By: Shruti Vairagkar (L&T Howden)
Living in the land of “log kya kahenge/sochenge” and “akeli ladki khuli hui tijori ke jaise hoti hai”; the Indian Woman refrains from travelling solo. Fortunately for us, this situation is undergoing a change courtesy Kangana Ranaut starrer Queen.
Travelling solo is exciting yet scary. For all those who are still in the grey area of solo vs group or are yet to be bitten by the wanderlust bug, here’s a list of reasons why we think you should pack those bags and set sail!
1. The Road to Self-Discovery
We are caught up in our Monday to Friday; 9 to 5 monotony with the daily routine of meetings and project deadlines; weekends with the family / SO / friends that we forget who we are. The solitary traveller has her thoughts as her companion. This is the time to find yourself – what inspires and motivates you; your sources of joy; what ticks you off. And then try to build your life on these.
2. In a Strange Land
You’re away from everybody who knows you. Do what you want! Sleep in, don’t sleep, eat that delicious pastry for breakfast; wear that red lipstick! Indulge yourself. Being in a strange land gives you the opportunity of doing what you want without the fear of being judged. And that sisters, is liberating!
3. Hola, Amigos
Befriend your fellow travellers. Enjoy your breakfast with fellow travellers instead of eating alone. Swap tales of adventures and misadventures and you may just make friends for a lifetime
4. The Cool Factor
That scar from the sunburn while strolling the streets or partying on the beach; when you boarded the wrong train or missed your connecting flight; the collection of souvenir t-shirts, key chains and other mementoes; and countless stories and memories will make you the cool and hatke friend / daughter / sister / wife / mother / grandmother
5. I’m a free bird!
No fixed schedule; no alarm to startle you awake from your sleep; no rush to get your day started. You are your own person and enjoy all the freedom and independence to plan your days. It will also make you discipline yourself. You don’t want to blow up your entire budget in two days now, do you?
6. Mirror Mirror on the Wall. Who is the fairest of them all?
There is more to life than kohl-ed eyes, perfectly manicured nails and flawless skin. Your adventures will make memories lasting a lifetime. What you experience will far outweigh how you look in the long run. Life is about these moments and not the frivolous details. And yes, do use your camera to take photos of the world instead of that perfect selfie
7. I am my own Princess
Marching to your drumbeat and listening to your inner voice gives you the power to make your own decisions. You will make mistakes. But get up every time, dust your jeans, and surge ahead. You don’t need that knight in shining armour riding on a white horse to rescue you every time you’re in a fix.
8. Everyone is unique?
Soak in the culture of your destinations. One common denominator you would find is all women have the same insecurities. The size of the waistband of your jeans; does he/she like me; am I doing a good job at the office; the number of calories consumed; that pimple threatening to pop out on my nose before the big event. Country, region, colour of skin, age don’t matter. We’re all the same at the end of the day.
9. Stereotypes are silly!
The French are rude; the English are impeccably mannered; all Asians have yellow skins and small feet. The stereotypes we firmly believe in will shatter. There’s always more than what meets the eye. You will find human beings who would be delighted to point you in the right direction or suggest a good restaurant to try out the local flavour. Faith in humanity, restored!
10. Alone ≠ Lonely
One common mistake we make is equating alone to lonely. Travelling alone does not mean I am sad or I don’t have friends or nobody loves me. Solo travellers have the strength, determination, and courage to venture out on their own and chart their own paths!
Motivated to travel but would like to travel with a group of other women? Check out WOW Club – Women on Wanderlust (http://www.wowclub.in/) which organises group tours for women in India and abroad.