A Woman's tryst with SOLO TRAVEL
Its expression differs.
For me, it’s to travel,
A time to unwind and unravel.”
Hello beautiful ladies! As fellow women, we’d like to ask you a meditative question- how often have you felt butterflies whilst venturing into the unknown? Sure, some of you may be fearless, and ready to embrace whatever curveballs life throws at you. But there is always that momentary angst that the toughest of souls face too. You can credit your worldly exposure and experiences for emboldening you. On the other hand, there may be others who may need a push or a boost to reach for the stars. That’s absolutely fine too!
Isn’t this vivid scenario parallel and relative to the experience of solo travel; the very journey of finding yourself? A wise sage once said, “It’s not about the destination that you travel to, but embracing the journey in itself.” And we completely agree. Well, if you enjoy getting immersed in the world of great cinema as we do, what was that one factor that touched your hearts, when you watched the cult films, Queen and Yeh Jawaani Hain Deewani? Sure, all the performances were stellar, but did you notice the trajectories and evolution of the leading ladies throughout the two and a half odd hours? We definitely cannot forget how Julia Roberts’ character in Eat, Pray, and Love understood the true meaning of life and overcame her personal demons and obscurities.
From the soft-spoken and docile topper Naina Talwar to the reinvented, ambitious, and fun-loving 2.0 version of herself, Deepika effervescently portrayed the different hues of a growing person. But the real winner for us was hands down Kangana Ranaut’s portrayal of the sheltered Rani, who escaped from her inner inhibiting clasps and truly transformed into the Queen, that her name connotes her to be.
Solo travel has been an exciting prospect for people from years ago; a chance to understand and soak in different cultures, their succulent diverse flavors, and identities, thereby getting back a truckload of memories that have eternally been etched in their hearts. Imagine if we told you to close your eyes, and relive the last vacation spot that you visited- perhaps, the rustic locales of the Tuscan countryside? Will you not be transported back in time, and daydream about the wind rustling behind you, the sweet smells around while you’re sipping on your Merlot wine? Damn, we surely are! Reverently, travelling does have a magical effect on us all. It’s therefore, not surprising that more women opt to travel solo at least once in their life, and let the enchantment unravel.
Why are MORE WOMEN Opting to travel alone these days?
Gone are the days where women were seen as species fit to only stay at home and tend to their families. Women today are proving to be more versatile, juggling various roles with aplomb. What do you say lassies- we are no longer to be touted as meek or scared; rather we shoulder more responsibilities than men with élan and fulfill them graciously. Slaying on all fronts, there really is no stopping us, and we should be lucky to be born in such an empowering time. With an increasing emphasis on feminism and women development, we do not reconnect with our inner self and equip ourselves with the zest and self-confidence, while seeking unique experiences and growing from them.
Reasons why Women should experience this SELF-DISCOVERY
When you travel on your own, you’re entering into a zen-like parallel universe; a quest to redefine your purpose in life, to enjoy yourself, and truly indulge in some ‘soul-searching’? Planning a trip from your own savings equates to an enormous joy amongst us. As an uplifting platform, let us get a few things straight right away- No! If we choose to vacation alone, it is not because we are lonely, single, introverted, notoriously brave, or calling for unwarranted attention. On the contrary, Sherry (26), who way fared her destiny through South America said, “Something that I contemplated for a while, but would just hit the cancel button, every time I was about to book the plane ticket. Then, one day I was overcome by this gusto and I just went for it. You know what- it’s my best decision till date”.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Advantages:
1. BOUNDLESS FREEDOM: Eleutheromania. Confused, beauties? It’s just an intense and irresistible desire for freedom. Don’t we all just want to free ourselves from our mundane routines and inner insecurities and just fly high? Well, this is possible. From deciding what and which bar to eat at to where to stay, to which road less travelled you want to explore, you are in charge of your trip. Gripped by an unexplained liberating euphoria, this feeling of being on ‘top of the world’ is just surreal. Giving you accountability, you become more firm about your decisions, with umpteen time to introspect. You are just catering to your happiness in that moment, and being your own boss.
2. BEING IN THE PRESENT: Oscar Wilde once proclaimed, “I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to be alone and not be defined by another person.” True that, lad! If this excursion is curated by you, you tend to live in the here and now, and soak it all in-the local experience, the heritage value, your interactions with others and just blending in to be with yourself. You can absolutely learn to let go and stay flexible.
