Officially a Digital Nomad in Himalayas @ Manali
Being a digital nomad is no easy job, self discipline is the key. I was not sure if I would be able to strike a balance at first, after all I had taken only leisure trips before this one. But that balance I just talked about, came naturally to me, may be because I enjoy my work as much as I enjoy travelling.
While working from the comfort of my home one day, I just read some blogs about solo trips to Manali and I just booked my one way bus ticket for coming weekend that time – Bus is the best way to travel Manali. HRTC buses plying from Delhi are really comfortable and punctual. Mine reached an hour and half earlier than scheduled arrival.
Another hurdle to cross was to book a nice hostel, which has good internet connection, at notice of 4-5 days. In peak season, believe me, it was not easy. I was sure that I want to stay at Zostel, India’s largest chain of traveler hostels, but as I said there was no availability for first 2 days of my trip, so I booked it for what time it was available. Oh! Did I tell you that this was my another first? I had never stayed in traveler hostels in India before this one. The experience here was amazing.
I ended up staying at Hostellers Manali in New Manali for first two days of my trip and it was not such a great experience, hostel was fine though. It was a honeymooners paradise indeed, and not at all like what I read on those blogs. I went for a walk on mall road and to Vashisht Temple while in New Manali as those were close by and inhaled more diesel and petrol smoke than I did in famously polluted Delhi NCR. While going to Old Manali to continue my stay at Zostel, I was wondering whether I made a right choice of coming here.
But the moment my auto entered Old Manali I started to change my mind – Small streets, cafes with great ambience, hostels, guest houses, home stays, and streets buzzing with travellers (not just tourists) & backpackers. And yes not many vehicles – what a relief from all the smoke finally. The whole vibe of this part of the town was so different from what I experienced in the last two days. When I reached Zostel, the feel of the place was so vibrant that my first question to Pranav (the person managing the hostel) was “can I extend my stay if I want to?” and I did extend my stay by about a week.