August 25th2014

new destinations

It’s been a while since I wrote on this blog, I m sure it’s been ages, infact the last time I did was to wish anyone (read no one) who was reading, a Happy New Year. A Happy year it has been for me so far Mashallah, Alhamdolillah. Infact I think things have been pretty good for me since the June of 2013. That’s more than a year of recorded goodness for me, I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I have been since my existance.. I’ve been blessed my whole life and I have countless people to thank for that..

But this entry today is not about just gratitude, it’s more about my discovery about the love I have for travel. I may have said that I love traveling before, but that’s because I wanted to and I envied people who posted gorgeous pictures of places so beautiful you could hardly believe they were real, but now after I have travelled a little and mostly explored places with in Pakistan, I can truly say my love for the roads between cities, mountains, lakes, lands and cultures is real. It’s real because there is so much we don’t know about so many things that exist in so many corners of the globe.. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and become good friends with people who share the same love.

Last year in the June of 2013, me along a friend (Najam) teamed up with 3 other individuals to visit the northern Pakistan (Rawalpindi to Khunjerab, covering various places in between). These other 3 individuals (Faizan, Mohsin, Maujood) have become amazing friends with me and Najam and it has been the reason that we’ve done more trips, picnics and get togethers, and our families have started to get a little bothered by it.



 

Last year we managed to cover places like Skardu, Upper Kachura, Shangrila, Sadpara Lake, Deosai plains, Manthoka falls, Shigar Fort, Gulmit, Attabaad lake, Hunza Valley, Gilgit Valley, Fairy Meadows, Nanga Parbat view point & Khunjerab. We covered all these places in a packed non-stop travel schedule of 10-12 days. We stayed in Islamabad on our way back for 2 days so we could rest our body before we headed back to Karachi.

 



 

Then earlier this year in January’14, we took a road trip all the way to Ormara in Balochistan. Infamous for being a security concern for anyone traveling in that direction, we followed our gut feeling and planned out the whole trip in a matter of 3 days, made arrangements and set out. This trip did not include the usual travel mates, but one of my office colleagues Abdul Wahab accompanied me and Najam along with another of his friend Haroon who now are also good friends with us. I remember this trip being full of beautiful textures throughout the trip. Allah has made nature amazing and it’s beautiful how air and water erosion has shaped up the landscapes. We literally saw statues of princesses, kings on thrones, spinx (or lions) and forts that were NOT made by man, but infact were a result of air erosion.

 



 

 

In February we made another trip with the usual gang and more friends from US and Canada had joined in to go to Azad Kashmir (AK). Our country is full of places that are eye candy for the soul, this time thankfully we travelled to Lahore by train and then hired our own van to take us all the way to AK. We didn’t get to do a lot of traveling or heavy road trips this time, since we had a count of people that need more care ;) But this trip did help each of bond, some more than others :P Our trip included places like Rawalakot, Banjosa Lake & Tolipeer.

 



 

Very recently I had the privilege of traveling to Azad Kashmir again, but this time with the usual travel mates, minus Mohsin (since he was occupied else where). This was a very drive intensive trip though. We drove ourselves from Karachi all the way to Kel in AK. The highways in Sindh are not something to be proud of, but I guess they do the job, but sadly that job takes a toll on your car. As soon as you hit the motorway in Punjab you feel the stark difference in your drive. Everything becomes smoother and less painful, and that is one thing I think the government should think about fixing. The road that leads up to Muzaffarabad is amazing, and the road from there on out is even more beautiful, words hardly do any justice. Shahdara, north east of Muzaffarabad is a place with a river flowing next to it, with lush green mountains on both sides. Our trip after a night stay here continued toward Kel and then roughly a 2.5km 120˚ trek to Uran Kel. An amazing place with a gorgeous view. On our way back we had a brief sleep in a mosque on the motorway, because there is no other way we could have drove all the way, the way we did.

Other than these trips, we’ve made smaller picnic arrangements here and there, and shared a bit of awesomeness with some of our friends who have been unable to accompany us on our long and tiring yet full of amazing view trips.

On the other hand, this year on the 4th of May 2014, I got engaged to a wonderful girl (who shall not be named yet) ;) A wonderful, beautiful human being who I m going to share my life with :)


 

I also briefly had a baby Afghan Hedgehog of 3 months. I say briefly because he passed away a week and half later after I bought him due to diarrhea, which resulted in a weak dehydrated body that could not sustain itself. It was also a result of an unavailability of a vet nearby at all, let alone one that could treat a hedgehog. Even though it was with me for a short while, and I did care enough to clean after it’s mess, clean and bath it, not to mention actually spend time with it so it could try not to be defensive with me. I miss it dearly. It’s passing upset me, but I m ok now.

I’ve grown to understand all this is part of life, and we’re meant to cherish the good, and let go of everything that could have a negative or a depressing impact.

To all those who haven’t had a chance to go out and explore, I ask of you to take out some time for yourself, and take a break to explore the nature which is a gift to Human beings from Allah Almighty.

To view more pictures: http://instagram.com/dehog

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