Thursday, 21 November 2013

Eat, Pray, Travel...but ALONE????

The hope of eating pasta with a cute Italian guy, discovering the power of prayer in an exotic land or finding inner peace in Bali where you bump into some drop dead gorgeous guy, were all such tempting reasons to make you travel solo but how easy is it to go down that path...SOLO?

There are times when I feel so adventurous and free, I feel like I could conquer the world, universe etcetera. But then there have been times when you are out there and you crave for someone to be with you.

Solo travelling for women has been a debatable topic for me. Though I like the concept of exploring on my own and making my own itinerary, I am also fully aware of its drawbacks.

Like this time when I was on one of my solo trips and was taking an early morning photo-walk on this deserted beach alone. It was a kilometre stretch of beach, with absolutely nobody around apart from some birds and stray dogs. While I was clicking some pictures, a very sturdy but friendly looking dog approached me. We spent some time together, him jumping around yelping and me clicking his photographs. Little did I know he was just playing around with his breakfast. Before I knew, his innocent friendly yelp turned into a fully fledged bark and from nowhere 4-5 dogs came charging and surrounded me. As the little snarls turned into growls, I stood still praying hard that they would go away. But when one from them started pulling at my pyjamas, I had had it enough and couldn’t wait until they ripped me off. Apart from my camera and a small purse, I had nothing else to defend myself with and nobody was around to hear my cry of help. I did the next best thing and ran towards the water! With my camera and purse over my head, I sprinted towards the sea until I was waist deep in the water. These dogs followed me and tried to chase me further into the water until they could swim no more.

As I stood for about half an hour or so, I cursed these mongrels who were basking on the beach waiting for my return. Luckily for me, a man was nearby, after hearing me scream, came to rescue me.
Safety has been my biggest issue and I am sure many women share this sentiment. The problem is not just from sleazy leachy men but could be from anything. In this case it was a pack of stray dogs.

The dog who still haunts my solo dreamzz! 

Women who travel alone say that they love travelling solo because it gives them a sense of freedom. They feel liberated & more confident about themselves and get to meet new people and do new things and most importantly learn more about themselves!

Agreed! I love the idea of going out all alone to a new place because it is indeed such an adventure, but sometimes when you are watching that amazing orange sunset or lying under the cool starry night, you really want to share it with the people you love, family/ friends anybody! Yes you could send them a postcard or share some photographs later but no photograph can capture the feeling of soft sand under your feet and the breeze through your hair or the golden warmth on your skin.

But wait, even if you want to capture the moment, most of the times you may not have someone around who can take your pictures or if there are some strangers around, I find it very uncomfortable holding a decent touristy pose in front of them. Most of the time I end up taking a bad picture of myself which is horribly angled! You know the one where you extend your arm and click a photograph in an angle that makes your face look big and which has either you or the background in the picture!

Selfie in a bad angle :(
Travelling alone, especially if you are taking a train or bus always puts me in a fix, especially if I need to use the washroom. Constant thoughts like, ‘What if the bus leaves me while I am still peeing’ or ‘what if someone takes my luggage while I am in the train washroom’ keeps haunting me. There are times when I have asked neighbours to take care of my luggage but really I can’t completely trust a absolute stranger!! I guess it is a learning experience every time.

I have in the past taken the solo road but mostly because I had no option. Most of the times it is either because;
1.       My friends weren’t available
2.       My friends were short of cash
3.       My friends did not want to travel to the place I wanted to
4.       Couldn’t find any like-minded travelling companions

Travelling with someone you get along with doesn’t only make the trip fun but is also easy on the pocket. But if I have to be on my own, I ensure I chart up a itinerary that I share with my close friends and book my stay beforehand  where ever I can. And research well about the place, culture, people, food, climate ...well everything, before you go solo!

So in case you have to travel alone, go ahead.. have fun but be safe!


  1. Hello, fellow traveler.
    Was going through this post of yours and this brought into light a similar post I had written too about my solo excursions...

    1. Hey there! Read your post too! nice going....and yes travelling does leave you speechless and turns you into a storyteller, so keep sharing your stories too! :)