Yearender 2020: 5 ‘workation’ destinations that became the new travel trend amid Covid-19
In the rat race of career making and personal life juggling, the last thing we expected was a dent on our unwinding travel plans but Covid-19 mercilessly hit our outings with loved ones, below the belt. The months of isolation and never-ending work-from-home rule not only brought out our creative sides but also made us figure a way out of the boredom by giving birth to the trend of workation.
Yes, you read that right. Even as Covid-19 turned our travel plans topsy turvy, we could still kick back on a hammock on a sunny beach or sip coffee in the mountains while keeping our laptop and phone close and attend to mails and calls on the go.
That’s how work with leisure or work plus vacation gave birth to the trend of ‘workation’ and we are happily carrying this 2020 trend, forward to the New Year 2021. Since the virus with its new mutant is here to stay for some time, travel enthusiasts were seen hitting the road while keeping socially distant, soaking in the picturesque landscapes and still making money by working from the scenic destination of their choice.
As the lockdown lifts locally, domestic travel vibes kick in and the off-beat destinations like Spiti and Bir in Himachal Pradesh or Sandakphu in West Bengal attracted the touristy lens. The flexibility of work-from-home offered office on the go if you have good Internet connectivity.
Here are 5 off-beat scenic places you can add to your workation bucket list:
While Sandakphu might not be a famous tourist destination, it is the highest peak in the Indian state of West Bengal and the highest point of the Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling. It promises spotting of a rich abundance of birds and animals, over 600 varieties of orchids and a glimpse of the highest peaks of Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet and Bhutan along with the Three Sisters all in a single stretch and needs to be added to travel bucket list on priority basis.
From tea plantations and art galleries to serene temples and quaint monasteries, Palampur has much to offer as an offbeat tourist destination. There is something magical about sunrises in the mountains that make all stress evaporate in a jiffy and a village walk in Palampur, which is beautifully set against the alluring Dhauladhar Range of the Himalayas, promises just that.
Palampur’s trekking trails are lined by forests of pine and deodar while paragliding awaits adventure lovers at Bir-Biling which is 35 kms away. On one edge, the dramatic Neugal chasm and the Bundla stream cut across.
The picturesque Bir-Billing near Baijnath town of Kangra district is famous for hosting paragliding events as it is among the world’s top ten paragliding sites. Located at 1525 meter above mean sea level, Billing serves as the take off site while landing site is at Bir village, a small hamlet famous for its sprawling tea gardens and Tibetan monasteries.
As Shimla received the season’s first snowfall, the New Year cheer among residents and hoteliers is too contagious to not lift up your spirits and the tribal district of Spiti is no different. While the Spiti Valley Road is arguably one of the India’s most dangerous roads, it offers an immersive experience beyond the well known places of common hill stations.
Situated 414 kms away from Shimla and approximately 202 kms from Manali, Spiti is located along the Indo-Tibetan border, is the land of ragged and snow-capped mountains that reach out to the clear deep blue skies. It offers visual treats of some of the most beautiful canyons, the most unusual clay and rock formations along the river bed and in the mountains, numerous waterfalls and glaciers, including one of world’s largest non-polar glaciers - Bara Shigri, some thousand year old Gompas (Buddhist Monasteries) and Tibetan art and also the mummy of a monk who meditated to death.
5. Ghogla Beach
With less crowd, clean water and clean surrounding, the Ghogla Beach with its calm tides, provides a relaxing atmosphere. Located in the north of Diu town, the Ghogla Beach hosts gentle waves and is perfect for those preferring to stay aloof and away from the cacophony of the town.
As one of the least explored places, it is well maintained and excellent for water sports like parasailing, surfing and banana boat. It can be called a separate island since it is situated approximately 15 km from the main town.
Whether heading out solo or with loved ones while working in the lap of nature, a rustic backdrop, remoteness of woods, valley view or beach in sight, workation is becoming the go-to travel option for not just the millennial but older generations as well, apart from offering a ray of hope to the revival of tourism industry. Which travel destination will you be crossing out from your bucket list in New Year 2021?