I did my first ever solo trekking and camping to Triund in the year 2018. That was the moment when I planned that I would travel more anyhow. I had traveled to Kathmandu from November end to December starting in 2013 and Kasol in 2017 and done river rafting at Rishikesh in April 2018. Traveling aggressively takes a lot, money, planning, and sometimes your health too. But it gives a lot. It gives a sense of accomplishment, a sense of breaking free, and a sense of being alive. I am a nature lover and more of a mountain person. I grew up in a village in my childhood where we had hills and that always inspired me. Moreover, I loved watching NatGeo, Discovery, Animal Planet, etc. during my childhood and that too influenced me a lot to do something like this. I managed to do 12 trips in 12 months in 2019. Yes, you heard it right. 12 months and 12 unforgettable journeys.
I am a weekend traveler. When you are working full time, it really becomes hard to travel everything month. So, I found another solution. I worked at places that had two week-offs and I started traveling on weekends and that’s how I managed my 12 trips in 12 months. It is a bit of a hectic thing to think while maintaining everything in pace with normal life and job and family and personal life too.
I even did a small trip Kurukshetra in 2019.
I did a one day trip to Kurukshetra which I am not including in this blog post.
Life is totally unpredictable and we never know what tomorrow brings us. Traveling like this made me realize that we have to seize the moment. There will be moments in life where there will be no right time. The only right time would be when you step in and grab your chance. If you are a travel enthusiast, someone who loves traveling then you must have a travel bucket list. I always remember a quote I read somewhere during my college days (if you know it, let me know in the comments)
Life may not give you the same choice again!
You may get another chance but getting the same chance again, the probability is nothing strong. So, my friend, the right time is always with you. It’s when you make the decision considering the situations and you hit the mark, straight in the middle of the circle.
How did I manage to make 12 trips in 12 months?
As mentioned before, I am a weekend traveler. I travel on weekends. Being in a full-time job, I don’t get to travel for more than the two weekends and I only get these two days to travel. When I did my first time ever solo trekking and solo camping at Triund, I decided that I would try to travel more and more. When it was the last day of the year, I pledged that I would again make 12 trips in 12 months of the coming year. But due to this pandemic, that didn’t happen.
Well this year, we are in a situation where we can’t do much. We are facing challenges, socially, financially and relation wise too. I did two trips this year. I went to Kotgarh in January and spent two days there. I went to Agra, it was with a friend of mine and we spent another two days here.
Leaving Friday night for an overnight journey
So, two weekends and some unknown destinations. This is how I travel on weekends. I usually take an overnight bus on Friday night from IBST Kashmiri Gate or Majnu ka Tilla. Most of my trips were to Himachal Pradesh. Thus, the overnight journey and the next morning, i.e. Saturday, I would reach my destination. Most of my trips have been road trips though in public transport only. I would usually cover two places in two days or sometimes more than two places in these two days. The only thing is that I only have two days so I needed to cover major places of the destination or its surroundings. Well, yeah that’s how I did 12 trips in 12 months of 2019.
Traveling like this is a little challenging. If you don’t get a nice bus, you are going to have a hard time. I have had such situations on time. I remember one. I went to Dehradun with my friends. We booked three sleeper seats from ISBT Kashmiri Gate. But when we reached the bus, we found that it was two sleeper seats only and they sold it as three. So, you have to be careful that you don’t experience such scams.
Two days to travel – that’s all I get
So, I reach Saturday morning. I check in the hotel if I had booked any hotel online or just road around. Sometimes I had taken shower in public washrooms and that’s how I managed. Sometimes I have taken a hotel room for a few hours only so that I could just take freshen up, take shower, charge my devices, rest for a while, and then leave. I spent day one in one place, roaming around and exploring. And on the second day, I move to the next destination. Since most of my journeys of 2019 were to Himachal Pradesh and those too to isolated, small villages which you can easily cover in a day. So, I cover the village in a day and move to some other place the next day.
