Health & Wellness

Tripping over travel

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By Express News Service

BENGALURU: 20-year- old Nivedita Sahu had a different experience this time when she went camping postlockdown. Like many people across the country, Sahu was also looking forward to getting back to normal. “I was excited about my first camp, post lockdown. Getting out of the house, travelling, seeing new faces, and making new friends was altogether a new experience. I realised that we all have a very short life and we need to enjoy it,” says Sahu, a fourth-year law student from Bengaluru. Sahu, an avid traveller makes sure that she tick marks at least one destination from her bucket list every month, however, she had put her travel plans on hold owing to the pandemic.

“During the pandemic, my friend and I followed a routine to write about all the places we want to explore post lockdown, including camping. Soon after the lockdown, I started travelling and ticking off my list one-by-one,” she adds. With the onset of the monsoon and easing of the lockdown restrictions, Bengalureans are now looking forward to a quick weekend getaway. Several locations around the city and campsites are offering a quick escapade as travel agents and camp organisers are getting back to business with their innovative ideas and ensuring all safety measures.

Jatin Munvar, co-founder of Plan the Unplanned, says, “We have organised several trekking and camping events across India, including Himalayan treks. We were not able to do anything innovative during the lockdown, owing to the restrictions and guidelines by the government. But once the lockdown was lifted, we tried arranging ‘workstations’. The idea was for people to travel to a particular destination and work, instead of working from home.

It included them staying at the place anywhere between 7 to 15 days, working, and enjoying nature.” As people are looking for an open environment over indoor activities or something built artificially, camp organisers are witnessing an increase in the number of campers and trekkers.

“As camping is an outdoor activity, it doesn’t involve a lot of people cramped togethwer in one place. Owing to this, we’re seeing a rise in the number of individuals who have never camped before, but now, they wish to go out and spend time amidst nature,” says Amit Shetty, cofounder of Campmonk. Another camping enthusiast, Saiba, tells CE, “I would choose camping and open environment over something built artificially.

Recently, I went for my first camp post lockdowwn and it was made sure that my safety was ensured with well-sanitised toilets, disposable plates, and a limited number of individuals on the property,” says the 27-year-old from Bengaluru. To keep a track of their customers’ health, organisers have created WhatsApp groups where people can update their health status. Chethan Kumar, co-founder of Monks on Wheels, makes sure to continue the WhatsApp group that they create at the beginning of the trip for at least 10 days so that people can update if they develop any symptoms post the trip which will forewar n others. Meanwhile, Naveen Mallesh, co-founder of TrekNomads, has started arranging camps for friends and family groups, “so they can travel in their limited circle and feel safe.”

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