Aarati BapatTirthan, Sikkim and Andamans
“I have travelled to multiple places in this group travel format, roughly doing one trip per year since 2019 along with Niyati. And, it has always been an experience to cherish, whether we are trekking in the mountains or lazing by the sea...these guys make sure to give you an experience worth remembering. Their trips are a good mix of seeing new places - some touristy & some offbeat, doing a few treks along the way, chilling from time to time and lots of funtime to connect with your fellow travellers and make friends along the way.
For me, group trips have become synonymous to travelling with the excellent trip leader Niyati. Back in 2019, I met her on a 3 day trek in Tirthan when she was leading her very first solo trip. I was amazed at how well she conducted it and made sure everyone was taken care of all the time during the crazy 4 hour trek through the unexpectedly snowy terrain. And equally she could switch from trip leader to superfun girl, singing and dancing with us by the bonfire at night. This December we met again on 2 week long trips to Sikkim and to the Andamans. And it was like no time has passed between 2 friends who are catching up again. This lovely talented girl is now a 100 plus trips in and her growth as a trip leader and as a wonderful human being is simply inspiring. She loves what she does and always gives a 100 percent, making sure every single tripper feels seen, comfy and enjoys themselves to the fullest.”
“From the time I got back from the trip, I have been meaning to write this mail. I was really skeptical of how the trip would turn out to be given every time I have taken an organised trip, it usually used to be some touristy places and limited time over there just to cover everything that place offers. Everything used to be predefined and had no space for fun or anything spontaneous which made them extremely boring.
With Niyati, it was a beautiful experience. She knew exactly the places to cover that were mesmerizing and at the same time, not miss out on anything fun. The trip had so much flexibility to try new things we wanted or not. I remember when one of our team mates struggled with a trek, Niyati stood next to them helping on every step and motivating them. She didn't have to but it did raise respect for her in our eyes. Whether it was food, whether it was beach time or something else, we always had a choice to spend how much ever time we could and that's what made the trip fun. The planning of the trip was done really well keeping all age groups in mind and I can't thank her enough for that. When she took into account that people would rather spend time in the room than partying and so moved towards room games so that they feel comfortable, I realised we have been lucky to have someone so accommodating.
This is the first time you guys have planned Vietnam and I felt it gave an edge to the trip since the learning experience was similar for her and us. And with the confidence she pulled everything off, I don't think any of us could do that even with a month of practice. I am glad I joined you guys for this and will surely join for many more. And it would be icing on the cake if all of those are led by Niyati. She has earned herself a huge fan. Thank you for this memorable trip.”
It has become very difficult now, leaving you all, a whole new family which I got from you! I know writing all this doesn't make any sense, as my feelings can not be described in words, though, I want to thank you from the core of my heart! Thank you!
You really changed my life. I have always heard that some people come in life, and make it worth it. You came into my life as an angel, and taught me to fight with my problems, after which the golden era of a person starts. Not just climbing a mountain, you taught me how to deal with difficulties and gave me the strength to do so!
Before the trip, it was a normal vacation for me, but honestly, this was something which maybe God has planned to make me meet you and get to know how life actually seems, to know that there’s a lot of happiness in my life despite overthinking!
Thank you for introducing me to my own life..!!
Have never felt this sort of happiness before!”
“Travelling with strangers was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was my first trip like them and I'm so glad I took it. It was not only about the place we went to which is Andaman but also about our amazing trip leader Niyati who went out of her way to make us comfortable and adjust to the new group. She made sure that this trip became a memorable one and managed to pull it off so wonderfully.
Cheers to Niyati!
I'm really glad I met the group I went with. So much positivity , so many similar life stories and the non judgemental conversations that I have had with them has made me a more positive person. The way we all took care of each other and were there for each other has definitely given me friends for life. Please take a trip with them and you will know what exactly I mean by the trip being one of the best and memorable ones!”
“Trips aren't just about the places you visit but the people you are with. Who better to start with than Niyati our trip leader (friend for life now), appreciate her holding the troop and reaffirming the faith that we took when all strangers of us planned to make a fun trip to look at the unconventional side of Goa.
Planned end to end yet accommodative (Cabs to travel, food to try, places to dance, water to get into etc. etc.) all you need to do is reach there
Fun is the core element these guys work on (you are thoroughly engaged)
Adventurous not in physical activity but via interaction with strangers, so many topics to gel along
Be in for a surprise coz, Niyati and her team will keep observing to ensure all of the folks have settled down at their own pace but are connecting with the pack at the same time!
Highly recommended when your intention is to go on your first 'non-friends trip' - coz you are going to make a ton of them once you reach.
Appreciate the efforts and approach team Migrant Musings & Co. More soon!”
