the purpose of life.”

5 Replies to “Vagabonding: 15 months on…”

  1. Jordi says: Reply

    So glad to have crossed paths in one of my close to heart valleys. Make the most of your freedom and I hope to cross paths again.

    1. Raunak Airan says: Reply

      Sure we will someday. Jordi!

  2. Rahul Bhardwaj says: Reply

    Oh raunak bhai…Zindagi zindabad…We crossed path❤️ Banaras ❤️ hostel ❤️ bantai ❤️ angreja ❤️ love ❤️ friendship ❤️ shamshan holi❤️ manikarnika nights❤️
    raunak Bhai’s camera…..Raunak bhai❤️

    1. Raunak Airan says: Reply

      Best bhai!

  3. Bhawesh P says: Reply

    Well written and beautiful pictures.
    Love you brother. Take care!!!

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