Do you dream of exploring new places and experiencing new cultures?
It’s no secret that people avoid planning their trips for fear of uncertainty.

The fear of How, What, When, Where.
Let’s tackle the ‘how, what, when, where’ together! 😉

The northern areas of Pakistan are popular for their rich culture, pleasant weather, and mind-blowing landscapes.
So mostly people travel there from all over the world.

Usually, when planning a trip, you’d turn to Google or browse Instagram profiles for travel services.
I bet you will find destinations like Hunza, Rakaposhi view point, Khunjerab or Skardu.

But do you know that Gilgit Baltistan has more than 50 destinations, it’s a big place!
You can get all the information with the list below, and explore places that very few people do.

https://www.worldcitydb.com/gilgit-baltistan_in_pakistan_state 

I found this out just recently, and I’m amazed there’s still so much to discover!
Internet sure is an amazing tool.
And that’s just Gilgit Baltistan, same goes for Khyber Pakhtoon Khuwan (KPK).

Now you might be thinking if any travel service is not taking me to those destinations, how can I reach it?

Let me share my secret with you.

I like to plan my vacations based on my mood, rather than following a strict timetable like a working day.
This allows me to customize my itinerary and enjoy a more flexible trip.

Since 2019 I have been traveling solo and exploring new towns and villages. But how am I confident before traveling to a place new to me?
All by myself?

Easy!

All you have to do is open your phone or laptop. Google for your desired destination, you will get all the required details.

There’s hardly a town or village in GB that hasn’t been mentioned by travelers.

So, open 3-4 blogs or personal diaries to learn about your destination. One blog might not have all the info you need, but reading different ones will help you learn about the culture, the people, and what to expect.

You’ll want to find out basic things like how long it takes to get there, what the weather is like, and what the roads are like.

Note: Always check the weather in morning before leaving for your destination. As I am sure you don’t want to get stuck somewhere in between now do you 😉

These should be some of the key factors at least for anyone traveling in a mountainous area 🏔️

It’s amazing to see all these foreign travelers coming to Pakistan and writing about the do’s and don’ts of these places.
That’s like all the hard work has been done for you!

I understand the pain of going through different blogs to get the complete picture before traveling to a new place.
This is why I will be trying to fill that gap so that everyone is able to travel and explore like it was originally supposed to be for Pakistanis as well.

Just by reading about a new place will make you more confident, even if you’re traveling solo. Give it a try yourself.
It should help you conquer any fears you have about visiting a new place.

During my travel, I sometimes meet fellow travelers eager to discover new places. That’s when I step in and show them just how simple it can be to reach these places.
And you know what?
After hearing the details, some felt confident enough and set off to make their own unforgettable memories.

I realized, they just didn’t know these places existed because no one told them or they just didn’t ask the locals.

If you got any friend there, annoy them until they tell you or take you there 😅

I do this with my friends in GB all the time.
They’re just amazing people. They always take me to these places.

Note: The locals would love you if you give respect to their culture and values

If you are already in GB or KPK, you can ask any local person on how to reach to your destination.

Like Dumbledore used to say:

Help is given to all those, who ask for it!

There are always multiple ways to travel.
Hiring a car, renting a bike or taking a local bus which is on budget too!

If you are into meeting new people, hitchhike!

When I’m traveling in Gilgit-Baltistan, I feel safe, it’s not like the big cities where you have to watch your back all the time.

I was a bit scared to ask for a ride myself at first.
In fact, I usually give people a ride on my bike when I’m riding solo on the Karakoram Highway.
It was my first time, and I felt a little awkward and uncomfortable.

In 2021, I was traveling from Jaglot to Passu on my bike when unfortunately it broke down.
I was in a bit of a pickle because it was getting late and there was no public transport available.
So, I made the decision to start walking towards Karimabad where I had planned to stay at Azhar’s hotel.

Btw one cannot not be more polite than Azhar. He’s an amazing guy to hang out with.

You can find Azhar opposite to darbar hotel in Karimabad. He runs “Hunza river view hotel” if you are looking for a clean and nominal place to stay.

