Here’s how popularising Leh is playing out!

Posted By : Faisal Rabbani/ 314 0

As soon as these passes open for public, pictures start flooding social media  platforms~ facebook / instagram won’t stop buzzing with selfie’s and groupies or solo pics capturing the breathtaking background. Once the euphoria settles and satisfaction prevails ~ the sense of belonging to the place also fades away.

Here's how popularising Leh is playing Out!

When it comes to Bollywood, our very own version of Hollywood,  we Indian’s are a proud lot .Movies play a significant role in our world of entertainment. Be it Fashion, Humour, Style, Culture, Haute-Couture or Travel ~ movies have been, the first influencers to the millions of audiences young and old! Two such movies Dil Chahta hai (2001) and 3 idiots (2003) ~( Check them if you haven’t already! ) play out storylines which are close to a lot of heart’s ! but then here’s the frame we want to focus on~ both these movies were shot in Leh and this box office result wasn’t pleasing. Here’s how the consequences of popularising Leh played out, read on!

Tourist arrivals have increased rapidly especially in the past decade which has undoubtedly given a boost to its economy and created more jobs. Leh has evolved as one of the most visited destinations in India in the summer months. As the terrain in Leh is extremely fragile, it is subject to more carbon footprint, more plastic waste and very little water to sustain the needs of the tourists. It is wrong to blame these movies for the most part of the modernisation that Leh is subject to and it is upon us as tourists/travellers to practice ways that conserve the nature rather destroy it.

When I first visited Leh in 2010, bikers trailing the Manali ~ Leh route was an uncommon sight ,fast forward to present day one can witness score’s of bikers and tourists alike wanting to experience this magnificent place -but here’s what’s missing – their actions to preserve and  conserve this pristine landscape they so much enjoy. As soon as these passes open for public, pictures start flooding social media  platforms~ facebook / instagram won’t stop buzzing with selfie’s and groupies or solo pics capturing the breathtaking background. Once the euphoria settles and satisfaction prevails ~ the sense of belonging to the place also fades away.

I am not sure how many of us are aware of the fact that Leh is the only cold desert in India with extreme temperatures, very little rainfall, ingenious agriculture and heart-warming culture. The region was opened for tourism in 1974 and about 500 tourists visited the destination in the first year, mostly expats and a resident population of 15,000 locals.

Conserving this very fragile ecosystem remains our responsibility. As travellers or tourists these are a few small things we should do to make a difference, a real difference and effect the ecosystem in a positive way.

-Do not Litter –

This holds true for every place that we visit but more importantly in a place like Leh. Avoid buying plastic water bottles, instead carry a bottle with you to refill. It is heartbreaking to see the lakes/passes littered with bottles of Coke, mineral water etc. Carry the non-biodegradable waste back home – Yes, it makes a huge difference.

-Use Compost Toilets –

Water is a limited resource for the people of Leh due to minimal rainfall. They use every drop of the melting snow to fulfil their irrigation needs and sustenance. Tourists are used to flush toilets which end up using a great amount of water + produces nitrogen rich waste. Adopt the local practices just for those few days to make a difference

-Chose local travel agencies and homestays –

Plan your trip with the local travel agencies which support and practice ecotourism. Give up the urban way of living for a few days and experience the hospitality by the locals.

-Hold or be a part of the workshops –

Help the local community and contribute your time in collaborating with them. You can do a number of things based on your skill set – English teaching lessons, music, writing, ways to enhance sustainable tourism and more.

-Save Water –

It’s okay to not take a shower everyday, yes that! Use solar heaters or room temperature water than promote the use of geysers and electrical equipment.

A famous quote reads – the use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are. We must inherit these practices as a way of life and conserve this place as is. We are already late but every single effort counts….. let us  be heroes just for one day!

Please feel free add to the idea’s mentioned here. Do leave your comments/suggestions or write to us at hello@ecohunters.in.in.

Real-time travel tips for introverts

Posted By : Faisal Rabbani/ 287 0

Travel is  about being open to experiences, both even and odd ones. Overcome your apprehension of an event by being open to any outcome , even it is not upto your liking. Spend time doing the things that your persona is comfortable with.

Real Travel tips for Introverts

The travel bug hasn’t spared even the meekest of individuals to step out and explore. Pictures of half naked revellers jumping off a lagoon, may be a opportunity to meet a beautiful someone or an experience which translates to some real soul cleansing !  While all of us look forward to such a get away, some  can’t seem to indulge in the moment ~

Read On to make the most of  your introversion on your next trip …

# Dive in Alone

Travel is  about being open to experiences, both even and odd ones. Overcome your apprehension of an event by being open to any outcome , even it is not upto your liking. Spend time doing the things that your persona is comfortable with.  If  that  means spending time alone ,do it, eventually you will find a sweet- spot between your travails for alone time and urge to socialise. And in due course when you  crave company you will have no choice but to socialise. Be it hopping on the next flight to meet a friend in a neighbouring city or striking up a conversation with a fellow traveller, your inner extrovert will find you.

# Travel with a wing-man or a wing-woman

If you are not a compulsive lone-wolf , consider travelling with one or two close friends. This makes for a perfect dynamic. When you need alone time you can easily break away without the need for any odd moments. Approaching other travellers will be easier as you will be comfortable in the knowledge that you wont have to indulge in small talk alone. Your travel partner will be a hand in glove in things that you aren’t comfortable initiating.

# Be Yourself

Introverts as the popular notion goes are not anti-social. They are individuals who need more alone time between intervals  of socialising. But here is the take away ~ introverts are always absorbing or observing the atmosphere  around them which makes them more perceptive and hence can connect at a deeper level with a individual. So when they bond they are definitely beyond Facebook friendship.

# Get Off the internet

This is probably one single popular reason why  people miss out on people! Get off Insta Scrolls , Facebook updates, Whatsapp texts. Use them strictly when necessary. Doing this will help you fully engage with your surroundings and  people. You will not miss out on that sudden photo op , may be even exchanging a glance with that someone! ~ this is possible only when you aren’t staring away at one of your smart gadgets!

# Resisting FOMO

For unaware souls FOMO is fear of missing out.

Instead of enjoying what’s around you, you spend more time worried that your travels don’t look the way they’re supposed to. There are  probably these images running in your head about whats it supposed to look like ! Oh yeah all those gazillion images online can trigger the feeling~ but what they don’t display  is the myriad edits these images took to get to your screen.

# Assume

ASS-U-ME, thats what assumption does. Don’t assume about a situation , place or a individual. If there’s anything on your mind or if curiosity is getting the better of you, step up and confront the thought through an action. If not the non-action will eat into your bliss and you would not have an answer to the question~ What if i Had~ this is your insurance for a similar situation in the future.

#Be Content

Don’t worry about how many likes your social post has got or be anxious that everyone else is having more  fun while you’re chilling on your own or that your buddy got lucky  while you couldn’t ! This is your trip and you can perceive the experience the way you want to. If  what you return with is a few titles ticked off your reading list, a tan on your body  and a smile on your face, that’s cool. Theres always a next time for those incomplete wishes or secret desires.

Hope you liked reading through our post. As always please leave your comments or write to us at contact@ecohunters.in.in for any suggestions.