Hyderabad: Being cooped up at home, sipping tea in the balcony and dreaming of going to the mountains or the beach or getting nostalgic looking at old travel pictures wasn’t going down well with youngsters from the city. Especially for travel enthusiasts who would do frequent trips before the pandemic. So, as the restrictions and the fear of Covid began to ease down, they started to make travel plans.
Take for instance Ayesha Fatima, an Investor Relations Analyst from the city, who recently hiked up to Triund, a stunning alpine meadow and viewpoint, just outside of Mcleodganj, Dharamshala. “In the beginning, I was having social anxiety. I was inside my house for months together, so facing people suddenly and sometimes without a mask, gave me anxiety. Climbing up the mountains was on the top of my to-do list as I wished to overcome my phobia of height. I was there for 3 days and 2 nights, and the experience of exploring a new place with my friends, after so many months of being alone at home, was something I’ll never forget,” shares the 26-year-old.
Staying away from crowded tourist attractions and exploring unexplored places seems to be the new travel trend. And for people with wanderlust, 2021 looks promising. Sai Teja, a health coach from Hyderabad, visited Madikeri, Abbey Falls, Golden Temple of Namdroling Monastery and other places in Karnataka.
He says that while travelling was a little scary as he commuted in a train, he loved his first trip in the pandemic and enjoyed local shopping. “I had planned five trips in 2020 but the lockdown happened. So, in last October I slowly started planning for a trip, but was concerned about my family’s safety. So taking all precautions such as wearing a mask and always carrying a sanitiser with me, I managed to do a trip in the end of December with some friends I made on the Meetup app,” says Teja, who next plans to go to some unexplored places in Kerala, Delhi, Mysore and Goa.
Some like Sriharika Akella even quit their corporate jobs in 2020, travelled and took up something they truly loved. The 26-year-old, who recently transformed into a yoga instructor, volunteered for a month at a farm in Moodabidri in Mangalore.
“After so long, I got an opportunity to travel but it wasn’t a regular trip. Through the platform Workaway, I got to stay at a stranger’s place and in return volunteered at their areca nut farm. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone after months of staying home. The whole experience of working in the farm and then teaching yoga to my students was refreshing,” says Harika, who plans to explore Kerala next.
Taking a road trip and avoiding public transport is another travel trend that’s picked up in recent times. For Arun Singh, who travelled to Hampi recently, getting out of Hyderabad was stimulating.
“The past few months, I could only explore places within the city. So, as a family, we decided to do a road trip. It’s an 8-hour journey to Hampi from Hyderabad – we packed essentials, took food along with us, and wore masks and sanitised at the pit stops. After exploring some places like Matanga Hills, Anjanadri Betta and Mahanavami Dibba in Hampi, I realised that there are so many places to explore in India. 2021 is going to be all about travel for me, and the extra precautions are worth it,” concludes Arun, a Risk Investigator at Amazon and dancer.
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