India's villages, through the eyes of a city-dweller

Posted in Guest experiences on Thursday, April 20th, 2017

For me as a city person I love the hustle and bustle of life, endless entertainment, so many people all around you. It’s fun, very exciting, electric.
However, sometimes it’s intense, so overwhelming, a claustrophobic crazy rushed life… full of routines and that’s when you feel enough is enough. You can’t handle it anymore and need some quietness.
That’s when I wanted to take a break and thought of all the usual holiday spots to go, however my sister suggested why don’t you try the village experience which turned out to be the most exhilarating experience and has left me craving for more and more…….

Like a whiff of fresh air, nature’s pure energy vibe transformed me and I had so many different emotions at once. I felt liberated, as if by alchemy.
The place - in the Kumaon region of Uttrakhand in the foot hills of the Himalayas - was beautiful, full of wildlife and gorgeous landscapes but what makes it more endearing is the simple life and the people who value nature over many other comforts in life. That’s what changes your attitude.
What’s it really like to stay in the mountains? It’s really so difficult to live here, with no steady cash flow, not many amenities, the only means of reaching some villages is by walking. However, you find so much cheer in the people who greet you with a friendly Namaste. Their value for nature is immense, they do not disturb the natural habitat around them, they live with the wild, grow organic home grown vegetables and staples and the guests are served the same food which is a reservoir of nature’s energy.
On a lighter note, unlike us they never have to plan a vacation as they live where the vacation is and imagine they step outside their front door and head for  a nature walk in the mountains instead of swearing in rush hour traffic like we do! 
My 5 year old daughter enjoyed the most despite no TV and any gadgets, and no junk food. The best part was she was able walk an entire mountain trail to reach a village and back. The experience is very refreshing and the concept of Village Ways where the villagers front the program is unique and outstanding.
We had great engaging trips with them, learning about the plants which grow there, the birds, flowers, how the mountain trails were formed, food, the ancient folklore about the mountains, temples and many more. Their hospitality is so warm and welcoming. We loved their spirit and optimism!
Thank you Village ways for this experience, this trip has moved my mind by a million dimensions, something I had never previously envisioned and I would want to come back again and again.
My heartfelt appreciation to the staff at Binsar Sanctuary and in the villages.

Santi