I Unstrangered A Traveler, And It Changed My Life

It’s the last evening I’m spending in Mussoorie. I’m all alone. Looking at the sun, going slowly down and down. I’m a traveler. A cold breeze, a cup of coffee, and my favorite book “The Blue Umbrella” making it a perfect evening.

I just want that this evening never ends. I don’t want this moment to be my next memory.

But, I know the truth, time is not in my hands. Well, I’ve no regrets. An end of a journey guides towards a new journey. So, here I’m Hardik Save, sitting on the rock, drinking the last sip of coffee, and starting a new journey. I’m a traveler on a journey that will last till my last breath. But had I not unstrangered this traveler, would all this still happen?

A few months back, probably in January, I was messed up with my life. I’m a person who loves riding bikes, but the only ride I do is from my home to office and office to home. I was hunting for happiness.

Being an engineer and working from 10-7, I’ve only weekends to spend some time with my family. I don’t have friends over here, except for my office colleagues. I shifted to Delhi after completing my education. And I spend most of the time in office; so no time to make friends.

From an office colleague, I came to know about a mobile app called MYOLO. It’s an app which helps in meeting people you share interests with. Sounded interesting, so I gave it a try.

Unstrangering myself

Within a week, I was Unstrangered with a girl, Nishi Seth. Her profile said she liked dancing, singing, fiction movies, coffee, and traveling. Sounded an exact opposite of me, except for the love for coffee and traveling. And those similar interests were all that were needed to spark a conversation as we got talking.

In just ten minutes of our conversation, I was already so impressed by her. She didn’t just like traveling, but traveling was actually her profession too. She was a travel and food blogger, and a YouTuber. The most fascinating thing was that she rode a Royal Enfield.

A few days later after having discussed so much about bikes and Delhi, we met for coffee. It was when she was in Delhi to meet her family and was to soon leave for Bali, Indonesia, on an assignment, I think.

Something About Travellers

One thing I noticed about her was that she had excellent knowledge about different cities and places. That’s the best thing about travelers. They have incredible knowledge about places. If you’ve ever talked to a traveler, you will understand that travelers are great storytellers too. They meet strangers on a journey and end the journey with friends. A new day, a new location, a new routine. Amazing, isn’t it?

Through her, I came to know a lot of stuff about travelers.

Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

I also shared my love for riding with her, and that I had a boring life. In response, she said something, which changed my perception about traveling. She said, “I move not to avoid life, but for life not to avoid me.” And all of a sudden, I felt a sense of inspiration.

We met a few more times when she was in the city. Sometimes with her friends, sometimes with my office colleagues. Whenever we met, we always wandered somewhere in the city. Going for a trek, short one day trips, attending MYOLO events and exploring more things became like a thing that we did. And while doing all that we met some amazing people too. The video editor who was helping her with her YouTube videos was such an amazing guy as well. I mean the joy they all derived from their lives made me envy them too, but then it was all very inspiring.  

Over the next couple of months, I realised that the best thing that happens to you when you get unstrangered with a traveler is that they provide you a new sense of inspiration and nudge you towards your dreams. Like how Nishi and her friends helped change my dream of traveling into reality. It’s like the nudge you need to get on with your interests.  

My First Trip

It was one day when we were out a with her friends that we decided to go for a long trip, a real travel experience. She was the one who convinced me for the journey. And though none of her friends could join us that time we chose to go on a road trip to Ladakh in May.

After planning everything, finally, the journey started. For Nishi, it was just another trip. But, for me, it was the first time I was going to follow my passion.

We both choose to ride Nishi’s Enfield, one by one. It was better because we both can talk, ride and rest for a while. Living outside your comfort zone becomes normal on the road.

Finally, we reached Ladakh. The experience on a bike was amazing. It took us two days to reach Ladakh. That trip was just incredible. I experienced how travel contributes to our life.

A few days after we got back, Nishi was to leave. I was upset because I was going to miss this awesome friend I’d made. My travel buddy wasn’t going to be around. I wondered if I would go on more trips. Who would I go with? Who would egg me on?

Before she left we met one last time at a MYOLO event called Tripping Stories for all travelers because it seemed just perfect for us. It was outstanding.  

That evening was for the community that loves to travel. It was for us; a travel meet-up for all the traveling enthusiasts in the city! I met so many awesome people at this event and think I have probably discovered a few more travel buddies too. I cannot leave my job and start traveling all the time, but at least I can live my passion once a while. And for those trips, I’ve found my tribe here.

“People don’t take trips, trips take people.”
– John Steinbeck

The very next day after the event, Nishi left for Bali. And while I wishes her well on her journey ahead, I was also thrilled about what lay ahead for me with so many new friends I’d made. Delhi took on a new character all of a sudden. It seemed much more fun, it seemed so much like home!

And one day, after a few trips with some fellow bikers, I took off on a solo ride. And that’s where I am here today, writing this blog. The sun has set and the evening has turned to night. Mussoorie has slept. Moments are now memories.

Early morning tomorrow, I’m going to leave, so I better get to sleep now. I’m leaving with you lots of tales I believe. They sound even better in person, may be we’ll meet sometime. Or at least find me on MYOLO!

I end my blog with a famous quote, “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller.” So, go on, travel and unstranger yourself with new travellers and the world!

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