A beginner's take on Workations in Manali
We all, at times, get bored of the monotony of our daily lives, don’t we? This pandemic has hit all our lives in some capacity. Our social lives have been halted, for too long now. Interaction with friends, close relatives is now limited to just chatting, voice calls and video calls. However, these media do not serve the dynamic aspect of conversations. We all desperately need a change from this solitude, if not physically then mentally, perhaps.
Our travel goals for this decade were served with a major blow, owing to early travel restrictions. That, including the scare, has a defining role in keeping us to our homes. The call of the mountains is going unanswered and we literally cannot help but keep ourselves strong.
Our routines have also been affected. Working is no longer a 9-5 routine. At homes, we easily get distracted by the surroundings. The vibe at homes isn’t work-friendly, or even for students. I, being a student, hover around my house, headphones plugged in my ears listening to what professors have to tell. We all are just bored of how things are and there isn’t a change in sight.
The second wave has surely added more to the anguish among us. Our lives are so much surrounded by the negativity that we often tend to lose hope. We lose sight of the positivity and perspective of mother nature. Even most routines now seem monotonous. A peaceful cut-out from the panicked world is long due.
Desolate streets of Manali owing to the COVID lockdown; Image Credit: The Indian Express
What to expect from a Workation? This won’t be similar to just a trek to the mountains or a family vacation to Ooty but trust me, you will gain perspective like none other. With the COVID- restrictions intact, you won’t get to visit fancy clubs, cafeteria and other experiences. No Worries, the stays have it all covered. It will be a change from the urban life, which we’ve long been subjected to. Waking up to serene mornings, opening your door to the cool mountain breeze, Rajma-Chawal served as a meal, a nice cup of tea on the riverside, chilly evenings, when you get it all, it is a major detox. Workations have the sorcerer’s ability to transmute the mundane into magic.
Emerging as a new way of travelling which combines daily routines with the essence of a vacation, this is nothing compared to your past experience. Once you spend a month or two close to the natural tranquillity of mountains or the sound of sea waves gushing, you will want it to last an eternity. PS: Not the same for homesick people. You will get to know a lot about yourself, organize and channelize your thoughts. Your experience largely will also depend upon what you make of your stay. If you’ve been feeling the urge to give back to the mountains, you can always volunteer at local schools. Though, nothing of that sort can be done right now.
Increased efficiency and productivity is assured: Lost in the woods, away from the ruckus, you will, over time, learn that staying away from news really keeps you happy. With most of the worrying thoughts not bugging you constantly, focus on your tasks and goals is guaranteed.
Creative and out-of-the-box thinking: A change of air, fresh surroundings accompanied by solitude you learn more effective and innovative ways of doing things.
Work is primary, exploring comes later: Reiterating the importance of not literally lost in the beauty of nature, you have to prioritize your work goals. Workation experience is no place near vacations. Again, most of the group activities are on standby following the second wave so you will only get to explore the serenity of nature yourself through short, easy and familiar hikes.
Workation: A new normal for India; Image Credit: BuzzTribe
Get it all covered
Your stay at a workation facility is going to be longer compared to normal vacations. And, your requirements for your accommodation would be different. Therefore, packing sufficiently and wisely is obvious. There are multiple things including your digital instruments, favourite coffee, a pack of herbal tea, clothing that won’t be available at your destination. As far as accommodation is concerned, ensure your requirements are duly fulfilled by the hosts. Apart from basic amenities, you should look for:
An adequately fast and stable internet connection: The Internet undoubtedly dictates our work today. Before checking in, please verify the connectivity in the region or if the stay provides Wi-Fi.
A setup: You will be dedicating 5-6 hours or even more at times sitting on your laptop, hence the setup of a table and chair is a must. Proper adjustment to work routines is facilitated by a compact setup of the work/study table.
