Varnika Girotra Chawla had a fear of water (aqua phobia) – she was determined to overcome it———never before ventured out alone, Varnika took a solo rafting trip of 55 kilometer, an adventurous route of Devprayag – to – Shivpuri in Uttarakhand. This, her first trip erased her aqua-phobia, and built immense self-confidence in her———confident of rafting the rough turbulent waters, Varnika decided to experience trekking expeditions. She started mountain trekking in 2017.
Varnika was born in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, and she completed her schooling in Hyderabad, Telangana (then Andhra Pradesh). In the year 2010 she did her Masters in Business Administration from Xavier’s Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, and started working as an Educational consultant with ETL (Educational Technologies Limited) learning.
“Initially when I started going out on trekking expeditions people around made me feel guilty. I was mother to a year old daughter then and had to leave her in my family’s care during this time, and this made many tongues wag,” Varnika explains. But her family, especially her husband and two small kids have been very encouraging and supportive towards her travel passion. From beginning she has been an avid traveller—she travels for over 2 to 3 months almost every year——she has been to 29 countries all over the world till date.
Varnika also has been on 8 trekking expeditions with many groups, but she loves solo-travelling———while this is being written, she has completed 3 enjoyable solo trips to Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. On her every voyage, she learns many undone things; she explores local cuisine, culture, and dialects with locals. During one such trip to Kedarkanta she learned to ski and also how to build an igloo. She is now preparing to travel to the Mount Everest base camp in April 2021.
“The Himalayas fascinate me,”Varnika Girotra Chawla
Varnika wants to promote travelling to the Himalayas and other mountains as an adventure and explore the untouched beauty of the places, food, culture. In the near future Varnika plans to start a venture where she curates travel programs and trips for travellers to unexplored destinations -this is her bucket-list. She has a WhatsApp group to curate personalised trips for travel enthusiasts and along with her best friend started a Facebook page too, named ‘Trail the Himalayas’.
In her signing off message to today’s women, she says, “Follow your dreams —— live your life to the fullest —— Life is too short to worry and stress, don’t listen to and think ‘what people will say’. Don’t waste your precious time——grab on to each and every single moment and live it”.