Words cannot describe this experience of the last 7 days. You don't realize the impact of a good trip leader like you, you change lives and make it happier. Underneath all the bubbly and cheerful nature that I may show, lies a very anxious and shy girl with not very high self-esteem but you being who you are not only helped me tackle all my fears and anxiety but in turn made me realize what I had been missing out on. The support, the confidence that you helped me built will go a long way.
I can't thank you enough for always being there, from the first call of ours to your constant messages before the trip reassuring me constantly till the actual trip. You made sure we never felt out of place and at our most vulnerable you created a safe space in the midst of a group of strangers. I'm proud to call you my friend, my fellow Bollywood fan (very few people can relate and reciprocate the love)! To my gossip partner, your work gives us memories to last a lifetime and create a lasting impact. Your kindhearted nature, your maturity at the same time, the ability to just be your hot, cheerful, beautiful soul.
Thanks for raising the bar so high for my first solo trip that very few things can live up to it! You have found a tripper for life, given me lifelong friendships. You mentioned that you have a wall for trips' mementos other than photos, so, hope this goes up there and reminds you that you create a lasting impact and change people's lives. Hope to do many more trips in the future and create memories. I have laughed, cried, shouted, danced, been scared and gone through a whole gamut of emotions these past 7 days! With you right by my side every step of the way! I thank you and I love you. Miss me.
Lots of love
The trip to Tirthan Valley was led by you, Niyati a.k.a. the most amazing trip leader I have ever come across. You are joyful, cheery, fun loving, fierce and most of all adventurous. I mean who takes trippers down a mud trail to explore the river side in the valley gorge while the car is waiting for the traffic to clear up ahead. It’s never easy for me to open up to strangers but like you said later on our conversations were so casual and free flowing it felt as if we had been friends for a long time. This time around the last week we were sitting by the bonfire and sharing our romantic escapades with a bunch of strangers. Something that I never imagined myself doing in a hundred years but being around you it sparked a new life in the flickering flame of adventure within me.
I have had this dream of hitting the road and living the nomadic life for quite some time and I know it’s no piece of cake so somewhere within my heart I always had this sliver of fear that ‘what if I fail?’. But talking to you it made me realise you either go with the flow or stay at the river bank wondering about what could be? Getting to know you and discussing all my plans for the next few years with you was quite exhilarating. It was like you knew exactly what I was thinking about. Sharing my travel dreams with you was the best moment for me and now that I think about that walk to Gushaini a week later I feel pumped with determination to see it all through.
I have experienced adrenaline highs before and gone exploring random trails in the mountains but nothing can compare to the feeling that I experienced crawling up the snow-covered trail at Jhibi waterfalls or climbing up the stream instead of the normal road. You helped me reconnect with the wild and reminded me of the first time I tasted the elixir of adventure. Reflecting back on the great time we had together on that trip I wrote earlier this morning - Out of the blue one day,
Out of the blue one day,
A voice within me asked, “Who am I?”
And for the first time in life
I was faced with an endless debate.
Torn between my dreams
and others expectations of me
I knew my soul was lost
somewhere along the way.
But being the adventurer I am,
I decided to get lost a little more.
This time in the wilderness
to rekindle with my inner la loba.
So here I was in the middle of a valley
talking to you about lost dreams.
Your migrant musings sparked in me a new life
and my dreams didn't seem so a distant anymore.
We might have started off as strangers
but when we lost track of the distance traveled
and the bridges crossed,
I knew something stronger was forging.
Your words they inspired me and
Fueled the dying fire of curiosity within me.
Watching you talk about your journey
Gave me hope and made me believe in my plans.
And someday when our paths
Shall cross yet again on another road
I hope you don't have to ask for a hug
but rather just claim one.
And then when you ask, ‘what's up?’
I'd take a knee and look up to you
and say, 'I did it'.
I hit the road and I hit it running
and your words they guided me
every step of the way."
Niyati, Auli and Us…..
Mountains have always excited me although I’m the first to catch a cold. So, I chose Auli over Sri Lanka.
Little did I know that I was in, for something fantabulous. We all reached Rishikesh at different times and off we went for an unplanned river rafting in 2 batches. So as a team, we met up only at the end of the first day. Instant connections were made. Friendly smiles, casual banter commenced with no time wasted. And there was a tall girl with a broad wide smile, a confident gait and a humble demeanor. Niyati, was her name. Little did I realize that it was the beginning of a lifetime friendship.
Niyati ensured that everybody wriggled out of their shells from the word Go. Lucky Café proved really lucky for us as we created a cemented bond. As we embarked on our journey, our traveler vehicles sprang up with life. Goofy selfies, edge of the seat Mafia games, dumb charades to dreams, aspirations, joys, sorrows, the traveler and 20 hearts were witness to everything.
