Destination: Pakistan is trending this summer. International travel is at a halt due to the coronavirus and wanderlust, which tends to kick in around this time of the year, is leading us down long road trips through scenic locales within Pakistan – there are so many of them!
Social media is rife with breathtaking images of mountain peaks, lakes and steep roads that wind their way to guest houses and hotels, stowed away in lesser-known corners of the country that are now quickly getting discovered and enjoying a sudden flow of tourists. And while we all can’t wait for the coronavirus to be wiped off the face of the earth, it has to be acknowledged that this an inadvertent benefit of being restricted from traveling the world. Many of us have developed a greater appreciation of the beauty within our own land. We have reveled in taking vacations in our own country and brought in revenue for local tourist spots.
If you haven’t gone on a road trip through Pakistan, it’s likely that you’re planning to go on one right now. You’re probably checking out Facebook and Instagram and noting down possible travel spots. To help you along, here’s a look at how some of Pakistan’s most famous have been vacationing, making a strong case for destination: Pakistan. There’s no other like it – and we should remember that, even once we’re officially done with the coronavirus!
Anoushey Ashraf has been posting the most enticing images of her tours through the country. She’s been trekking, driving through steep mountainsides and taking boat rides on magical lakes. She’s been chronicling it all on her Instagram, with detailed Insta-stories of her explorations.
Of course, Anoushey has a talent for engaging her audience, with her casual, friendly tone. After (virtually) trailing after her through the country, she has me desperate to head off to a mountain retreat. This girl could literally start charging the government for encouraging tourism!
Back when tourism was still at a halt, she went off to Hindukush Heights to stay with friends.
And now, she’s touring through the country again, roaming Hunza.
Glaciers, lakes and mountain treks … Anoushey Ashraf’s Hunza adventures via her Insta-stories
Aiman and Minal Khan
There can be nothing dreamier than having tea up in the mountains, surrounded by fog. This picture, posted a few days ago by Aiman Khan, had me smitten!
Pakistani TV’s most popular twins went on a short trip to Swat recently with their families and they made full use of the scenic landscapes with plenty of Insta-stories and posts!
The sort of pictures that make you want to go on vacation … with your sister!
Minal did quite a bit of running around !
Tapu Javeri, Nubain Ali and Wardha Saleem
On to looking at Nathiagali from a veteran photographer’s eye. Tapu Javeri doesn’t really believe in clicking typical pictures of the mountains – he’d rather capture a cloud, a ladybug, a whiff of the rich natural life surrounding him. Taking a trip to the mountains, with his friends, here are some of the gems that he posted on his Instagram…
The moon, hidden behind speckled clouds; an upsisde-down world and lightning streaking down the sky … take a photographer up to the mountains and he’ll whip up some magic for you! Tapu Javeri, working wonders!
Designer Wardha Saleem struck some classic poses …
When in Nathiagali, you gotta take a picture looking out at the valley!
Nubail Ali, CEO of Wardha Saleem Deisng Studio, basically lollled about the greenery, with Madia Azmat!
Maya Ali didn’t post much from her mini-vacation but this one foggy image hints at the beauty around her!
Amir Adnan and Huma Adnan
Designers Amir Adnan and Huma Adnan, meanwhile, have been unveiling the many enchanting nooks and corners within Hunza. Huma’s been posting away – it’s like a travelogue and I do think that when I visit, I’ll constantly be checking out her Instagram for tips!
Celebrating Independence Day in the ‘land of fairies’
Huma’s Instagram is like a picturesque catalog through Hunza!
Forts, lakes, parks and valleys … Huma and Amir Adnan have been visiting them all!
You can always count on Frieha to strike a pose – here she is, against the Hindukush skyline
I have always loved trailing after Frieha in her vacations. She’s such a poser, has a great wardrobe – and her running commentary in her Insta-stories makes the imagery even more vivid. Usually, around this time of the year, she’s in a far-flung part of the world but this time, she’s roaming the Hindukush range; touring waterfalls, spotting markhors and visiting the Chitral museum.
And this caption, by the way, says it all …
Vacation in Pakistan really is the ‘new normal’. It’s sad that it’s taken a dangerous disease to make us look inwards and discover the beauty that lies within our own land. But now that we have, I hope that tourism in Pakistan launches into a new direction and prospers!
And having navigated Pakistan virtually all through these past few months, I think – I hope – that I’ll soon be heading off on a tour of my own. Stay tuned!