I was always fond of travelling and there has always been an adventurous streak in me since childhood. When I was a child, in my dreams I saw myself riding a bicycle in a forest with my friends, searching for some kind of treasure. It sounds funny now but the point is that the keenness to explore was always there in me.

I feel that life didn’t offer me as much opportunities to explore and to travel as I wanted. I get to travel less and that, too, with family, on university trips or with office staff. At the office I found a friend (a gem) who is always willing and agreeing to my weird, dream like plans. I explored the old Walled City of Lahore with my friend to satisfy some of my adventurous cravings. I made plans to go far and explore new places every year and asked my friend if she was willing to go. She is always willing but the problem is how? We have the will but are unable to find a way.

We used to ask our friends but never thought of traveling with any group. As always we were planning this time, we found many groups that arrange trips to different areas. When I was researching on different groups, my university mate told me about Mango Man Tours. The expedition trip to Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat base camp sounded appealing. I already had a willing friend by my side, the only problem was to convince my parents. To convince someone is a terribly hard thing for me: I even sound unconvincing to myself sometime. But somehow, by chance, I was successful in convincing my father this time, after which I was in complete shock and surprise. I called my friend and shouted out loud for 10 minutes to calm myself. She didn’t believe that my father gave his permission so easily - that, too, prior to her parents and without any cross-questioning.

My parents trusted me; my friend, too, trusted me and my decision. This frightened me a bit as I personally didn’t know with whom we were going and how. But I think and believe you have to take risks to trust people. Till the last day of payment, my friend was not certain this plan would actually take place. She assumed that, like always, this plan will remain just a "plan" and someone among us will back out but this time it was all different. We actually pursued our plan.

My friend and I did a bit of shopping together and finally travelled with that group to Fairy Meadows. This journey was like a dream to me. I felt excited because I was actually doing what I have always been really fond of. That was my first experience of trekking, camping and exploring a beautiful, scenic place. The snow-covered mountains, the green pastures and the clear sky soothed me. Nature and mountains always fascinated me and I somehow feel attracted to them. Fairy Meadows is a dreamland; it is quite similar to my imaginative paradise. The grassy land covered all around with mountains and wooden huts, animals grazing around - all of this seemed so pure, natural and clean. The organizers and our travelling companions were so good that it seem like one big family.

The joy of travelling and exploring doubled because of a good, fun company. Strangers got connected and became friends so easily. The organizers were responsible, caring and fun-loving people. The whole group got that positive, fun vibe from them. The fear of the unknown before the start of the journey vanished just after a few hours of travel like it was never there. The Nanga Parbat view from Fairy Meadows is breathtaking. Although sadly we were unable to reach our exact and final destination - that is, the Nanga Parbat base camp - because of bad weather conditions but, still, what we did experience was beyond words. I felt like I was in a state of dream.

Most of the times the icy white peak of Nanga Parbat merged with the clouds. One can only see the peak when there is clear sunny weather which is rare. But here again, on the last day of our trip, we were fortunate enough to capture that view of the Nanga Parbat peak in our eyes and cameras when the sun shines over it. The stars at Fairy Meadows appear so prominent and big when the sky is clear at night. The photographers among us kept themselves awake just to capture that sight.

The most beautiful and mesmerizing experience for me was the trek from Fairy Meadows to Bayal camp. Walking through woods with mountains around on the orange winding trek covered with the tall trees is an amazing experience. On the path, the sunlight sifts through the leaves; the sound of waterfalls feels so dramatic - like perfect background score. Everything seems just perfect in its own natural way. These beautiful landscape sights, the scenic views seem to be framed in my mind forever and I feel like some part of me was left there.

I did come back from there but am not present completely here. I miss each and everything - the gorgeous sights that are locked in my memory, and the lovely company that saw us made friends for life. And that is the essence of traveling.