2 treks to Tungnath and Gurso Bugyal got each of us close. For many of us seeing snow for the first time. It was a visual delight. Friendships were made. Hands were extended to help each other. And we got to see the best ever sunsets ever witnessed in our lives. Of how the light touched the snow kissed mountains. As if philosophically mentioning that no matter how cold life gets, the Light of the universe would forever keep touching us. Forever. Overwhelmed hearts cried out on finally making it to the top. Our trek downhill was in pitch darkness and the snowy oath was damn slippery. Humanity won over as strangers from other groups congregated with us and we trekked down with cell phone torch lights. Lifting each other with every fall. Encouraging one other with every kilometer we came down.
Auli got the child out in all of us. Snow and skiing. Falls and laughs. Boomerangs and Slo-Mo fall vids. Snow balls and snow fights. Christmas and the snow would never be so memorable again.
Every evening was precious. Tugged into one room, cozy under the blankets, no filter conversations, “Never have I ever”, “Truth and Dare” found their way, no bars held back. Thresholds being where your imagination ends 😀
We sat around Bonfires to keep us warm at -5 degrees. The fire went shy with warmth of 20 beautiful people singing and dancing their hearts out amidst the snow and mountains.
All these were punctuated over the week with heart to heart conversations on life, worries, insecurities, ways of the world life battles, of wins and losses, of smiles and frowns, Shayaris. You name it. We did it.
Amidst all this was Niyati, like a fulcrum keeping 20 other spokes of the wheel in unison. Be it ensuring our comfort all the way, without a frown and without a whimper. Just smiling her way through and through. During treks, she ensured she was at the last pushing everyone that the end wasn’t far and constantly encouraging that they could do it. From dancing on roads, to crazy selfies, from crazy no brainer banter to intellectual heart to heart conversations, this girl is a rockstar. A leader in the truest sense of the word. From silently checking on each other with eye gestures, to those walks in Tapovan at the head of the herd, discussing gender clichés and stereotypes et al on the chair car to hurried last minute shopping for each other’s Secret Santa, Niyati I am still short of words. Funnily, we share a few common life goals. So here’s wishing my fellow future published-author, the very best. I am already visualizing bumping into each other in a Roman cathedral or an Egyptian pyramid, enchanted by the magic, living their life. But before that, cheers to our friendship and hopefully many many more trips together. Had the New Year trip not been booked out, Niyati wouldn’t have happened to all of us.
Keep dancing in the snow, singing with the wind, getting clicked with a Rudolph noses in the signature Niyati pose and making memories for you and innumerable trippers as they journey with you, Niyati. And for all you future trippers with her, one thing you would richer by at the end of the trip will be newer close friends, heart to heart conversations to remembered for a lifetime, hugs, joys, tears and the feeling of being human again! The trip, the views, the beauty of the place are all a bonus.
I had requested you to be my roommate and you remembered it & stayed with me at all locations….
Thank you so much for ir..
An ever smiling, chirpy good morning was how my day started…
Thinking about people and making their birthdays special on a trip along with strangers requires a lot of consideration & patience.
Also the fact, you are always ready for any activity, games etc that any of us suggested or wanted to do. You never made anyone feel left out. Be it at the Bumla pass when Hridesh wanted to go at the view point & none of us felt like stepping out in the cold or when I told you that I too have 2000 songs in playlist but never get an opportunity to play them.
I have seen days when things were slightly not working (as a trip leader) or when you were upset with some situations, none of it could ever affect your happy and smiley nature.
Keep working towards & for your passion, keep dancing your way to glory and please take care of your health in midst of these trips.
Traveling with them is not just going for a group trip, rather it's a 'feeling'. Feeling of being truly alive.
I recently came back from a week long trip to Andamans, and I'm short of words to describe the experience. I haven't laughed this much in a long time. We were a group of 24 like-minded people, cheering up each other, dancing our hearts out, turning every restaurant into a dancing club, laughing out loud, late night conversations, exploring the most beautiful sunrise, sunsets and beaches, and much more. We saw people showing their most vulnerable sides and opening up to total strangers without feeling judged. The guys ensured girls feel safe around them and the girls supported each other through thick and thin. It's surreal to see such beautiful connections blooming within just a week.
And what do I say about our trip leader Niyati. Her empathy to connect with everyone and yet lead the group like a boss, is unparalleled. She helped other women raise their voices and made them feel heard. There is so much to learn from her. As a woman I feel proud to see another woman leading the way in a men dominated area. More power to her.
Like I told Niyati, for me it's more about people than places, and I feel grateful I found both in this trip. See you soon in some another part of the world, taking on more adventures together!