Hey guys, welcome to my blog. This is to inform you all that I will be posting a new blog post on every Sunday. Hope to see you next Sunday too as the blog post on next Sunday would be about what are the things which I discovered in Ladakh. Have a blissful day.
The region of Ladakh was something that I always wanted to explore and I often used to dream about standing on the top of the mountains of this region, standing with open hands and telling the sky how much I was in love with the beauty of this region. I had this strong craving for walking down the streets of Leh and sitting beside the Pangong Lake. In my head, I was clear that the only way I could visit Leh all alone and that too for more than a month was by working with some organization in that region. I was clear that how I have to visit Leh but I had to find a good organization. I remember clearly that one fine day when I was sitting in the lawyer’s office and my associate was busy eating my head, I ignored everything and googled about every organization which existed in the region of Leh and applied for an internship at that very moment.
The very next day, I got emails from three to four organizations, but the one which I found to be the most exciting organization was that of 17000 ft Foundation. I bugged them for more than three months to let me in their system so that I could do a one-month internship at Leh.
The best part about this internship is that you can go there completely alone or with any of your near and dear ones, it can be your parents, siblings, boyfriend or spouse. Basically, it can be anyone and if you take someone along, there is a better chance that they will accept your application because that is what their program requirement is that is a minimum of two people. They have reasons for doing so and that is no one is as talented as I am to travel all alone because people tend to start feeling homesick when they are all alone.
Yes, now I am coming to the questions. Let’s begin with them
HOW TO APPLY?
It’s easy, just head over to their website (http://17000ft.org/) and just jump over to the volunteer section. Now, you just need to fill up a form and they will contact you back. If for some bad reason, they don’t, then bug them by calling them almost every week or every day. Yes, I am a pro at calling 17000 ft Foundation’s Gurgaon office. The things were bad with me because the then Human Resources head’s name was Smriti and I swear being a Punjabi, I couldn’t pronounce it the right way ever.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Yes, fellas, it is completely worth the cost that you are going to pay. It is a hefty amount, but you will never regret paying it because who gets an opportunity to stay in such a beautiful place for a month.
The best part is that you are a traveler, tourist and a volunteer, all at the same time. During the day you work, in the evenings one can roam around and on the weekends one can get away to all the nearby places in and around Leh.
THINGS YOU GET TO DO WHEN YOU INTERN AT 17000 FT FOUNDATION
Stay in a village near Leh
TEACH THE KIDS- You will get to meet the Ladakhi students and they will be so happy to have you in their school. They will love to hear stories from you and will be immensely involved in the activities that you plan to do with them. When it is your last day at their school, you won’t feel like leaving them and they will be sad to see you go. (I swear in my entire life, no one was so happy to have me. I suppose not even my parents.)
LISTEN TO SUJATA MAM’S ADVENTUROUS STORIES- She is the founder of the organization only when in the office. Ones she has put on her cap and stepped out of the three storey building of 17000 ft foundation, she will share all the adventures that she has been through and she will make sure that you eat all the good food that is served in Leh. (She is by far the coolest woman I have ever met.)
YOU WILL HAVE LADAKHI FRIENDS AT OFFICE- They are blessed souls because they love to party hard and if you are friends with them, you will never ever feel alone in Leh. Skalzang can tell you about things that you should buy from Leh whereas Palmo is good to sit with and talk. Stanzin is always smiling and is the best person to click a selfie with though Skalzang is the queen who has been awarded the crown for clicking by far the most number of selfies. Delek is good to hang around with and you will have live concerts in office when Funksuk is around.
STAY AT MANDARVA GUEST HOUSE- If you are doing a one monthier program, then Mandarva is your home for almost a month. They have the cleanest rooms and the most beautiful lawn. Well, you will love to walk around their kitchen garden if you visit the place in the summers.
DINNER AT MAHEY- Dinners with 17000 ft Foundation are altogether a different affair because you get to eat different types of cuisines every night. It is so yummy that very morning I used to promise myself that I will eat less while I used to end up eating everything which was served and not to forget the desert. (Damn! Delicious food.)
KUNZANG’S TEA- What if I tell you that one thing which I miss even today is the tea made by Kunzang. Yes, it is so divine and tempting that I used to have two to three cups every day. Also, not to forget that the vegetable plough cooked by her are no less.
How to reach Leh?
Firstly, you need to decide that you want to travel by air or by road, I would suggest that you should prefer traveling by road. There are two routes that you can take one is by Srinagar and the other one is by Manali. The best idea is to come from Srinagar and go back by Manali.
Things to remember
- Always carry a jacket when you visit Leh even if it is in the summers because the weather tends to change really fast in the regions of Ladakh.
- Always plan your trip because otherwise, it tends to get boring.
- Acclimatizing is necessary or you can end up being in the hospital – Stay in your hotel or guest house for a day. Take Diamox-150 before you start your trip and even when you land in the Ladakh region.
Hey guys, if you want to know about the adventurous things that you must do at Leh, then do read my blog post After a month, 8 places that I discovered at Leh- Places that should not be missed at all.