I had two bags on each shoulder and one on my head.
I started to get tired walking on the Karakoram Highway.

I was a little hesitant at first but then my survival instinct kicked in and I said to myself, “Fuck it, let’s do it!”
Amazingly, within just 15 minutes, two guys from Karimabad offered me a lift.

They had seen me walking a while back near Hassanabad and were happy to give me a ride in the trunk of their 4×4.
And you know what? These guys turned out to be really cool! I hope I get to meet them again someday.

A friend of mine Qasim, He started to hitchhike from the corner of his street where he lives in Rawalpindi all the way to Passu.

I was amazed when he told me about it. I mean, that’s a long journey! But he did it, and he did it for free.
Qasim is my hero when it comes to hitchhiking – he’s the one who inspired me to try it for myself.

Okay now we have a destination, we know about the do’s and don’ts and how to get there.

Here comes the worst part. You are there but you have no idea where to stay.
I understand it can be very stressful and sometimes things get messy looking for a place.

You can use various travel websites such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Facebook groups to find information about hotels and accommodations in the area. These websites provide reviews, prices, and photos of hotels that can help you make an informed decision before you travel there.

If you are already in north, You can ask for recommendations from locals where you are right now. They may suggest hotels or places at your destination that are not listed online, but they know are good.

If you are traveling with a good budget this is no issue but if you are on limited budget like I am most of the times😅
It can get confusing and stressful for some at times.

Normally I prefer to camp. The feeling of setting up a camp and sleeping in it never gets old plus its so cozy inside the tent ⛺

When I have to rent a room in a hotel, I try to reach at day time to walk around the city or that village after reading about the place.
It gives me a good idea and different options where I can stay. You can always visit different hotels and look at the room condition and rent.

If you find a place you like, don’t be afraid to negotiate the price with the owner. Especially during low season.
If you plan on staying for an extended period, they may be willing to give you a discount.

Speak to the locals, such as shopkeepers, taxi drivers, or people on the street, and ask for recommendations for affordable accommodation. They can give you first-hand information about the best places to stay.

There you go, you are now fully equipped.

  • Explore Wikipedia and Google for a list of places to visit.
  • Read travel diaries or blogs to gain real insights and reduce unknowns that cause fear.
  • Choose from various transportation options: hire a car, rent a bike, use local transport, or even hitchhike.
  • If nothing is available online, approach locals for recommendations. They will take you to places where you can stay.

Okay so now you are on your way to your destination. Is there anything else remaining?

You are out in the mountains, enjoying the landscapes, watching the sun over those snow-capped beautiful peaks. Thinking to have a time of your life here.

I ask you then, why not?

You are already there, all that remains now is a positive attitude!

Come out of your comfort zone. You already know you are traveling for only a few days, why not get the hands dirty and do it right.

I have seen a lot of people who prefer not to walk but prefer visiting only those places where a car can take them.

But is it enough, why trouble yourself with all the walking and trekking?

Well, if you ask me, an ordinary tech guy from Karachi who worked with E-commerce giants and corporations.
I might not have summitted any 7000 or 8000 meter peaks like those mountaineers but I sure can have the heart for exploration like them!

I have hardly seen anyone not enjoying themselves when they finally decide to go for it. It’s always fun.

My old self in 2017 would be amazed at all the moments and adventures which I had till now, starting small.
Enjoy your travel, have a smoke, enjoy some music between the mountain valleys, dance!

Travel allows me to be outside of my comfort zone continuously.
For me, it has helped me a lot in terms of making decisions in life, being a more balanced person personally and professionally.
And above all, let’s not take our lives so seriously that we forget to live in the present.

Let’s see what Reinhold Messner has to say about adventure.

Just go out there and explore. Embrace the adrenaline and feeling of being alive again. For a limited time forget about the comforts of your daily life. Experience life like the true nature of the homo sapiens.

If you are planning to travel to the north, give me a nudge. I love to meet new people and exchange stories.

If you like, we can also plan our own trip to any destination you like. There is no better way to know someone than traveling 😉

For these coming months I want to travel and help others to know about these amazing places through my posts.