“Ideas are the most fragile things in the world, and if you do not write them down, they will be lost forever.”
~ Phil Cooke
In his book Jolt!: Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing, Phil Cooke, a writer and media consultant from the United States, puts forth a very agreeable view – that having great ideas is not good enough, action must be taken to see creative ideas become successful projects.
And the folks at Scout My Trip, a community driven Do-It-Yourself platform for road trips in India did just that – in collaboration with OYO, they handheld a brilliant idea and diligently transformed it into an enormously successful campaign. The idea – organising the highest bloggers meet at Ladakh’s Khardung La, a mountain pass at an elevation of 18,380 feet from the sea level.
This successful campaign entailed a convoy of five SUVs with 20 bloggers covering roughly 3000 km of the most scenic of landscapes in the country. And as a member of this group, I got an opportunity to not just be a part of a record making feat but also fulfill my long cherished dream of travelling to Ladakh.
In my first post under Ladakh Chronicles – Road Tripping to the Land of Lamas – I wrote an overview of this epic journey. However, the highest blogger meet, the raison d’être of the road trip warranted a separate post of its own, so here is an account of how the Highest Blogger Meet panned out.
The cavalcade comprising bloggers and executives from Scout My Trip and OYO started on the epic road trip from Gurgaon on the 11th of July. The Highest Blogger Meet was scheduled for the 16th of July, and from the smooth start we had, it appeared a given that we will be on schedule for the big day. Only if we knew of the adventures that lay ahead. From landslide induced unscheduled night halt to engine failure and tyre punctures, a number of roadblocks threatened to put us off schedule. But it was the skillful manoeuvring by the scouts, together with the exuberant cooperation of the bloggers that prevented the itinerary from going haywire.
Thus, as per schedule, on July 16, 2017, at around 8.30 in the morning, 26 excited people from the Scout My Trip and OYO cavalcade stood around the milestone marking the location – Khardung La Top, 18380 ft. The air was thin, with participants already briefed about high altitude related disorders. Despite the odds, the group valiantly huddled together for the record-making feat of organizing and being a part of the Highest Blogger Meet. I say record making, for this accomplishment has now entered the annals of India Book of Records in two categories – First Bloggers Meet at Khardung La and the Highest Blogger Meet in India.
It was an incredible moment for every single one of us to have achieved this once-in-a-lifetime (well, almost) feat of having our names stamped in a record book. And of course, this incredible feat would not have been possible without the thorough planning and attention to details that went behind planning and executing this campaign.
The meet saw Scout My Trip founders talking about the Highest Blogger Meet campaign and congratulating the bloggers on this epic record-making feat. Just as our exuberant cheers filled the air, campaign collaborators OYOrooms upped the excitement quotient with a big announcement – the launch of OYOnauts, a platform for travellers and bloggers who love to share their travel experiences. You can learn more about the platform here.
Post the formal meet and the photo ops to record the occasion for posterity, the group headed down to Tsolding Buddha Park, a pretty at an altitude of around 15,000 ft, for an informal leisurely conversation about the finer aspects of blogging. This almost two-hour-long session wrapped up with the much-needed brunch, where we made a beeline for delicious Maggi cooked and served by our local purveyors.
By the time the Maggi was polished off the plates, the effect of spending considerable time in the open in that kind of altitude had begun to show on many of us. Headaches and feeling of dizziness were the most common refrain, so we packed up back into cars to move on as per the itinerary. With the high of having achieved the goal we had set out for, the group drove on to explore some famous sites on the trip itinerary route, the details of which will follow in the subsequent posts.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Stay tuned for more stories featuring the under Ladakh Chronicles. Leaving you now with this striking view of the mountains as seen from the Tsolding Buddha Park. Enjoy!
Note: This spectacular Ladakh tour was curated and sponsored by Scout My Trip, in collaboration with OYO. Views are my own.