Travelling solo in India for backpackers.
If you are on a journey to self-discovery, then the best thing to do would be to travel alone. Travelling around the world is a joy, it is an endeavour where you learn so many things and delve into the depths of your character. How you behave when you leave your familiar surroundings and comfort zone, brings out the real you. In fact, that is why most people prefer to travel alone – to get to know themselves.
If it was a journey three or four decades ago, travelling alone in India would have raised eyebrows, because it was not such a popular concept as it is now. They used to believe that travelling has to be done in the company of family or friends. In spite of this clichéd belief, many people are discovering the joy and fun of travelling alone. Here are some of the advantages of travelling solo in India.
1. You get to pamper yourself.
If you have always travelled with your family, then you might not have had the chance to pamper yourself or indulge in your preferred activities. You might have put the interests of your partner/children as top priority, and delegated your favorite activities to the back burner.
But when you travel alone, you can pamper yourself and do only what you would like to do. If you like to eat till you burst, or shop till you drop, you can do that without feeling guilty. That is the general idea – getting pampered without feeling guilty.
2. You evolve as a person
It is only when you are solo that you can evolve as a person. At all other times, you would worry about what other people might be thinking. When you are alone, you have better control of your life, can adapt to situations in a better way, and who knows, you might even discover hidden qualities in you, that you never knew existed.
3. You learn to face fears and challenges.
When you are in your comfort zone, you shy away from circumstances that may hurt you, or the people around you tend to protect you from them. But when you are travelling alone, you have no control over circumstances, and you may have to face situations that you’ve dreaded all along.
Rather than surrendering to your fear, you will learn to become courageous and bold. You will realize that being in your comfort zone might be safe, but while venturing out, using your common sense would be the key.
4. You make new friends.
You can make and build authentic friendships while travelling. People who travel alone are generally more receptive to other travellers, when compared to people who travel with family. Families are normally involved in their own activities and will generally keep to themselves. But single travellers get to know each other, share ideas and even plan to meet up later.
When you met new people, you learn from them and perhaps even team up for a future tour. It is true that when two individuals get together, it won’t be a solo trip anymore. But still they learn to respect each other’s space and views, because that’s exactly why they started travelling in the first place – to enjoy each one’s own private space. And you can have a great time chatting up with the locals, and making new friends… with no commitments.
5. An irreplaceable sense of freedom.
The freedom of travelling alone is incomparable to anything. You can plan your tour in whichever way you want. You don’t have to worry about ruining anyone else’s plan if you want to sleep late or party late. It is also much better than travelling with a group because you don’t have to cater to any pre-planned itineraries. You can indulge in your favorite activities, and not worry about being criticized or judged.
6. Experience the customs and culture.
In India, guests are equal to God, and when you are alone, you will find that people go out of their way to make sure you are not left behind or alone. It is the custom of the people to invite you for a meal, entertain you and make sure you are okay. Though you may find the interruptions a little awkward, eventually you will grow to appreciate their friendliness. You can chat with the locals, and learn about their beliefs and customs, better when you are alone, than with a partner.
7. Travel on budget or extravagantly – it is your take.
When you are alone, you can travel in whichever mode of transport you are comfortable in. If you want to travel in a bus or train to save money, you don’t have to listen to grumbles or mumbles from anyone. Likewise, if you want an expensive ride, go ahead – the world is yours.
The bottom line
Travelling solo in India might be a bit scary for women, especially for those who have not done it before. As long as you are aware of the do’s and don’ts of travelling alone, you will be fine. You will also find plenty of other people who are traveling alone; people like you. Be confident, assertive and polite when you are traveling alone. As long as you are culturally receptive, your tour in India will be one of the most memorable events in your life.
You may feel lonely in the beginning, especially if it is the first time. But it is also a good time to enjoy nature and the various destinations (in their true capacity) in the country. It also gives you ample time for self reflection. You can have a wholesome view of the world from your own eyes; there is no companion to filter your views, and your focus remains clear and sharp. When you do something, you do it without worrying about whether your co-traveller will hate you for it or not. There is one other major advantage to travelling alone – you enjoy silence. The beauty of silence is superb – in silence you feel the love of God.
I hope the advantages outlined in this article give you the gumption to get set on a solo trip to India. You’re sure to have the time of your life!
Sunu Phililp is the Inbound Marketing and Creative Head for Paradise Holidays, Cochin – a Kerala based tour operator. She loves reading, exploring new places and trying out different cuisines!
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