3. MOVE OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: You’ve half the battle by arriving at your chosen, life-altering destination. Overcome by this newfound vigor, you invariably tend to move out of the known and try things that you may not have tried before such as an adventure sport like scuba diving or sky diving, or an unforgettable culinary fiesta.
4. COLLECTING FRIENDS ALL OVER THE WORLD: Our very own avid traveler/team member spoke to us about her incredible voyage, and the one thing she took back while in Chile was “lifelong friends”. When you’re at this semi-inexplicable path, you tend to be more open-minded, and are attracted to such like-minded souls. You’ll are united by this mutual feeling of excitement and jitters, bringing you’ll closer and connecting in deeper ways in shorter spans of time. More authentic in their interactions, one may stumble upon each other, while having a drink at an English pub alone or having tea at an Indian ‘rekdi’. And thanks to smartphones, in no time, y’all will be exchanging memes or deep conversations at 2:00 am in the morning.
5. LIFE-SKILLS TRAINING: We’re not kidding when we say that you’ll learn more in this short time away, than what you will with your parents telling you, “Come on, it’s your age to learn these things!” From planning a well-researched an all-inclusive itinerary, different languages and communication patterns, handling monies, trying the impossible to saying yes to new things such as living in tents or making a fire, you’ll return as a new, independent person.
Beware of the cons:
Now, now! Some of our fears are quite legitimate. We’ve heard loads of scary incidents that may make us think twice before taking this plunge. But by being vigilant and alert, we can definitely overcome these blues. Read on to know more.
1. LONELINESS AND HOMESICKNESS: While the pros may have tempted us to fly to an unknown destination, pronto, unfamiliarity may make us feel lonely and a lack of connect, making us want to return home to our safe spaces. Our advice would be to accept the unsettling feeling, withstand the tide for the situation will willingly alter sooner than you know. Just soak it all in, and let go of the ‘whats and ifs’.
2. SECURITY: If this is new to you ladies, we’d suggest starting from your national experiences and then jump to the bigger seas. Sometimes travelling to off-beat, unchartered locations may raise some safety concerns. Always share your whereabouts with your family and friends, aka, GPS, and carry some preventive hacks such as a pepper spray or keeping your hosts informed, since the technology may fail us sometimes. In certain regions of India, you may call for unwanted attention, so it’s better to blend in and dress like the locals, and not give in to eve-teasing. You can also join customized tour groups if you’d like. But do have some thrill and adventure.
3. LACK OF SUPPORT: You may crave for that pat on the back, or an assuring glance when you’re feeling lost or perturbed during your travels. Or, you may have gone overboard beyond your budget. Hey, but isn’t that a learning curve? We say go head-on, have faith and make new friends while gallivanting across the Rockies or chilling on a Spanish Beach. Join forums or research about local networking events to go to.
4. AWKWARD SITUATIONS: Although you may feel ready to present a Ph.D. thesis on a particular destination, due to the amount of preparatory research, there may be some practices you may have missed out on. If such offensive incidents are experienced, do not worry, just be polite, modest apologetic, and mindful.
With this pseudo analysis, you do realize that there is little to worry about. Always remember, no gain without some pain right. Personally, we’d suggest opting for air travel, at least initially so that the ‘getting there’ bit is taken off on a high point, with less hassle. As women too, it’s an amazing way to get used to what is yet to come. But if you want to the rough and tough way, then plan your road trip meticulously. By road and trains, hygiene may be an issue.
OUR INCREDIBLE INDIA
To all you fellow Indians, be proud to be born in a country that is rich in cultural diversity, and some unscathed, hidden gems in the truest sense. We have it all-the laid-back, easy-breezy beaches, the scenic, lush greenery, a wildlife sanctuary, historical wonders, snow-clad majestic peaks with iced glaciers, and much more. You can start your sojourn from your homeland. Some of our top picks are:
EXPEDITION THROUGH THE GLOBE
How do you think life would be for you if you could resort to the nomadic, full-time travel life. While some passionate and zesty souls are doing that, many of us prefer our three weeks to a month’s vacation at an exotic, foreign location. And we say, go for it! You’re not making and saving all that money to just rot at the back of your closet, right? While we out here believe that women can be and do anything, our top picks for the unknown waters for our species are as follows:
3. New Zealand
6. Costa Rica
To sign off, are you ferocious belles ready to book the first flight out as soon as this pandemic is over? Do you believe that this is a transformational and unbridled escapade that will never be forgotten? Do you want to soar, fly, run and be in a high-spirited state for ions to come? Well, you have your answer! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.