If you have a job that demands you come into the office every day for a year, sit with a stiff back and carry out tasks that seem relatively insignificant at the time, this article may just be what you’re looking for. I work three jobs, some of them continue throughout the year and others end and begin with the academic year. Despite this effort, and the increased expenses in the country we live in, I hardly have enough to plan a trip with my friends.
Frustrated and annoyed that we were, the I and four of my friends got our heads together and came up with a “plan.” We wanted to catch a break and ensure we don’t lose what little we had saved up. The “more experienced” around us nodded their heads in disapproval as we proposed a plan to go on a day trip to Islamabad. “It’ll be a waste” they said “you’ll be too tired to enjoy” was also thrown in the mix. But for once, we were adamant, we wanted a break that meant travelling a little away from the hustle and bustle of the Lahori slave life, brought about a little bump in the humid July weather and showed us smatterings of mountains – and of course, good food.
- Skeptical, afraid that we’d come back halfway through, we left my house at 7am on a Suzuki Swift, bent upon having fun, and boy did we have fun. Here are my recommendations for you, if you’ve planned and cancelled day trip solely because you’re afraid it isn’t doable:Make sure you stop somewhere once you arrive. Invincible as we aren’t, my friends and I thought continuing our journey up to monal and shopping right after wouldn’t break our backs. Thankfully, we didn’t listen to that “I’m still 18” voice in our heads and decided to rest at a friend’s place. What we thought would be a boring stay to a somewhat exciting journey, turned into impromptu card games and gut wrenchingly funny imitations of the infamous “Heads up!.” If you don’t stop and rest, you might dread what’s left of your journey and regret doing it at all.
- Don’t aspire to do EVERYTHING!!!! While we wanted to have lunch at Monal, visit F1 markaz to shop, go to Burning brownies for dessert and street 1 café for dinner all in 1 day, we decided to shortlist. That truly helped us enjoy every stop we made without feeling stuffed enough to shuffle back in the car and head down those dreaded curves on the Monal road. Not only did this help us stay within the budget, we enjoyed ourselves far more than we would’ve.
- Make sure your road music is updated. I enjoyed this part the most. Singing aloud Hashmi ispaghol commercials to Honey Singh’s love dose, from Bare Necessities to the Bohemian Rhapsody. The most time you’ll spend is in the car; make it worth everyone’s while. It costed nothing more than the petrol money the 5 of us were already pitching in.
- Buy yourself a souvenir. Believe it or not, it makes you feel accomplished. My friends and I managed to get an ethnic ring each for just 150/- and that was amongst the highlights of our trip.
- Have fun! This is the most important of them all. Don’t complain that you wish you stayed longer, or that you’re sleepy or your back hurts. Enjoy that you’re surrounded with people who are just as crazy as you are and are out on the road on the one day of the week they get off. Look out the window and watch the mountains appear and disappear behind the misty clouds. Enjoy the sun as it sets and exhale even deeper if it rains. Also, be sure to get a kick out of the typo on the Motorway – “Islamadab 72 km away.”
All in all, it cost the 5 of us a bare 3500/- to laugh, sing, eat, indulge, talk on a Sunday with the very evident awareness that come Monday, we’d all be back on the stiff chairs in the monotonously and dimly lit routine called is life.