Akash and Laxmi's love story from the Himalayas to Antarctica
This is the story of a couple. A marketing professional Akash Gupta and a lawyer Laxmi, making it all the way to Antarctica in a fully sponsored trip.
WHEN THEY MET THE FIRST TIME:
When Akash was a child, he had the reputation of being the”Kanha” of the family. He was a funny, studious kid, until the end of one of his serious relationships in 2009. It took a toll on him and he knew that he had to channelize all his angst in some place. He had a couple of friends at work who did these trekking trips and thought why not give that a shot? He knew it had to be something like this or drugs, and he chose the former. Hence he decided to go with his colleagues for the Trek.
Laxmi on the other end, for the first time in her life, decided to leave on a solo trip against all the head turns. As a lawyer, she was stuck working on a celebrity case and needed a break away from all the bustle. She leaves for her first Himalayan Trek but is a few days late and when she gets to the base camp, there is met Akash with his group. This was the beginning of their love story through travel who now call themselves DIY Adventurers and plan on getting old together travelling.
Travel and their relationship:
Laxmi had always been a mountain person whereas Akash has been a person of the sea. They were in love, but they were poles apart. Their marriage had a lot of hurdles cropping up from either side. Akash was everything that Laxmi had warned her mother she never wanted. But they still stuck through. Against all odds, proving their love for each other and travel, further each time.
Laxmi’s logic was simple. If you want to figure out if this is the ‘ONE’, then go on a trek or a trip instead of a sightseeing tour. When you go on a trek, you have to depend on each other. You need to take care of each other and if one person can stick with you at the toughest and riskiest of times then you can trust that person to be there for you in life. That says something about the person you love.
The couple soon went on an expedition in Chaadhar. Under severe conditions, blinding snow and ice. Laxmi sprained her leg and had to be carried on another route. The time that they had to trek in separate groups, Akash recalls it to be the hardest few hours of trekking where he was constantly worried about Laxmi and her well-being.
The couple went on a backpacking trip to Europe for their honeymoon. One thing they make sure is to make all the bookings themselves. Look for cheaper options, Airbnb your accommodation and usually walk or take public transport to save money and also get familiarized with the place, people, and its culture.
THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME:
When Laxmi and Akash had the opportunity to go to Europe for the second time, they considered it, but Akash wanted the sea. One day, out of the blue Akash suggested, why not travel to Antarctica. It has water, mountains, and ice altogether. Like most people, Laxmi thought that her husband had completely lost it. Their parents were initially completely against the idea of Antarctica fearing a Titanic situation where probably Rose wouldn’t also wouldn’t find a plank. Even if she agreed to the location, they had to address the elephant in the room, which was the money to afford this trip.
The next morning came to the solution from Akash, even if it looked preposterous. He was convinced that they will be able to manage enough funds in the form of sponsorship. But then came the biggest question of them all. Why would brands want to sponsor a marketer and a lawyer? They didn’t know how to click pictures let alone own a camera. There was no room for saying “let us look for funds and let one of us at least travel” because it was the ground rule. One doesn’t travel without the other. In this sea of uncertainty, the Southern ocean looked negligible. They took photography classes to be able to pitch themselves as people who would give decent content if sponsored. They took care of their fitness and exercised religiously to cope with the sub-zero temperatures and treks.
After months of gathering funds and preparing themselves, they finally made it to Antarctica. The entire 14-day expedition is something the couple cherishes for their lives. The silence in the place is mesmerizing and haunting to an extent where they sound of their ceiling fan back home felt like noise. With the sun being up almost 20hours a day, eating dinner in broad daylight or going to bed seemed weird. The sight of a whale just meters away from you, walking over ice and have penguins come to greet you changed the way they had looked at things so far.
For Laxmi and Akash, travel has now become more than just adventure or an outlet. The people they meet, leave a mark on them. The food has made them lovers of food, to a point where try recreating their trip memories with the food. It made them realize that there is something bigger than them in this world. They believe that to live, one has to travel. A job is merely just for survival. The difficulties one faces in their job is nothing close to the ones when on a trip. One becomes more accepting of their shortcomings. They learned to depend on each other. They made memories that are going to last them forever and mostly, travel healed them. Now, the next place on the couple’s bucket list is the North Pole.