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Ladies, you need to give solo travelling a chance! It's been 6 years since I ventured out on my own, and trust me, it's been a wonderful experience!
#Travelling is Bae, Travelling is Life, Travelling is everything! I believe we all have come across various one-liners and paragraphs on travelling. For me…Travel is a refresher’s guide in times of monotony and distress. Travel is a form of challenging oneself. Travel is a mode of self-discovery. Travel is self-care.
We all travel to our workplaces, places of worship etc, but when it comes to leisure travel, there is a different connotation attached. Solo travelling in India is on the rise, and each day, women are taking a step forward to go solo.
Has anyone given a thought to solo travelling? Solo travelling in India? Is it safe to travel in India as a woman? My answer to these questions, drawing from my experiences would be, “Yes, solo travel even in India is safe for women.”
I have always been shy and a recluse since my formative years and meeting people was strict no. In fact, I used to run away from people! Travelling was out of the question back then. Growing up in a conservative family with 7 pm deadlines, my parents would often wonder if I would progress in the outside world due to my nature.
However, being a loner was easy and it has helped me, as I saw myself grow from a shy person to someone who has learned to travel on my own. I owe my transformation to my job as a media sales executive in a reputed company. This job expected me to initiate meetings, go out and meet people. It was a stepping stone to success, especially travel.
The second reason was the evolution of technology, usage of smartphones, and travel apps. They were my saviours while preparing for the trips. Most of them were helpful, and some provided the best deals on a last minute or random trip. Engaging with like-minded travellers was still far off, but I knew I had to pull up my socks and start meeting people or at least read some useful blogs that would help me decide my further course of action.
You must be wondering how easy or difficult it is for women to travel on their own. Yes, I’ve had my fair share of fights, arguments with my family, but perseverance is the key ingredient to my success in convincing my folks. It is very difficult to convince parents and husbands about trips.
As an independent woman, I have always seen myself calling the shots about my life. So, taking approval for travel was out of the question. Here, I enter the dangerous territory of being labelled as a rebel. So, mind you, woman travellers, you might also face the same scenario, but a strong woman can always defend herself in tricky situations is what I firmly believe and so must you! Never give up on your dreams, because we live only once.
Don’t you have a sense of responsibility?
Who will be assisting you on the trips?
Who will be sponsoring you?
Is there anyone waiting for you out there, if a place is repeated?
How will you manage yourself?
Hope you don’t indulge in any unsafe activities…hinting at a different perspective?
How can you leave your husband behind and travel??
Who will take care of him, whilst you are gallivanting up in the hills or beaches?
Challenges in the form of questions and behaviour attributions will always be a part of a woman’s life. However, being headstrong and determined to go along is the only way that we women can pursue our passion, whatever it may be. My twenties was spent in just writing my goals and bucket list. I wanted to try solo travelling to international and domestic destinations, but no action was taken.
In India, women are never encouraged to pursue their passion; it is always family first and then everything follows. If you are single, then you need your parent’s approval and if married, it’s that of the husband and his family. So where do we stand? How do we go about it?
In my case, I am dealing with a failed marriage, and traveling is a solution to my stressed-out condition. I don’t seek my husband’s permission; I just inform him. In fact, he is aware of the plans that I make, but on the positive side, his constant NO to my questions resulted in me solo travelling. His NO was my YES to move into the unknown. It has been 6 years now since I ventured out on my own, and trust me, it has been a wonderful experience. Yes, there were tragic moments, disappointments, and surprises, but all the effort was worth it. Every place has a different story that enfolds you and creates a different vibe altogether.
Personally speaking, it was very difficult for me to collate my thoughts and ideas about traveling. Understanding the nuances of solo travelling, the risk and time involved, all that had to be grasped well and considered accordingly. In short, a well-planned activity needed to be on the list.
In the end, I see myself solo travelling more often when we are out of this pandemic, and I hope every woman experiences it. It’s one hell of a life and we must live it up!
Image source: Still from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
(A version of this post has earlier appeared here: https://theprose.com/violetdenise)
An Avid reader and a travel enthusiast who believes in simplicity. read more...
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'Dr Saloni will take care of everything,' my MIL said. My cowardly husband refused to go against his mother’s wishes. I was left to fend for myself!
Some time ago, I went to a marriage ceremony with my parents. It was a very high-profile marriage – not the ones we usually were invited to – but in this case it was Ramesh uncle’s son’s marriage. Ramesh uncle was my father’s first cousin. He began his career as a humble elevator operator at the TIC business group. With his sheer hard work, grit, and the knack of sensing the right opportunities, within eighteen years he became the president of the company. My father and he were the best of friends during their school time.
Half an hour before the stipulated time, we left our house, hired an auto and reached the venue. All four of us were in our best outfits. Getting out of the auto and looking at each other, we were highly convinced that we were going to fit in just right. As we crossed the dazzling and beautiful portico, we felt very insignificant compared to the big lawn and building lying ahead.
Mother was wearing all the jewellery she had got, including the big old-fashioned necklace, earrings and shiny bangles. Father was wearing a velvet coat, brother had put on a light orange shirt with a black check coat, I myself was wearing a red salwar kurta with a net dupatta. I had put on a necklace with red beads which at the time of wearing looked very pretty to me. Now looking at the other guests, I felt all four of us must be looking like clowns who had come for a fancy-dress competition. I felt my brother and parents were also feeling self-conscious and uneasy now.
“What you call love is actually possessiveness. You made all my decisions for me. I would probably be happier without you in my life,” Revant screamed!
Revati’s life had changed when, after ten years of being an only child, her parents brought in a stranger into the house. She had looked at the young boy who had wide, frightened eyes, and she had fallen in love with him on sight. He was small-made and a lone tear hung below his eye as he looked around at the huge house with its crystal chandeliers and eye-catching artefacts.
Ma had hugged him impulsively.
“Come here, little one! Meet your sister, Revati!”
When you travel solo, you are fully responsible for yourself. You are also not needed to look after others' needs so you can focus completely on yourself.
When you travel solo, you are fully responsible for yourself. You are also not needed to look after others’ needs so you can focus completely on yourself.
Discovering myself with a new set of eyes is the motto of solo travelling for me. We live in a judgemental society. Yet, my restless feet and curious mind helped me fight the judgments around me.
Also, having parents who believe in me more than the society helped me go on my first ever solo trip to Sri Lanka. Here’s a listicle of things that I learnt in the journey.
If you are a woman travelling solo, here are 6 tips to make it worthwhile!
If you are a woman travelling solo, here are 6 tips to make it worthwhile!
There are times in life when you want to do something that the majority is not doing. It creates doubts in your mind if your thoughts are right or not. I learned this over a course of time that more often than not, no decision is completely right or wrong in itself. Time and the outcome of that decision judge the righteousness or wrongfulness of it. There would always be naysayers around. I am learning not to let such thoughts affect me. One shouldn’t stop for the mere reason that others don’t share same thoughts about a particular thing and you have to do it all by yourself.
This was exactly the feeling I experienced when I decided to make my first solo trip. I love travelling and love when it pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me feel more alive. I don’t have many people in my life who feel the same way. So I had been postponing my plans for a long time and frequently for the same lame reason until I felt that I could not do it anymore. I decided to take this plunge, listen to my heart and go solo. Soon I realized that it’s just the start that’s tough; later on, all falls into its place.