Nidhin Maliyekkal set off on a 5,600 km long journey on his bicycle from Kerala to Kashmir in just 120 days, funding the trip by selling tea. The traveller tells us his memories, and gives us proof that the best adventures are the ones that you create for yourself

Nidhin Maliyekkal

In Srinagar, during the final days of my trip, I visited Sonamarg, Pahalgam, and Gulmarg on my bicycle, baggage free (pun intended). The victory sign is for the trip of a lifetime that I had finally completed.

Nidhin Maliyekkal

Here I am on my cycle, with a million thoughts running through my mind, as I explored my final destination. It had transformed me, this trip. This picture is from one of the many beautiful alleys of Srinagar.

Nidhin Maliyekkal

After covering 4,800 kms, when I reached Kashmir, I sang the national anthem. It was a very special moment for me, and perhaps the most memorable one too.

Nidhin Maliyekkal

This picture is an emotional one, for me. To fund this trip, I had to give up my most precious possession: my camera. I sold it to buy equipment for my trip — tent, gears, and repairs for my bicycle. This is me outside Decathlon, Mumbai, feeling proud yet a bit surreal having bought everything I need with my own money.

Nidhin Maliyekkal

Just another regular day for a guy camping in Karnataka. I set up my tent in this quiet, green, serene place in a village in Udupi to feel at ease. Maggi and chill.

Nidhin Maliyekkal

I was in Punjab during the farmer law protests, and these farmers welcomed me with so much love. I spent time with them, served food to other farmers with them, and showed my solidarity to their cause.

Nidhin Maliyekkal

Ah, this day, the day that could have ended this trip, actually. On the third day of my journey, I had cycled to Kozhikode beach in Kerala, and decided to set up my tea stall there to see if I can sell tea, and make this happen. And I did.

Nidhin Maliyekkal

This was the first time I saw snow. Coming from the southern part of India, I had always been closer to beach locations. I’d never thought that I’d witness snowfall. This photo was taken in Sissu, Himachal Pradesh. I was very happily posing for the camera even when it was freezing cold.

Nidhin Maliyekkal

While I usually set my tent up at petrol pumps, gurdwaras, or private homes with the owner’s permission, this particular day in Tamil Nadu was hard. I couldn’t find a place, so I set up in a field, and smiled my exhaustion away.