Remember the 2007 motion picture – Into The Wild? The real life story of an American graduate, Christopher McCandless who donates his entire life’s savings to charity, gives up on a promising life, hikes in Alaskan woods and in the end, leaves the world in a derelict bus. The plot might seem insipid at first but the hidden meaning can only be deciphered by hardcore travellers and solitude seekers.
Have you ever wondered how it is like to stay under a starry night, roaming across pristine lakes, unspoilt glaciers, timeless deserts and trundling along the deepest forest all alone? Have you ever introspect and retrospect the aspects of your life while staying away from all the modern day distractions? Solitude is not easy to enjoy, but the rewards and the impact on one’s life is deep and thoughtful. Fortunately, in today’s world filled with concrete cities, flashy billboards and touristy commercialization there are still some places perfect for solitude seekers.
Patagonia (South America)
Where – Argentina and Chile
What – A region studded with glaciers, lakes, rivers, mountains, meadows, steppes which continues to maintain its rustic charm despite the ages. Travelling alone in Patagonia has immense rewards starting from hiking up the Perito Moreno Glacier to exploring the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park.
Imagine – Staying in a camp alongside a deep blue lake surrounded by white snow-capped mountains, green vegetation and not a soul or modern day distractions to dislodge your peace and solitude.
Alaska (North America)
Where – United States of America
What – Alaska is blessed with surreal nature and landscape. Its stunning glaciers, rivers and wilderness of its pristine national parks are paradise for nature lovers and solitude seekers. Hiking and exploring the vast wilderness and sharing your space with local wildlife are few of the unforgettable experiences.
Imagine – Sleeping in a camp amidst the wilderness of Alaska, catching fresh salmon in the streams, penning down your experiences and watching out for wildlife like Black Bear, Brown Bear, Caribou, Dall Sheep, Moose, Polar Bear, Wolves, Mountain Goat and many more.
Where – India
What – Ladakh, located in the northern-most point of India, boasts its lunar landscape which is dry, extremely cold and harsh and receives very low rainfall and has scanty vegetation. The highest motorable road and high mountain passes are dotted in the region which seem to have stopped the flow of time. Buddhist pagodas, Tibetan monasteries and ever-smiling and hospitable locals add to the charm which is filled with thin breathable air and rustic landscapes.
Imagine – Riding a bike all the way to Ladakh, traversing through high altitude mountain passes and pitching up a tent near a crystal clear lake surrounded by a vast barren landscape.
Rocky Mountains (North America)
Where – USA and Canada
What – The Rocky Mountains are among the oldest mountain ranges of our world. The Rockies forms a key geological part of the United States and Canada and draws heavy tourist because of stunning natural landscape, pristine natural parks, sleepy mountain towns and rich flora and fauna.
Imagine – Treading the Rockies all alone with just a backpack, pitching tent to stay wherever you want and admiring the rich flora and fauna and savouring the beautiful virgin mountains, pristine lakes and acres of unspoilt forest.
Where – North Europe
What – One of the few well preserved wilderness on earth, it continues to escape the touristy commercialization. Vast glaciers, white snow landscape and polar bears are the symbol of a land which is inhabited by the native Inuit tribes. A mystical land where sun never sets in the summer and Northern Lights playfully glisten the night.
Imagine – Treading the vast snow landscape of Greenland in a traditional dog sled, staying in a tent and watching the Milky Way and the awe-inspiring Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun.
Gobi Desert (Asia)
Where – Mongolia
What – A cold, arid desert which receives very scanty rainfall and has very little vegetation. Gobi Desert is the fifth largest desert in terms of area but it is also the least explored and travelled regions of the earth. Emptiness, wilderness and endless heap of sands is the constant companion along with the tired and tested Bactrian Camels.
Imagine – Surrounded by vast endless stretch of sand, dry and cold desert with no companion apart from your native Mongolian friend and twin-humped camels. Camping in the desert where temperature drops dramatically at night and enjoying the tranquillity.
Sahara Desert (Africa)
Where – North and West Africa
What – A vast landmass of scorching hot desert and endless sea of sand in North and West Africa. The extremely harsh vast stretch of desert is a challenge for the seasoned explorers but nevertheless, rewarding experience. Countries in the Sahara region have developed and sustained glorious civilizations and continues to evolve in the modern day.
Imagine – Traversing through unending sea of bright orange desert, far away from the signs of civilization and the comforts of modern day. Sounds challenging! Imagine camping in the sands under the starlit sky with a fire. Imagine a camel being your sole solace and inmate during your arduous journey.
Where – Western and Central Australia
What – Vast, remote and arid inner areas of Australia in generally referred as ‘Outback’. The orange and red coloured earth and very scanty vegetation and withered mountains carved a region of complete wilderness, harsh, dry climate and sheer remoteness right in the heart of the smallest continent in our planet.
Imagine – Treading the rough terrain in a 4×4 wheel drive with limited food, water and human help. You are all alone in the Australian Outback. The nearest Australian cities are far away and airdrops are the only but costly solution to sustain yourself in the region. However, one mis-calculation, one wrong turn or malfunctioning GPS device can lead you to a battle for your existence. But the solitude, the peace of mind and sheer beauty tends to lift the pain.
Amazon (South America)
Where – Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia
What – World’s largest rainforest which is also fondly referred to as the ‘Lungs of the Earth’. Heavy rainfalls, hot and humid conditions have resulted in a large rainforest which hides ancient civilizations of Incas, hidden tribes, Amazon River – world’s largest river and source of 20% of freshwater on earth and an ecosystem comprising of large varieties of flora and fauna.
Imagine – Hiking and camping under the thick rainforest foliage and understanding the precious ecosystem. Imagine boating down the winding Amazon River which carries a large volume of water and sustain precious wildlife. Imagine treading the forest paths to reach lost civilization and learning about the hidden tribes.