Have you ever fantasized about the idea of leaving everything behind and set forth for a journey? Being a solo traveller myself, I know the risks, and also the exhilaration that comes with it. If you are willing to go for solo travel after it becomes normal to once again go about travelling to places, then you have clicked on the right link.
Imagine yourself in a village. Well, the kind of village you see in Malgudi days. You don’t know the local language of that village. It is getting dark and there is no hotel nearby to call it a day. You have a heavy bag and a lot of uncertainties in your mind about your safety. You find no one around you to seek help. After scanning the area, you spot a banyan tree in the near distance and below that a small area where you can rest.
Does being totally in an uncomfortable zone and facing the unknown induce fear in your heart? Well for true a solo traveller, situations like these were intoxicating, thrilling and soul-feeding, and so he embarked on solo travels again and again. This is my story and here is everything I think you need to know about solo travel.
Let s decode some crucial words first.
The word ‘Solo’ is about being yourself. So the mobile selfies, fashion spree and showing off your #dreamvacation to your internet buddies need to be kicked out here itself. This is a state where you are childlike or your absolute true self. So keep yourself unaccompanied by anything or anyone.
Now let us see travelling which is entirely different from touring. You are not going to explore something specific or enjoy views. Neither you are on a bike trip or for a weekend getaway. Travelling in its true essence is a pilgrimage. We are on a way to lose something. In my words things that are not you. So basically solo travelling is not a method for personality development, rather a process of shedding off everything you have been holding that has no essence of your true self.
You can never really train to become a solo traveller. It is something beneath your heart that sets you on solo travel. You just have to respond to your heart’s call. Solo travels are best when they are unplanned and spontaneous. Once you set on solo travel, the experiences you earn throughout the journey are the best gifts in disguise.
Amidst all the thrill and excitement, one must keep in my mind that self-safety is of prime importance when solo travelling. Before you begin the journey, you must tick off everything that ensures your well-being. Once safety is ensured, the adventures gain a new dimension.
Solo travel for me was the ultimate and best way of experiencing freedom. I came to learn that freedom is not a situation where there is nothing to control you but when you have complete control over yourself.
Solo travelling is all about exploring yourself and the beauty of life. It is everything but filling your phone with selfies, buying handi-crafts from the place’s local markets and stay in fancy hotels. When on a solo trip, one must give himself/herself completely in the process and see how it turns out to be!
Let me remind you, that all the experiences, whether good or bad, greet you outside your comfort zone. So step out and open yourself to endless possibilities, life is waiting to offer you.
Previously in the article where I had mentioned about being in an unknown village and surviving the night in the Banyan tree, it was my solo trip to Kolkata. This trip has since then stayed close to my heart and the reasons are many. I didn’t know the village and the local language it’s inhabitants spoke. Nevertheless, I took the chance to seek help and entered a house. Following this, I asked for two things: permission to take a quick shower and get some food to eat. I cannot explain to you enough of how delicious the dinner served to me by the locals, tasted. There have been many such instances since then.
Striking conversations and building bonds with the village locals is probably the best thing a solo traveller can do. Eat their home-cooked food, listen to the local stories, participate in their local events, and also play with kids because life happens in such places, in little things.
Always say yes to life. It is important to learn the art of survival from the lives of people around us that we hardly take note of. You can return from a journey drenched out and tired or with new learnings and skills. The choice is yours.
Solo travelling offers an opportunity to throw yourself into unknown terrains from where you can rise with more clarity. After all, life is an opportunity from which you can create the best version of yourself.
So here are some tips for you to keep in mind when planning to embark on a solo journey:
- Don’t plan too much, let a few incidents and events envelop you. Keep your heart open to surprises.
- Pack light – Take only the necessary belongings.
- Talk and reach out to locals- it is far trustworthy than Google!
- Establish connections with other travellers.
- Learn to be in silence and observe the world as it is. That is the true purpose of travelling.
- Experience the joy of dining, sleeping and doing all favourite things ALONE
- Solo travelling is all about being out of your comfort zone. So always say yes to adventures.
- Keep enough money handy.
Happy solo travelling!!