I dint take a deep breath, I dint sigh! Gone are the days when travelling alone shook a bone or two in our squashy skeleton. Time has changed for better, and for everybody. Few of us who rise up to the challenge and reap the benefits of change, get a consolation certificate from life, saying “Crazy Experiences” and believe me when I say, “Crazy Experiences” will stand TALL right next to your highest degree or favorite trophy and you’ll spend a life time being proud of it.
The concept of SOLO travelling was introduced thousands of years ago. Saints and sages ventured alone, BUDDHA literally walked through Nepal and India, all by himself and to be honest! Who wouldn’t want some me time…! We know we crave it(sometimes).
Although the adventure of travelling solo (especially in INDIA) is very fascinating, yet, it can prove to be a complete disaster if you are not prepared mentally. So, most importantly, remember why you’re doing this and reason with yourself. Weigh the pros and cons and if you think you’ll end up gaining more than losing, GO AHEAD!!
Coming back to India, It is my home country and with all due respect, I understand the maze of confusion it can(sometimes) be and the catastrophe it can land you on, and if you are a foreigner, multiply the effects by 10(or 50) and if you are a Female, well give it a little more math, let’s say a figure somewhere around a thousand.
For starters, you wanna keep these on your speed dial-
ALL INDIA WOMAN HELPLINE- 1091, 1090
I swear to god, I am not trying to scare you away! I have that on speed dial too(What!! I am a precautionary person (-__-). Although I haven’t had the chance to use it yet, but it won’t take much space after all.
Okay! I wouldn’t mind throwing in a few more numbers.
JUST DIAL- 08888888888 (ten times 8), it’s a one call information system and the number will land you to JUST DIAL from anywhere in the world. Call them for any information you need. Hotels, restaurants, movies, monuments, tickets(for anywhere), hospitals, cabs, pizzas SERIOUSLY anything! Don’t confuse it for America’s 911, they are the information providers, not service givers.
POLICE STATIONS ACROSS INDIA- 100
There is a common number for police help across India and you have to have this one.(Not just in your phone, memorize it).
Moving on, there is a fixed set of problems slash situations Solo travelling Females find themselves in. Although there are a million things on my head, I have jotted down a few for you-
a.. Hovering men- We are aware ,You Stare! There is nothing much you can do, (or maybe throw in a few free punches if someone’s going over the top) Just remember, the staring Kind- They scare easy! Give them a few crazy looks and they’ll leave you alone for some time.
b.. One scarf solution-To all your needs. Try wearing a scarf, underneath you can wear whatever you like, but on the unsure streets and uncertain locations- that might come in handy. Pollution, undue population, Starey Staringsons, head cover for religious sites and more. Carrying a scarf is a very practical street style you can follow in India.
c.. No roaming around like a Hedonist– We understand the need for euphoria, but India comes with a limit, especially when travelling alone. Travelling Solo isn’t just about excitement- it’s more of a self-test, a responsibility. It’s becoming the Leader of your own, master of your destiny. Hence, a certain level of control is absolutely essential.
d.. You should not and MUST not carry too much cash and also Cash get you out of many situations in INDIA. It’s more of a contradictory statement, but both the parts are equally true. Crux- Don’t go around showing off money, but keep your cash handy.
Yes! It’s a scary world out there….WHATTT!! I doubt that.
Having covered few of the challenges you might face travelling solo in India, It’s my Moral and Social and Honest duty to remind y’all, INDIA IS A HUMBLE ABODE OF GOD! And at the very core of every heart beating in India, there is Fear, Love and Compassion for God. And you know what they taught me as a kid… “ATITHI DEVO BHAVAH”, translation- The guest is equivalent to GOD himself. So, leave all your worries in your kitchen sink and flush them right off!
People are extremely helpful and they won’t misguide you (I won’t! 🙂 If no one’s helping and it’s absolutely urgent…well drop me an email at email@example.com)
After all, there is an extraordinary set of luxury attached with the passion of travelling alone.
—‘Coz it’s so cool to leave everyone behind for some time and reach out to yourself. Start with a “HOW YOU DOINN!!’ ” and get to know yourself better every day. (You can even try Talking out loud to yourself! Duh! Who cares, you’re in a foreign land).
— One day at a time. You don’t have to plan the journey, no itinerary, no routing, nothing. You can stay at the place of your choice for however long you wish to. Take it slow and take it deep, one day after another.
— No one will judge you! Take the biggest ice-cream in the trolley, eat messy street food, Walk till your knees hurt, shout at the sky, climb a tree, keep a pet monkey! Seriously anything.. well! People are watching, but trust me, no one’s judging you. You are just a crazy foreigner, who’s just as pretty 🙂
—No compromises! You wish that part would just stick around forever. GOD! You don’t have to settle for anything or anybody for that matter. Solo means, mastering the art of self- reliance and you are going to ROCK!!
—And finally when you’re back! BAM!!! There is a bunch of lunatics aka crazies, just like YOU in your phone book! Your new personal network of friends, all around the globe. Isn’t that the coolest thing! Share your story, indulge in theirs and experience the joy of wandering alone. Sometimes, like a madman, maybe like a hippy or like a sophisticated social butterfly. Be whatever you want to be.
And sometimes people you meet on road-they might end up being your best friends
So, if you are already on a trip by yourself and have somehow lost your way or you know.. You are thinking about venturing into one. “I hope you find it what you’re looking for!”
(And yes! If you like anything, drop me a comment:) )
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