Neha Ralli is a weekend traveller and a hobby photographer. She was born and brought up in Kullu (Himachal Pradesh) and loves star gazing, talking about extra-terrestrial lives and its possibilities. She likes to write poetry when she is in the right mood.
Neha feels that curiosity to see something new, meet new people and know more about fellow human beings and this wonderful creation called Earth is what led her to choose this path. She says, “My first trip was my school trip to a place called ‘Dyar’ in Kullu. We trekked a little and reached this beautiful place surrounded by Deodar Trees’, she was awestruck. At the young age, she had no words to describe what she felt. Now when she thinks of it, it makes her calm and happy.
She likes to travel with her family and friends but believes that solo travelling is also a unique experience. However, mostly she prefers company while travelling. Being a working woman, Neha manages to take out time for her hobbies as she works in Himachal Pradesh itself. Time had become an issue while she was working in Chandigarh and this prompted her to shift back and live close to nature for mental peace and to be closer to her family.
She loves to go on spontaneous trips and rarely plans her trips as she feels that spontaneous trips have always been the best for her. Currently located in Himachal, she is trying to see it extensively. The idea of not being well versed in her own land has bothered her for a long time and therefore she usually travels in Himachal itself. According to her, a person should visit these 5 places for a unique experience, Kareri Lake (Dharamshala), Kaisdhar (Kullu), Lahaul, Bhrigu Lake (Kullu) and Prashar Rishi (Mandi).
Ralli also lists down 5 essentials for travelling and staying outdoors:
- One should be acclimated to the high altitudes
- Weather on mountains changes drastically, so one should always keep warmers and raincoats in the bag pack in case there’s a plan to camp.
- It’s very dry on the mountaintop and therefore one must keep moisturizer or Chap Stick as skin gets dry in the extreme weather conditions.
- Keep a swiss knife for multipurpose use and a lighter to start a bonfire.
- Always wear sunscreen to avoid skin burn. Try and keep the bag as light as possible. Do not take things you will not use on your trek. Always remember “Keep it Light”.
In addition to this, she talks about things that one should not do when in outdoors:
- One should always carry a litter bag along and not throw wrappers and bottles on mountains.
- Noise or use of loudspeakers while camping should be avoided because it attracts wild animals and disturbs the environment.
- One should not do anything that hurts the sentiments of the locals.
- It is important to put out the fire before you leave or sleep.
According to her, the best thing about trekking is that one can forget all the worldly chaos which has been left behind. One keeps climbing because there’s simply more to see in life. The curiosity to see what’s next after a turn, the feeling of knowing that the mind is finally at halt of random thoughts bothering you is something that drives her. She aims to visit various places in Himachal and learn everything she can about the divine land know as Himachal Pradesh.
Travelling has taught her that humans are quite vulnerable. “We keep fighting on trivial things and issues. We keep grudges against each other. We keep focusing on things that make us less human. We won’t get many chances to live. So why not make the most of it. I got my second chance, and I’m living it in the best way possible,” she said. Sharing a personal experience, she said, “Once I reached on top of a mountain and saw the vast city land, so small and nonexistent human life. No noise, not even birds chirping. At that time, I realized that the issues we all are fighting for, why are they even there? We are all humans in the end. We all have to die one day. I am sure we can all get along if we keep in mind that we all have to live together like a big family in our home called Earth.”
Words by Laveena Behl
Images by ©Neha Ralli
Follow Neha: Instagram
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