Well somehow unknowingly we’ve come up with a travel oriented edition and not so surprisingly our “In focus Candidate” is a travel freak .
Mr. Vinay Chauhan works with Railway SBG in the ISD department, L&T Construction. In a career spanning twenty years he has worked in diverse domains ranging from Manufacturing, Production planning, Vendor Development, Procurement & Information Technology . He is very passionate about travelling and photography , and loves to explore places all by himself by dedicating certain leaves in the year solely for this purpose .
While speaking to him it suddenly hit me that it might not be a bad thing to do after all . More often than not we plan for that dream trip for months together and when it comes down to the wire , suddenly our friends get cold feet and the plans don’t quite pan out. Synonymous to a term used in cricket , if you play the waiting game , you’ll go nowhere , why let others hold your dreams back ? More than that, solo travel gives you ultimate freedom. You wake up and it’s just you – what you want, where you want, when you want. In that freedom and infinite space of possibility, you meet yourself. You hit the limits of what you like and don’t like. There’s no one to pull you in any one direction or override your reasons. It’s sink or swim and you have to learn how to survive – who to trust, how to make friends, how to find your way around alone. That’s the greatest reward of solo travel – the personal growth. Whether a weekend away, a two-week vacation or trip around the world, one should try it at least once.
Anyway coming back to the person in discussion , in a candid discussion with Mr. Chauhan , he described his experiences and shared some ‘gyaan’ with respect to solo travel .
What made you think to follow your passion religiously and when ?
Acoording to him, In order to fulfill your passion there is no need for any time or particular location, it can be fulfilled even when you’re on the way to work .His passion since childhood has always been exploring new places, meeting & understanding people and photography especially Bird Photography .
Which all places have you visited thus far ?
He says ,
I am a true wanderer and hence like to travel alone.
My most recent visit was to the Valley of Flowers & Sh. Hemkunt Sahib in Uttrakhand which is a part of Nanda Devi Wildlife Sanctuary. A truly divine experience I’ve also done Badrinath , Kedarnath , Leh , Ladakh including Pangong Lake Bharathpur Bird Sanctuary , Jalana Forest Jaipur , Basai Wetlands to name a few which come to mind at the moment. I dedicate atleast one leave period in a while solely for this purpose as it helps me rejuvenate for work too .
What has always been your ‘trip of a lifetime ‘?
“Trip of lifetime” he says , Pangong lake during 1st week of April 2015 is a personal favourite and was the most adventurous trip. But a trip I long to make is to the Nelong Valley near the India – China border which was closed for civilians after the 1962 war.
Highlight any downsides or unexpected complications you might have come across ?
Ponders for a moment and then goes , on one of the trips , I think Pangong lake it was the roads were totally covered with almost one feet snow, it was -8 degrees. Celsius outside, no chains to the tyres , only few Army Jawans & Vehicles trying to clear out the snow. Even the oxygen level was very low, I had a gentle nausea attack.
Oh that might have been some experience to complete that trip and the following trips , what drives you to follow your passion even now ?
Passionately exclaims ,
Obstacles are part and parcel of every objective and we can’t mourn around about it , we’ve to pick ourselves up and move on with life .
Exploring new places & finding more about nature especially birds has always a stimuli which keeps motivating me to fuel my desire to travel
How do you convince your family to stay home-bound in all this ?
Very difficult question ! ( smiles). Then with a slight grin quietly says ,
My family understands & respects my passion !
Any other hobbies you like to do/follow ?
Well in order to sustain during trips , one has to be mentally strong & physically fit. Hence I religiously take help of yoga at home & hit the GYM on regular basis. (smiles)
Any last message for the readers?
He gladly replies,
Don’t limit yourself to boundaries. Explore new places & respect nature .
On behalf of team Enlightenment, we would sincerely like to thank Mr. Vinay Chauhan for taking out time to have this talk and I’m pretty sure your words and experiences will inspire many a person to try their hands at solo travel .
Here are a few of the photographs , he’s taken during some of his travels to fulfil another passion of his “ Photography” ( Some POM worthy ones there :P)
As told to Rijul Nadkarni (LT RLBU)