Life Lessons Learnt from Ladakh Road Trip
Exploring Ladakh region by road was one of the top wish in our bucket list. After successfully completing the road trip we look back at the memories with pride and satisfaction. It was an enthralling road expedition that involved passing through some of the highest motorable mountain passes of the world. The average elevation of the terrain was around 12,500 feet. The road expedition was a gateway to heaven with changing topography and landscape at every juncture. It was not beautiful because of any particular spot or attraction but it was universally mystical. The journey through these terrains in itself was sightseeing. Every mountain and landscape was speaking to us and telling us some untold mystery. A trip that will remain embedded forever in our heart till eternity.
We have done lot of road trips in India but Ladakh expedition was altogether a different experience. I must confess it was a life defining as well as life changing experience. In our busy and monotonous life we do not experience situations that bring us near to inner self but while travelling we do learn from our sojourn and see life differently. It’s the phase where we can spend time for ourselves and introspect about life. “You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown; you travel for the unknown that reveals you with yourself.” – Ella Maillart. A road trip through one of the most treacherous roads of the world highlighted new scenarios at every stage of our journey. It tested our instinctive behaviours, emotions, reactions, endurance, likes & dislikes.
We are back to city life again but I must say our lives are definitely not the same. We are looking at life with a different perspective because of this experience and in ways that we never could have imagined. After completing this trip we came closer to ourselves with few important life lessons learnt:
Success requires Preparation
This was not an impromptu road trip that could be taken up casually. Due its treacherous terrain we started preparing for the trip well in advance forgetting all our previous road trip expeditions. With a detailed plan we were prepared and were free to enjoy the open roads and beautiful terrain. We were prepared with offline GPS as well as physical maps and had set the target for each of the 15 days spent on the road. We had the comfort of sufficient snacks in our kitty and knew that even if we did not get a restaurant we had something to feed ourselves. The comfort of being prepared was one of the main contributors towards successful expedition. Similarly in life we should have a plan for most of the scenarios and if executed well will lead you to success.
It’s not ME but WE is important
Personally, the most impressive lesson that I learned from Ladakh Road Trip was that it is not the individual that matters the most, but the community, or the family. While traversing through tough terrains where I was the pilot and lives of my near and dear ones were in my hand than I realised the amount of trust that my family has on me. Not even once they showed any sign of nervousness during the tour. That was the belief they have entrusted upon me which gave me the motivation and moral support during the road trip. “WE” have collectively made it possible to complete the trip without any problem. In Ladakh, the ego plays no big role and people are not there for themselves but for each other.
It’s important to be modest
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Scott. In our Ladakh sojourn we scaled through few of the highest passes of the world and came so close to mighty Himalayas that we realised the importance of being humble. Even the moon looked near the horizon which was a sight in itself. We met new people with different background and cultures, and became aware of the world and learnt how to become humble to other people.
Patience & Perseverance are the key to success
The most important lesson learnt! These were the key take away from our Ladakh road trip. While traversing through treacherous terrains of Ladakh like passing through gravels, unpaved roads, steep gradients, deep gorges, enthralling passes, slush, and water streams we realised the importance of patience and perseverance. At times we could only cover 10 KM in a span of 1 hour of continuous drive and had to wait for long hours due to unavoidable circumstances. Such was the determination required while traversing through these terrains. Similarly the journey of life is adventurous in itself where we face different situations which can be handled by patience and perseverance. When you travel, you learn to have patience with the things that are out of your control. We must accept as well as appreciate life in all its forms, and learn to accept it whole-heartedly.
Become more confident
After successful completion of Ladakh road trip we have become more confident and strong from inside. We have started assessing life differently and in the process have become mature. The satisfaction of traversing through one of the most treacherous terrains in the world had given us the self belief to achieve more in life as well as future travel escapades.
Nature is Supreme, Stay close to it
The mighty Himalayas simply send us the message that we are nothing against the forces of nature and had to accept the importance of it as “status quo”. The only way of travelling or living here is by surrendering yourself in the lap of nature & follow the rules of mother earth, live with them and not against them. People of Ladakh have accustomed their life by the rules of nature. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, we enjoyed the nature that was omnipresent there.
You become more responsible
In this region we were on our own and any action would have a direct impact on our journey. We learnt the importance of being disciplined in life and taking responsibility. Getting ready on time and complying with schedule was a key contributor towards our successful sojourn. Our lives are in our own hands and we need to mould it according to circumstances to pass through it.
Life is more beautiful without gadgets
In our comfy homes we feel life without gadget is very difficult and meaningless. We have confined ourselves to this gadget web and slowly life has taken a back seat. We were aware of no network connection on the hills and were ready for it. Once we reached Ladakh, we realised that there is something more precious than these gadgets and where are we wasting our life moments. Instead of being engaged on social media or mails or TV we were spending beautiful moments together which we will relish till our next trip. This is also one of the reasons which compel us to go on vacation.
Although a small region in the country, Ladakh has numerous monasteries, temples, and other religious establishments. Ladakh is symbol of peace and harmony and you can feel the same on the air. In this mystical land of lama irrespective of their caste & religion they consider themselves as Ladakhi first. Being part of a modern society of a metro city we may be way ahead of remote Ladakh region but when it comes to our religious beliefs and spirituality, we have a lot to learn from Ladakh and its people.