These days we all have been noticing a lot of posts on social media relating to #Workfrommountains with awesome pictures (some of them edited) of a laptop with picturesque view of Himalayas in the backdrop and a coffee mug. It is a dream which almost every one of us see but let’s spend some time and reflect on how real or unreal this can be.
At Ventilator Village Travels, we have also received requests /queries from our guests, who want us to arrange for similar stays which made us write this blog post.
Let us throw some light that why work from mountains is being advertised-
Most of us working in travel and hospitality sector have not earned even a single penny since Covid-19 entered our lives. To know more, you can read An open letter to Coronavirus from a Travel Agent.
When travel industry was at its boom, some of the house owners on mountains started renting out their house or extra space in their house as home stays to earn an extra income. Some of them even made it a full time profession. It was all going great before Corona virus was born.
But because of this pandemic, the income source of home stays got impacted badly. Now after Indian Government has given some relaxations to travel, and a lot of hotels have decided not to renew their licence this year, these home stay owners came across an opportunity and are trying to grab the same. These home stays are being promoted on social media platforms via influencers and online communities as an attractive package to buy, but there is a challenge of expectation v/s reality.
Expectation : Will work on my laptop with a view of Himalayas
The photos shown on social media communities will make you jump out of your home and go to the destination with your laptop.
These photos are indeed very beautiful but the question to ask here is that whether balcony or garden in the photo will have a charging point for your laptop or not? Will home stay have an extension cord, so that you can enjoy the view or at the end you will land up working inside the room.
Expectation : Great internet speed to use platforms like Zoom
It is advertised that you will be provided with a WiFi and a 4G internet connection
No one here is lying about internet speed but the real picture is that most of the home stays face challenges in providing good internet because of following –
Some of them provide 4G dongle which is either available on sharing basis or the promised speed (MBPS) by the service provider is subject to location. As we all know, in cities these dongles work more efficiently than on mountains.
Some of them will have broad band connection along with a standard WiFi modem with a range limited to a particular area of the house. Thus, in order to use internet you are bounded to sit within that particular area only.
Speed of internet on mountains is inversely proportional to the presence of clouds, we all love rainy weather but it also brings bad internet receptivity. Will you be able to miss out zoom meetings because of same? In reality if the weather is cloudy, at times even WhatsApp messages take time to deliver.
Expectation: 100 % Power back up is a basic requirement
We do understand that in societies we live, we get 100 % power back up because of the huge Gen-sets installed.
Because of a technical fault or repair work, it might take a full day to get the things fixed on mountains. And in case it is raining it might take even more than a day. No one will be able to answer your question “light kab aayegi?” Some of the home stays will have Gen-set or inverter, just inquire about same before planning your workation with them.
Expectations : Zomato aur Swiggy hai na, nahi toh restaraunts / cafe toh hoga hee
Most of the places like these, will not have even a fully functional and running restaurant so forget about Zomato or Swiggy! Though if lucky, you might find some amazing road side dhaba, which may or may not be in close proximity of your home stay (but are we eating out in cities because of fear of Covid-19??). Some home stays will have a running kitchen with limited food options to order.
Expectations : "Market toh har jagah hee hoti hai" (There is market in every city and village)
Home stays in villages will have one or two shops selling basic stuff, you will not get your favorite green tea, cigarette, wine or things like pasta, burger and pizza. You will find these items in the nearest town which might be 1 to 2 hours drive from your home stay. You can stock up ration or similar things you need, provided you have an access to a functional kitchen.
Expectation: Rent should be economical as most of us will be paying double rent for that particular month
Even if you are staying at the home stay for a month, the rent will be equivalent to what you are paying for an apartment in Delhi NCR, in some cases it might be higher. Please understand that for some of the home stays this is the only source of income and they have not earned it since March 2020.
Disclaimer : Please understand that we are not writing this blog to defame anyone nor we are against anyone staying on mountains, but we will humbly request you to take a mindful decision so that once you reach your destination of #workfrommountains, no one's peace is disturbed because your expectations did not match the home stay's reality.
We come with an experience of living on mountains; In 2017 we (Kshitij & Vartika) lived on mountains for almost 6 months close to Mcloedganj with a beautiful view of Dauladhars and we did face these challenges during our stay. We were happy staying there, because our work didn’t involve virtual meetings, so despite of the realities we shared, we were happy with limited internet and facilities. Please go with all preparedness and openness on mountains, take all the necessary precautions and remember relaxations in travel by Government does not mean Covid-19 is over.
Stay Safe everyone.