Hi. I’m Mohit Behl. It was in 2011 that I—officiating a holy union between passion and profession—decided to write for a living. And then beckoned the spirit of nature all pure and good, answering to which I hit the road and haven’t looked back since. Now here I am, testing my limits to the lengths that they can go, and my feet to the leagues that they can travel. Welcome to my world of indulgences and its stories. Welcome to The Route Cause.
By the age of 10, I had already travelled quite a fair bit across India – Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and a few isolated escapades here and there. All thanks to my parents who just love to be out there exploring. The roots, it’s safe to assume, went deep. My last trip, rather, trek, was to be in Kedarnath in the summer of 1996.
And then there was a 15 year hold-up, during which I didn’t even get out of Delhi, which is where I was born and have been brought up by the way. While I won’t go into the details, it’s what people like to call—sadly or proudly I can never tell—“This is Life.”
Cut to 2011. I had consciously decided to give up all that I’d learned as a commerce student and as an MBA post graduate thereafter. It all bored me to death and I knew I won’t be able to bear it for long. I needed something creative. No offence! And I started at the bottom, taking up my first job as a fresher content writer, writing web articles across genres such as Lifestyle, Travel & Tourism, Entertainment, Automobiles and et cetera. Just a few days into it and I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
It was in the June of 2011 (precisely 15 years after my last trip to Kedarnath) that my colleagues planned a weekend trip to Lansdowne, to which I blatantly refused. As luck would have it, I gave in and decided to go, keeping my sheer will to hug my inhibitions close to my heart aside. We left for Lansdowne the following weekend, singing songs and spooking each other out with horror stories (still less horrifying than the ordeal I had gotten myself into). We reached there by night.
In the morning I woke up earlier than usual and went out to buy something from the nearby shop. Only a handful of local people had woken up by then. Since there were not many on the streets, I decided to take a quiet walk. I kept walking. And I was changed. No, there wasn’t any earth-shattering epiphany. Just a small realisation of what I had known all along. A realisation I might have subconsciously suppressed all these years by building boundaries of assuring comforts around me. I knew I needed to be out there. More!
The Journey so far!
In the journey of a thousand miles, the last thing people need to worry about is how far they’ve come. I have but taken a few steps and there is a long, long way to go. Till step number nine hundred and ninety nine to be exact. I intend to skip the last step that is the destination.
The last few years have been extremely rewarding. As I’ve travelled more, more frequently, it now runs in my blood, this desire, to always be out there, to live, taking one route or the other and coming back with newer experiences and stories. I’ve seen and learned more than I ever had and I wish to share it all with you.
Professionally as well, I’ve learned a lot of the tricks of the trade and moved a few notches above – from starting off as a fresh blood content writer to becoming a cold-blooded copywriter in advertising. And at the same time, maintaining a balance between my work life and travelling.
How do I travel?
I make no fuss about how is it that I’m travelling as long as I know I’m going to a place where mobile networks will either be unavailable or hard to find. I’ve backpacked, driven my own car, opted for local cabs, and taken the public transport. Impromptu or planned trips, planned treks or the one that just happen to pop out at the time, I am game for everything.
I am however, averse to travelling in big groups, because more often than not, it is where your own plans go haywire. And because more often than not, my own impulsive plans dictate that I figure out things on the way. Not many are comfortable with that. And that is why I either travel solo or stick to a select group of friends, one or two, whatever seems feasible in the moment.
Although inherently a person who’s head over heels in love with the Himalaya, I’m also quite prone to slipping away to other offbeat places rich in nature or history and explore them at my own pace. I like to maintain a fine balance between leisure travel and adventure travel. I’ve trekked through the Himalaya as much as I’ve holed up at different places and experienced what it is to live like the locals. Be what they are, and you’ll see something you never have.