Why we decided to work from the mountains instead of the city

Written by Prakhar Gupta |

A lot of people have been asking me why we decided to run MyWanderlust.in from Bir, Himachal Pradesh. For the uninitiated, I quit my job in 2017 to travel more and find insights to build a startup in the travel domain.

After travelling for 2 years extensively, we decided that we liked working this way and would like to set our base in Bir. Why Bir? is a topic for another day!

Coworking space at Bir Nest, Himachal Pradesh

Today I want to talk more about why we decided to work from the mountains, hopefully, some of you will see value in it:

Because, why not?

We were a team of 2 people - so it was pretty easy to convince the team, everything had to be done online - so we were location independent as a business, we both loved travelling and voila — decision made!

Beach or mountains?

Although we loved beaches, the weather was only good for a couple of months every year. Mountains on the other hand had great weather in most months, except winters. Thus, we were leaning towards the mountains by the end of 2 years.

Coworking space at Bir Nest, Himachal Pradesh

#1 Lower living expenses

I live a fully serviced lifestyle at a much lower cost. People often think that a workation is expensive, but in reality, it's not that bad. We offer a fully serviced workation at ₹250/night in dorms, and ₹750/night in private rooms.

Even after food and miscellaneous expenses, the monthly budget stays at around ₹30,000 if you take a dorm or are travelling with someone. ₹50,000 if you want a room to yourself, which is what a lot of people end up spending in the city anyway (and that’s without a serviced lifestyle at home). 

#2 Air, weather & health

I feel fresher in the mountains than in the cities, and I bet that has something to do with the air & weather. I am known to be lazy, and yet I have lost around 14 kgs (I weighed 89 kgs in 2017). The mountain lifestyle automatically ensures that you go for more walks and hikes even if you are lazy like me.

#3 Fresh perspectives

This reason tops my list personally because I realized why I loved travelling was not primarily for locations, it was meeting people and learning about their perspectives.

Everyone has a different conditioning and thus a different perspective. In the city, everyone in your locality or your school or college or even the interactions in the office comes from a similar conditioning/social class/economy.

Coworking space at Bir Nest, Himachal Pradesh

#4 Missed the office

A lot more people will now get this, thanks to the pandemic. Working from home was no fun because the social aspect of the office was missing. We spend a decent chunk of the day working, and doing that alone sucks!

I bet every freelancer or solopreneur would have felt this once. Working out of a hostel helped me not burn out.

#5 Elevated mood & reduced stress

The disconnect from the daily grind improved my mood, reduced stress, and boosted my overall well-being. I didn’t have to run any daily errands (thanks to the serviced lifestyle), there was no distraction from family and I could focus more.

Villages offer a slow peaceful lifestyle, which had a very calming effect on my mind.

#6 Better work-life balance

Mountains have helped me disconnect from my laptop. My typical day in Delhi used to be work during the day, and otherwise watch Netflix or play DotA.

Staying in the hostel means I spend more time chatting with people, playing a sport, walking down a trail, or just aimlessly watching the mountains.

Coworking space at Bir Nest, Himachal Pradesh

#7 Community

Everyone in the village knows everyone! The people of Himachal are really hospitable and make sure that everyone feels at home. Unlike the cities, where no one has time for each other, Himachal offers deeper connections due to its slow-paced lifestyle. The sense of camaraderie and belonging is just priceless.

#8 Giving back

Moving to the mountains made me realize my privilege of getting born in a city. The mindset and exposure difference is huge. I can thus create a huge impact here just by sharing my experience with the local community.

Want to try this lifestyle? Book your workation in Himachal now!

If you made it this far, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

PS: This is my first attempt at writing an article. I have been planning to share my thoughts for a while now but my underconfidence in writing has led to a lot of procrastination. Please share if you like this piece so that I feel obliged to do this again soon!

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Prakhar Gupta
Meet the author Prakhar Gupta

Prakhar Gupta

Building MyWanderlust.in | Previously: Product @MobiKwik | IIIT-Delhi alum

I am the chief host at Bir Nest Hostel, Himachal Pradesh. I have been working remotely from offbeat destinations since 2017, and am excited to share my experiences with people looking to switch to this lifestyle.

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