Powered by?: Electric connection isn’t what bothers you at most workations. They usually have a power backup mechanism functional. Nevertheless, confirming with the hosts is better in terms of safety. Also, ensure there is a doable number of power sockets near your table and chair.
Recommendations and reviews: Always read travellers’ personal accounts of their stay at the accommodation on the internet before making a decision.
Manali: The summer queen of India; Image Credit: Shruti Dadwal on Unsplash
Manali, the paradise for mountain lovers, is known for its spellbinding and captivating landscapes. Every traveller you ask has been captivated by this Himalayan town in some capacity. The town wakes up to chilly mornings and settles for mesmerizing sunsets. A family going to hill stations in summers prefers Manali, a solo-travellers finds peace and solitude in this town, even for a couple seeking some ‘us time’ pins their destination down to Manali. There is no doubt about the little town emerging as a popular tourist destination.
However, apart from its traditional visitors base, Manali has an increasing number of workation experiences hosted by locals. Workations have become a catch among young visitors who now are looking for aesthetical ways to make WfH more interactive. The summer queen of India has a strange way of welcoming you into its natural backdrop. Here, you will be moved to realise your true potential and take proactive measures. Remote working is fun with workation, especially in Manali. You wake up to the view of the mighty Himalayan peaks, the seasonal birds chirping and the slow waters of river Beas, boosting your enthusiasm to work proficiently.
1. Apple Farm Stay
Located around 3 kilometres from Manali, Apple Farm Homestay offers a moderately priced stay. The property offers you exquisite views of apple orchards, Humta Pass including the Beas River flowing in the background. It comes with free Wi-Fi connectivity, inclusive of 4 meals per day. Adding to the list of perks, one can also participate in the meditation classes within the property that is absolutely free.
2. Woodland Retreat
Woodland Retreat is located in village Shuru, just a little over 5 kilometres from main Manali. The view from the balcony will make you more comfortable and welcome. Sitting with a cup of tea, you can thrust upon the work and feel relaxed at the same time. The ambience of the retreat matches well with its natural backdrop, offering brilliant views of the mountains. It includes almost everything on your checklist for a Himalayan homestay. It has 4 independent floors, each having 3 bedrooms attached with bathrooms. You can book your stay with friends to maximise your homestay memories.
3. Color Stays Hill House
Hosted by Swati, Color Stays Hill House in Manali is a budget-friendly stay on top of a hill. The facility provides for every requirement of the visitors and everyone is looked after personally by the host. The property is near Hadimba Temple. Located amidst the mighty Himalayas surrounded by a lush green garden, blooming with apple, plum and pine trees, it has the beautiful look of a wooden house with a modern architectural base. The guests will be provided free Wi-Fi services, food, entertainment through televisions among other amenities at a lowered price.
4. Hotel Lonchenpa B&B
Hotel Lonchenpa B&B, hosted by Kalyan on Airbnb, is located in the heart of Malani, at a two-minute distance from Mall Road. Each room is attached with a balcony, offering mesmerizing views of the mountains. The visitors here can interact with fellow mates in the lobby cum living room. It offers moderately priced accommodation comparing the prices of other stays. However, the prices, considering the centralized location, are significantly less. In addition to the basic amenities, your stay is powered by Housekeeping services.
5. La Luna Nueva in Manali
The property is a traditional Himalayan house, surrounded by apple orchards and slow-capped mountains of the mighty Himalayas. It makes a perfect budget-friendly stay away from crowded cities. It also is the last house before the ascend to Banara village trek. The property rules include volunteering and maintaining cleanliness. Here, you can get peace and the perfect environment for working as the locality is not frequently visited by large numbers of people.
The experience of workation is certainly a new one for most of us. It has, though, captivated and provided a lot of psychological support to travellers and non-travellers in the destitute times of COVID. It is seen as a revolutionary concept in the world of backpacking. Workations tend to overcome the obstacles for hosts in off-seasons. For us, the travellers, it helps us gather our minds together, come close to nature and develop a better understanding of human lives.