Reaching Monday morning in the office
So after spending two days there, I take another overnight bus back to ISBT Kashmiri Gate and I reach Delhi in the morning around 7 or 8. I take a cab to my apartment and then I take shower and reach the office in the morning. I was living in Delhi till September. So, it was easier for me to reach ISBT Kashmiri Gate, take a cab, and reach my apartment. But after September 2019, I moved to Gurgaon back, and then it did create a little trouble for me. Since coming from IBST to my apartment in Gurgaon was a great deal. Let’s say, if I reached ISBT at 8 AM, then booking a cab and reaching my place, it would consume good two hours on average and then getting ready and going back to the office, however, I managed. Yes, it was a bit of trouble but my challenge of doing 12 trips in 12 months was obtained.
List of my 12 trips in 12 months I did on weekends in 2019
So, my expedition of 12 trips in 12 months started from Amritsar in January and ended at Kasauli in December. I clubbed many places along with my main destination and thus, I visited several places. On some journeys, I dedicated the entire two days in one place only. Like when I was in Shangarh, I stayed there for two days. A small village, Shangarh is full of naturally beautiful and peaceful vibes. Here, check my 12 trips in 12 months calendar.
1. Amritsar in January
I started with Amritsar. I visited the Golden Temple, Jalianwala Bagh, and Wagah Border. I spent two days there. On day one of my Amritsar trip, I even visited Jalandhar for a few hours only. I stayed at Raddison Blu. I have always wanted to visit the Golden Temple and Jalinawala Bagh. I saw Lahore and its people at the border. Those moments at watching the Wagah Border ceremony was goose bumping and full of nation-love.
Places I visited in Amritsar
– Golden Temple
– Jalianwala Bagh
– Wagah Atari Border
2. February in Jaipur
I have been to Jaipur several times. I have been to Hawa Mahal and City Palace twice. Amer Fort twice and City Palace once. I have also visited Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Albert Hall Museum. So overall, I have covered all the major places of Jaipur before this trip. During this trip, I visited Galta Ji Temple and Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh which I had missed out on during my past trips. I am yet to visit Panna Meena ka Kund.
– Rani Sisodia Ka Bagh
– Galta Ji Temple
3. Khajuraho in March
I visited Khajuraho in March. It was my first time to visit this part of the country. Before that, I had only visited in Northern part only. It was a friend’s marriage and thus, it was a trip too. It was a group trip, I visited with friends. Some were new and some were familiar (2 of them I met for the second time). We stayed in Khajuhaho for three days and explored places nearby.
Places I visited in Khajuraho
– Khajuraho Group of Monuments
– Raneh Waterfalls
– Kalinjar Fort and Neelkanth Temple
– Pandav Falls
I didn’t get to visit anywhere in April month.
4. Dalhousie and Khajjiar in May
I clubbed Dalhousie and Khajjiar in May. I stayed in Mulera village which was near Banikhet and Banikhet was my main stop. During these two days, I visited a few of the main attractions of Dalhousie. I wanted to explore but due to very little time, I couldn’t.
Places I visited in Dalhousie
– Dainkund Peak
– Panchpula Waterfall
– Barakota Hills
– Markets and Churches
5. Dehradun in June
It was a sudden plan. I was discussing with my friend Tanuj regarding a small trip and after a long discussion, we decided to visit Dehradun. The itinerary planning was on me. So, we spent one day there since it was a totally unplanned journey
. The idea came just out of nowhere and we left for Dehradun in the night and reached the next morning. We couldn’t visit Robbers Cave due to the high water flow in the flower, however, it was the highlight of our trip.
Places I visited in Dehradun
– Robbers Cave
6. Agra in July
It was my second trip to Agra. I had been to Agra previously too. But that time I only visited the Taj Mahal. It was a one day trip to Agra from Delhi. I visited Agra Fort along with the Taj Mahal. Last time, I didn’t get to visit inside the main monument which I did this time.
