Friday, 10 July 2020

Experiences of travelling solo as a woman

There are a plethora of people to speak to when one travels alone. More so than in a group. It brings you out of your comfort zone and makes you more receptive to what people have to say and offer. There are many assumptions about travelling solo, more so as a woman. I’d hate to bring in the gender rhetoric here. But I believe as a woman I get asked this question more often than a man would.’’

‘’That is brave for a woman.’’ This sentiment finds itself wired in conversations frequently. I wonder why. Every single time we laud a woman for doing something very natural and intuitive even otherwise, we’re inherently pointing to the fact that it wasn’t expected of her in the first place.

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My first solo trip was to the mountains of Ladakh. The stunning landscape and the vast expanse dotted with quaint monasteries pushed me to explore the magic of Ladakh. It started from Srinagar, en route to Pahalgam, Kargil and ultimately Leh.

On one instance, I remember heading to a restaurant to grab a bowl of Thukpa and meeting an Estonian jazz artist. For lack of space, we happened to share the same table. What a wonderful thing it was to be taken through the life of greats like Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald! On another, I met a rider from Granada who couldn’t stop raving about the kindness of Indians whilst on his road trip from Manali to Leh.

That’s the thing about travel. It introduces you to a world you may not have experienced firsthand. A world that encompasses so many experiences and knowledge that gives you no option but to imbibe it all at every single opportunity you get.

Personally, travelling solo was never about breaking away from something. It was always an outlet to simply have richer experiences, understand more about myself, my reactions to certain situations, my epiphanies with Plan B if Plan A didn’t work out, my ability to judge people intuitively, to learn to enjoy exploring parks and museums on my own, to practice complete autonomy on where I want to go and what I’d like to do with my time.

via Lonely Planet India

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