Why waking up early is essential for travelers
They say the best time to enjoy nature is early morning. It is the time when dawn breaks and most of the people stays in bed. During this peaceful time, nature reveals its true beauty. The air is filled with the sweet melodies of chirping birds, the fragrance of fresh plants and flowers, and the cold morning air can transport one's soul to heaven. As a dedicated traveler, I can reckon that many of us must have woken up early in the morning to witness the sunrise during our travels. However, there are numerous other treasures that await those who wake earlier than others. Whether it's in the mountains, by the sea, in the desert, or even in villages and cities, the world looks completely different during those early hours. In this article, I will share my personal experiences of waking up early in the morning. I will also explain the reasons why visiting hill stations, sea beaches, or national parks in the early hours of the day is a must.
Sunrise from the Himalyas in Darjeeling
During the initial days of our travel, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit Darjeeling, a picturesque hill station. Located in east India, Darjeeling is a beautiful hill station, adorned with tea plantations and steeped in rich history. Upon our arrival, we reached out to a local driver to arrange for sightseeing. He suggested to wake up at 3 AM in the following day. This caught us by surprise, and we wondered why we needed to rise so early in the morning. My wife even complained, expressing her desire to enjoy our vacation without compromising our sleep. However, the driver smiled and assured us that it would be worthwhile to awaken at such an early hour. We set our alarm and somehow managed to wake up on time. As we boarded the cab, the driver revealed that our destination was the famous Tiger Hill, where we could witness the sunrise. He explained how the sun emerges from the Himalayas, transforming the snowy peaks into a magnificent display of colours with its first rays. Upon reaching the spot, we realized we were not alone; hundreds of people, like us, had already secured the best positions to capture this magical moment. In those days, there was no crowd of YouTubers or Instagrammers. Then came the moment everybody was waiting for. The sun emerged from behind the mountains, casting a golden hue on the snow-capped Himalayas, which soon transitioned into shades of red. It lasted for a few minutes but left an indelible memory. Seeing the sun coming out from the Himalayas was picture perfect moment for us. Undoubtedly, this incredible moment was made possible by our early morning visit.
Floating market Kashmir
In Kashmir, when our guide asked us to wake up early the next morning, all of us agreed. However, when he mentioned getting up as early as 5 AM, many of my fellow travellers made faces. The guide then reminded us that if we wanted to witness something new, we had to take this pain. While waking up early in the morning wasn't an issue, it became an uphill task in the cold climate of Kashmir. We managed to gather outside the hotel on time, as our destination was the floating market of Dal Lake. When I asked the reason for visiting lake at this odd hour, the guide explained that in the early morning, the Dal Lake becomes more beautiful and less crowded. Also, the vegetable market in the lake only operates during the early hours, concludes before daylight. Upon reaching the market, we found the streets deserted, but Dal Lake was already teeming with activity. Our Shikara boat took us to the heart of the lake, where the real market scene unfolded. People on various boats were engaged in conversations about vegetable and fruit prices and quantities to purchase. As travelers, it was a captivating sight to behold. Dal Lake was not overcrowded, and the local vegetable sellers in the middle of the lake were engrossed in their daily routines. It was an almost picture-perfect scene. Although I didn't make any purchases, I carried the memory of that experience with me.
Coming close to nature at Wayanad Resort
Due to the nature of my job, I have had the opportunity to stay at some of the best resorts in the country and abroad. One such resort was Vythiri Village Resort in Wayanad, Kerala. Upon entering the resort, I was captivated by the lush plantation surrounding it. During the check-in process, the staff suggested that I take a tour of the resort whenever I had some free time. The person who was carrying my luggage specifically recommended an early morning tour. Initially, I was hesitant, but he convinced me. As I stepped outside my room, a serene silence enveloped the entire resort. The only sounds that reached my ears were the melodious chirping of birds and the refreshing fragrance of various flowers and trees. It truly felt like an immersive experience, being one with nature.
When I had the entire beach to myself in Goa
During one of my official visits, I had the opportunity to stay at the Holiday Inn Resort in Goa. After a late evening conference, I found myself unable to go anywhere and ended up staying in my room. However, a staff member informed me that the resort had a private beach that would open the following morning. Intrigued, I decided to explore it early the next day. As I woke up, I noticed that it was still dark outside, and it was also raining. Initially, I contemplated dropping my plan to visit the beach and returned to the warmth of my blanket. However, as the rain subsided a little, I stepped out of the room. Along the way, a friendly staff member greeted me and guided me towards the beach. Believe me, the combination of the light rain and the lush plantation within the resort made the place even more beautiful. As I approached the beach, I could hear the soothing sound of the sea and feel the gentle breeze. There was no one else around, just me, the sea, a few trees, and the rain. It was the best experience I had during my time in Goa.
So, these are a few of the memories I gathered simply because I chose to wake up early. If you have any similar experiences, I would love to hear about them in comment.