First Solo Trip: My Experience Of Bir, Himachal Pradesh

It was the start of June 2023 when I decided to live life as a digital nomad. Soon after I left home, reality hit me. It instead became a solo trip of learning & realization. This blog post sums up my first solo trip experience, including the fun & the lessons I learned.

Pre-Trip Prep

I’ve never lived on my own away from family & wanted to work & live life as a digital nomad as I thought I’ll be more focused on work away from household chores.

The idea was to start the journey from Bir & then visit other places as I’d like. So I packed my bag for at least 6 months & left for Bir, Himachal.

Day 1-3: Getting Used To the Environment

I reached Bir early morning & took a cab to the dorm I had booked. I arrived there & saw people hungover. Haha not to judge, it was new to me. But I was comfortable in that environment & people were good.

I had a friend who was living in that dorm. He was surprised to see me. I met some other dorm mates too & chatted about life in general.

What I assumed would be peace, soon became loneliness. There’s something about quiet places that makes me feel lonely after some time.

Most of the discussions were based on gen z vs millennials. Me being a gen z, I’d put much emphasis on how quick our evolution was as compared to millennials. What I thought was a discussion, would sometimes come off as an argument but that was never the intention. We visited a cafe & some talks around the same topic happened there too. I was the youngest & the only gen z kid there & I bet I did come off as smart to some people haha. Gave me a lil ego boost lol.

Day 4-6: Paragliding & Exploring Market

Some of the dorm mates were going paragliding & I joined them too. Although I was hesitant at first but a dorm mate there encouraged me to experience it. So I decided to go.

We left in the morning. Took us a while to reach the top from where we were supposed to jump for para. I was scared as the pilot told me to run after wearing the parachute. He said no matter what, do not sit on the ground midway. But I don’t know how that just happened on its own. I got scared so I guess that was something like a reflex action. I did not do it as much consciously.

Nevertheless, those people handled the situation as they are trained in para & have been doing it for many years. After the jump, when I was in the air, the fear was gone. It didn’t feel as much adventurous because of that as I was stable in the air looking at Bir.

Bir has the highest paragliding point in Asia. Considering that, I’d say my experience was average. I told the pilot to do some stunts to get an adrenaline rush. That’s when I felt something in my stomach again lol. Within 15 minutes, I reached the landing site. It was all recorded in the Gopro they handed me from the start.

Me Paragliding.
Me Paragliding.

We took our videos & pictures on our phones & headed for breakfast.

The next day evening, I rushed to the landing site for sunset but missed it as I was late. Then we went to a cafe, I didn’t want to…I instead wanted to try the local food. But here we were, eating pizzas in Bir. I find that very stupid.

Day 7- 8: Visiting Monastries, Lake & Waterfall

Soon I met a travel influencer, Ajmal. He was visiting Bir for the weekend & was staying in our dorm. We instantly became friends. We discussed social media growth, life as a travel influencer, religion & much more.

We decided to go around Bir together as I had not been to any tourist or sightseeing places as such. We left at noon on a scooty he had rented & visited a south Indian restaurant. I had never drunk tea in my life & he made me taste it lol.

We visited Chowkling Monastery & Deer park institute. It was nice to see Tibetan culture & Buddhism there. The institute had some courses one could take & stay there. I took a look but none fitted my criteria.

Then left for Gunehar waterfall in the evening. We got to know that a landslide occurred there so many people on the way warned us to not go further. We went as far as we could & after a while, the route seemed scary so we got back. Got a Maggi there & enjoyed it in that beautiful weather. Took a look at Himachali sweaters in a shop & then headed back to our hostel.

The next day, we left for Macchial Lake which was about 20 km from the Bir market. Roaming around in the mountains on a scooty is a whole vibe, I loved every bit of it. We reached the lake, and it turned out to be a part of some river so it was flowing & had huge rocks in it. I wanted to go to the center of it on a huge rock so we started crossing it. The flow of the current prevented me to walk straight if I stepped into the water so I was stepping on rocks only. One rock was way too far away so stepping directly on it didn’t seem possible. I jumped on it & my leg slipped on the next rock because of the green algae that are present in water bodies lol. I fell & hurt my knee. After some rest, I removed my shoes & threw them on the huge rocks we were supposed to go. Then again resumed my struggle to reach the rock.

Finally reached & sat there for some time looking at the beautiful lake. Then headed back to our hostel. On the way, stopped at Joginder Nagar railway station just to take a look. Himachali stations have a different look I noticed lol.

Day 9-10: I left Bir

I realized I couldn’t make that work & travel balance. Got bored in Bir & felt like the expense would be too much if I kept traveling. I felt I’ll start when I have a stable consistent income.

They had some cooking issues that day & I got nothing to eat. Just a few hours, I ate some sweets I took from my hometown but that made me sick on the bus. I was supposed to go to Delhi & from there to my hometown. But got those next tickets canceled & booked a 2-day stay in Delhi.

Day 11-12: Meeting Old Friends & Making A New One In Delhi

I was sick. I contacted Ajmal, he stayed in Delhi. He asked a doc for some medicines & texted me. The hotel staff got me those & soon I was fine. Then at night, I met my friends that I made at a mountaineering course last year. It was an amazing experience which you can read about here. We chatted for a while & soon they left.

The next day at breakfast at the hotel, I met a guy. I randomly asked him about his tattoo & we started chatting. Became good friends soon. I was supposed to check out within an hour & we talked till the last minute. Stayed in the other hostel that day, and met a Spanish guy there. We had lunch together & at night there was a lil standup hosted in the hostel. Everyone was invited there. It was fun & I left the next day. The journey on the way home wasn’t the best & I felt I should get better at planning. If I had a flight booked early on, it wouldn’t be inconvenient. But who knew my digital nomad dream would be of just 10 days lol.

Final Thoughts

I went to Bir, in Himachal Pradesh with the mindset of focusing on career since I was 21, I felt old & felt that I haven’t yet made up a career. When I went there, I realized how young I was. I got a lot of time.

Some realizations that hit me were:

1. I am better off working from home as of now & not ready for that digital nomad life yet.
2. I should not depend on anyone, explore on my own.
3. Be better at planning

Overall, the experience was good. So many lessons learned, can’t put everything here like how Himachal is also known for weed haha. I’ll be on my next trip soon.