During my last trip to Himachal Pradesh, I kept wondering why I was always pulled back towards the mountains of our country.
What is it that gives me this sense of belonging, comfort, a true feeling of home away from home. I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the hilly regions , mountains whether for a week or a month.
I find myself relaxed, aware, and with a sense of peace that feels more like home than any other place.
While introspecting and observing my behaviour, I realised that I would lower my guard, smile often and be more patient on my travels as compared to being in the city.
On my trip to Jibhi, it dawned on me that some of the most useful and powerful tools one possesses is their smile and sincerity – It is a way into people’s heart and lives.
I was able to befriend strangers, make awkward scenarios more comfortable and get elders to share their adventurous life stories.
I have often wondered how some photographers capture the essence and joy of people through their images; during this trip I discovered the same joys of sharing happiness and conversations from children to elders…
Sipping chai and chatting up with locals, sharing a meal with my hosts, and meeting travel companions on the way was all a part of openness and the idea of smiling at someone along the way. Not that this was new in my travels yet I found myself more open to strangers and meeting people.
I also realised that the warmth and love you are greeted with in our hills cannot be compared.Being a solo female traveller always raises a few questions, curious looks by locals but the smile and honesty soon lets you into their world and stories.
Soon they are a part of your story and not the other way around.
So with that thought …“Keep smiling because Life is a Beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about” – Marilyn Monroe.
P.s. Some of my favourite smiles from my travels.