Places I visited in Agra
– Taj Mahal
– Agra Fort
7. Chandigarh in August – My birthday trip
It was my birthday i.e. 24th August. I had made my plan that I would to Chandigarh and would spend with my friend Gaurav Jairath whom I met during my Triund visit in 2018. So, I went there to his flat and spent a simple birthday with him. I met a very nice friend Vijendra Trighatia whom I met on Facebook years back. He is an amazing photographer. So, he took me to his favorite restaurant and we had a nice lunch. My birthday in 2019 was wonderful. I have a lot to remember. My first Anirudh abducted me in the middle of the night and we went to the Taj and the restaurant was closed so we moved to Taj Man Singh, there was had a sundae and he asked the manager to bring us a small pastry or something as it was my birthday. The restaurant executive at the hotel bought us a very nice and big cake, and that too free of cost. It was really nice of them. I posted this event on Google Local Guide and they replied that they love sharing happiness and they everything they can to make others happy. From there, we went to Shangri La.
8. Dharamshala & McLeod Ganj in September
I visited Mcleod Ganj in September. It was my second trip to Mcleod Ganj and I visited the places which I had missed out on my last trip. My first trip to Mcleod Ganj was dedicated to Triund only. This time, I was with my good old friend Yogesh. We left in the night and spent two days here.
Places I visited in McLeod Ganj and Dharamshala
– Bhagsu Nag
– Dalai Lama Temple
– St Johns in the Wilderness
– Dal Lake
– War Memorial Dharamshala
– Dharamshala Cricket Stadium
9. Shangarh in October
I spent two days in Shangarh which is in Sainj Valley in Kullu district. I loved this place. Shangarh was the best place in all of 12 months, 12 trips. I stayed at a nice homestay and had homemade food from the homestay owner. This trip was a little adventurous one of the most memorable ones.
Places I visited in Shangarh
– Devta Ground
– Shanchul Mahadev Mandir
10. Kota & Bundi in November
I spent one day in Kota and the next one day in Bundi. I wanted to visit Kota and it was on my list for a long time. Thus, it happened in November 2019. It was a packed trip and I explored as much as I could. I plan to visit Bundi again.
Places I visited in Kota and Bundi
– Garadia Mahadev
– Seven Wonders Park
– Rani Ji ki Baori
– 84 Pillared Cenotaph
– Sukh Niwas Mahal
11. Back to Chandigarh again in December
So, I went to Chandigarh again. I have a nice friend from Kaithal who lives near Chandigarh (I guess in Panchkula). One day, I felt like going to someplace nearby. Just away from Gurgaon, away from my apartment. So, I told him that I wanted to come. He too had been asking for a very long time since I cross Chandigarh every time I go to Himachal Pradesh. Thus, I visited Chandigarh for the day and came back the next day. Coincidently, it was the birth anniversary of Nek Chand who designed and created the famous Rock Garden.
Places I visited in Chandigarh
– Rock Garden
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12. Shimla and Kasauli in December
So, it was my last trip of the year 2019. I reached Shimla in the morning. Actually, Shimla wasn’t in my priorities. I was expecting snow in Shimla but it didn’t snow. It had already snowed before my arrival. I didn’t enjoy much in Shimla due to its crowd so I visited Kasauli the next day and spent the day there.
Places I visited in Shimla and Kasauli
– Kufri National Zoo
– Green Valley View Point
– Jakhoo Temple
– Mall Road
– The Ridge
– Indian Coffee House
– Christ Church (Shimla)
– Christ Church (Kasauli)
– Sunset Point (Kasauli)
So, this is how I completed 12 trips in 12 months in 2019. In 2020, I had only visited Kotgarh and Agra. I visited Agra third time. Once, I visited Agra with a friend in 2016, and then I visited Agra in 2019 which I had mentioned here, and then I visited Agra in February 2020 with the same friend with whom I visited Rock Garden in Chandigarh.
How many trips did you do in 2019? Do you have any travel resolution which you want to complete? I had one for this year. This year too, I wanted to complete at least 12 trips in 12 months but due to COVID, it didn’t happen. But someday, it will for sure.