Birthday Celebration at Frozen Zanskar| Nimisha Dakoria | SOLO TRAVELER MEETUP

Not all girls are made of spice and sugar. Meet the gypsy soul of a high-spirited mountaineer Nimisha Dakoria who has conquered mountains merely to give a meaning to her life and a soulful purpose.

Tell us something about yourself:

Born and brought up in the city of Surat, Gujarat, I am an Interior Designer by profession, an enthusiastic traveller and a photographer. I have been traveling for last three years and every time I travel to the North East of India, the more I wish to be there than the previous.

The beauty of the mountains and valleys has started to infuse in my blood in a way that I had never imagined. When I shared my plans of going alone to the Himalayas, I got one of two responses: ‘that’s crazy’ and ‘that’s so cool.’ I think it’s a bit of both– crazy because I had to politely refuse a co-passenger who asked if he could take my picture and cool at the same time because I got to hop onto a helicopter.

Having done enough road trips and backpacking, I wanted to see even mightier and the higher mountains, so there was just one way I could think of– hiking. I have also completed Basic Mountaineering course from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling (October – November 2016) and I’m certified with A grade to climb all peaks below the height of 6,500 meters.

How many countries and Indian states have you visited?

The countries that I visited until now are Singapore and Malaysia and in India I am blessed enough to traverse to various destinations varying from +40*C to -34*C and at the unbelievable height of 18,000 ft above sea level.

I’ve done quite a few treks in the mighty Himalayas, starting from the frozen Chadar trek in Zanskar Valley, The Great Lakes of Jammu and Kashmir, Sandakphu and Phalut trek in West Bengal and the mesmerizing Snow Leopard Expedition in higher ranges of Leh Ladakh and Brahmatal trek in Uttarakhand.

Any interesting travel moments

Birthday on Zanskar River! I simply can’t forget.

So, it was an amazing moment and very close to my heart as I celebrated my birthday at 12,000 ft. What more could I ask when I was at the bank of the river Zanskar and celebrating my the day under the sky filled with millions of stars and the moon and with a few new friends and these porters who live in an entirely different culture greeted and baked a birthday cake for me and wished me happy birthday on Chadar Trek. Absolute joys in small gestures!

Tell us about your fears and anxieties when traversing solo. How you keep them at bay?

Time + Experience = Wisdom + Courage and you get it.

What’s your favorite travel quote?

Keep traveling even when you’re alone…somewhere someday the horizons would meet.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever tried on your journey?

On my Sandakphu and Phalut trek, it was a road trip from Kolkata to Bagdogra when my flight got cancelled because of bad weather and we had to land at Kolkata Airport at 6 pm. Somehow after a long fight with the airline, we around 80 people were managed to send to Bagdogra by car. Generally it takes 12-14 hours by road, but that road journey took more than 23 hours to reach Bagdogra and luckily my pick-up was arranged by the trekking company. But bloody hell it took me 4 more hours to reach to the base camp and eventually I landed at 2 am.

What’re your best travel tips?

The best safety tip I will suggest is ‘trust your gut.’ Though there are a few points which I always keep in mind while hiking /travelling:

  • Leave the hiking/travelling itinerary and timetable with your parents
  • Don’t tell strangers about your plans
  • Avoid people who act suspiciously, seem hostile or are intoxicated
  • Dress conservatively to avoid unwanted attention
  • Always be on time so that you don’t miss your flights/trains

Where are you off to next?

I am off to Leh Ladakh in August for Stok Kangri expedition. Stok Kangri (6,153 meters (20,187 ft)) is the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Northwest India. I’ve applied for Siachen Civilian Trek 2017. Hopefully, if I got selected, then again, I’ll be visiting Leh in October.