Embracing The Unknown: Tips For A Woman’s First Solo Trip

Packing List:

  • Clothes
  • Medical Essentials
  • Trekking Shoes
  • Raincoat
  • Pepper Spray
  • Toilet Seat Sanitizer
  • Power Bank
  • Ear-pods
  • Undergarments
  • Charger
  • Water

It was 9:30 pm, and I had precisely one minute to leave for the bus stop. Glancing a looking across the ETA on google maps made me realise how badly I needed to rush. I took a last look at my Packing list, ensuring all essentials have been gathered and kept in the luggage as I head for the first ever solo trip of my life.

“You’re so brave for a taking a solo trip, it’s going to be such a beautiful memory”, my mind echoed the remarks my friends made, as I struggled with my bags. Taking a solo trip may not look like a feat, but then what is it about a solo trip, that gives one a sense of what the embrace of freedom feels like?

It’s the same fuzzy feeling you get after watching a feel-good movie of Sridevi, wowing everyone with her English speech at the climax of English Vinglish, or Tarla Dalal making it big in life with the support of her husband, or Hansa Mehta who made the Universal Declaration of Human Rights linguistically inclusive, and even my strong Mother who bravely fought for herself against the prejudices thrown at her by her own family. It’s that familiar warm feeling I got as I stepped out of the house, stumbling with my luggage to commence my journey embracing the unknown.

As my journey began, I started making a mental note of the things I should be careful about. First and foremost, do not get sick. Keep pepper spray on me, at all times. Always use a toilet seat sanitizer, to avoid taking UTI as a sweet return gift from the trip. No one would be there to take care of me. I guess this is what true independence felt like, doing it all by your own. As I stepped out of the bus for a mid-way stop, I reached out for my smoke and immediately thought, don’t take a cigarette break with strangers! Like a safety tip for women travellers, I took it earnestly and kept the smoke back in my pocket realising, my pants don’t have one. So earnestly again, keeping the smoke back in my bag, I was repulsed at my own mindset. Brushing the thought aside, I resumed my journey.

I came with a mission, the mission to accomplish certain things such as exploring the town and heritage on my own, going for one of the highest treks in the state, unlearning the need to surround myself constantly with people, and finally just being content with my own company. The funny thing about life is, it makes you realise there is so much more to it. A solo trip not just gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, but it also makes you realise independence at its essence. Independence from the lens of an average Indian woman is not just about the sense of being able to do every tiny task on your own but fighting back the apprehensions of being your true self around complete strangers, meeting people, building a sense of community (maybe for a short time), relentlessly pushing away your inhibitions and maybe for once just taking a short break from the reality of everyday struggles in life. Going solo, does not mean confining yourself to your own space, it’s about knowing when to ask for help. It’s a journey of personal growth and self-expression, where you have the freedom to authentically be yourself without the preconceptions of those who already know you well. It’s about embracing new connections, or maybe finding solace in solitude.

As, I settled my luggage in the bus and get to my seat for my journey back home, I had a huge smile on my face as I glanced at the seat number on my e-ticket, “L9”. While coincidentally I landed up getting the same seat number as I did at the beginning for my journey, gloriously I emerged as a somewhat wiser and braver person at the end of it.

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up”.

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Brené Brown


About the Author

Meghna Jaswal

Hi everyone, I come here as a senior risk analyst working in the heavily dominated male industry just trying to make it big in life. I work in Bangalore but hail from the hills of read more...

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