This is post #73 in 100DaysOfBloggingChallenge
I have been lucky enough to travel a fair bit and tick things off my bucket list (and sometimes adding more!!) in last 2-3 years! Being single, I have tried to find solace in a lot of things lately and travelling is second only to reading & writing on the list! Travel is not a newly found love, but travelling when you decide the WHERE, HOW & WHEN and when you have grown up to embrace the joy and immerse in the experience brings its own adrenaline rush!
Coming from a background where females are still shy of doing lot of things just on their own, I have been asked few questions repeatedly by fellow travellers and by people around me in general! It’s a mix of appreciation, amazement, doubts and real questions!
The first reaction has mostly been a surprise for people to see an Asian solo female travelling frequently, specially when I do offbeat things like hiking the Inca trail or visit Australia’s Red center to admire the Ayer’s Rock. It was amusing to know from my tour lead on Inca trail that he hadn’t seen a female Asian travelling solo and doing the Trail! Not to mention, I was proud and felt awesome! My response to this: I do what I love doing, I am visiting places I dreamt of seeing. The fact that I am a female and Asian or anything else is a coincidence!!
The first big question: Is it safe?
For safety, as long as you are not going to a war-zone with bombs being dropped frequently, you will be good with normal safety precautions. Still, thoroughly research the place/city you are going to! With resources like tripadvisor, you can get first hand advice on what to do and what to avoid! If you look out properly, there is no dearth of information. I still haven’t done a fully solo trip but have spent some time alone in almost every trip and knowing things has always helped. If you do stupid things, you are not safe anywhere!
Is it daunting?
Yes it is, at times! I am always a bit anxious two days before any trip, my heart sometimes goes on a marathon and beats a lot faster! But it’s something similar to what you feel before an interview or a big meeting, it’s more of an excitement! You just prepare for what you can in terms of researching, planning, currency, packing etc. and then hope for the best! If things go wrong, use your common sense 🙂
Do you feel lonely?
If you are travelling solo, obviously you are alone. But being lonely depends entirely on you! One good and positive thing travelling has made me realise is that this world has heaps of beautiful, curious and non-judgemental people. Fellow travellers, even when they are strangers, have been great companions! I have shared rooms with female solo travellers multiple times without a single issue! Every person brought in his/her own experiences to share..from previous travels to personal lives! People who travel are generally very flexible, accommodating and easy-going! Just be flexible and open-minded yourself!
How do you decide where? When? How do you plan?
I have my bucket list and some random places on my mind that I want to see! I read lot of articles by travel bloggers and frequently browse travel sites to know about the travel opportunities across the globe. I choose depending on season, my mood and sometimes play by the ear. To be honest, there is no rule, go wherever you can..whenever you can! You should know your where’s and figure out the rest yourself! For research… google, tripadvisor, word of mouth!
What are the joys of travelling?
It opens your eyes to the world. Its liberating, relaxing and amazing…in every possible way…every single time! It’s a journey not only to new places but also to self-discovery and self realisation! Travelling has increased my self-esteem and pushed my boundaries! I have created memories while putting my money to its best possible use! Every trip that I made and each person I met along the way has taught me something or made me realise something new! I have learnt to be flexible, adjust with strangers & making them friends. With every tour, my perspective about a lot of things has widened, if not changed! Witnessing the vastness of the world is a good way to shatter your ego for it makes you realise how miniscule you are as a part of it! (I can’t believe I wrote it, ROFL!!!!!) It’s always been a learning, getting to know the world, its oddities and more!
Finishing off with this quote I believe in:
“I would rather own little and see the world than own the world and see little of it” ~ Alexander Sattler