My observations as a solo woman backpacker in India

Photo of My observations as a solo woman backpacker in India 1/4 by Swati Jain
Photo of My observations as a solo woman backpacker in India 2/4 by Swati Jain
Photo of My observations as a solo woman backpacker in India 3/4 by Swati Jain
Photo of My observations as a solo woman backpacker in India 4/4 by Swati Jain

My never ending fascination to travel around India has taken me to 20 states and 2 Union Territories in 18 months. Well, I always liked travelling but never thought that it will become my passion one day. So much that I decided to quit my settled PR career of 8 years without a thought. Travelling Solo in India especially for a woman is still not an easy task. There are many questions which are being asked to you and there are more curious ears that wait to hear from you. While I decided to venture solo, little did I know what I have in store. At that time, all I had in mind was to Travel and witness the beauty of this country. I decided to follow my heart.

Let me share what I have learnt and observed as a Solo Backpacker in India:

We live with pre-conceived notions

During my journey, I have realised that we live in a world of pre-conceived notion, which our surroundings teach us. Sometimes we are not ready to experience and decide to take the word of others without even trying. Honestly it’s far easier to judge and play on categorisation. We must experience before we say and this holds true throughout our life.

Might be the reason why initially I was hesitant of venturing out alone. May be the notion in which I grew which led me to believe that travelling in India is unsafe for a woman. But today as I am managing to explore every street of India on my own, and creating a wealth of wonderful memories in the process, I feel proud that I decided to challenge the notion and travel solo.

There is a brighter side to mankind too

Every day we read stories in media on one or the other incident which is happening in this country. In the process of noticing all the bad, we forget that there is good side of mankind as well. There are still good people which exist in this country and far more in number of what we think it is. As I went places and introduced myself, I expected people to raise their eyebrows and point fingers at doing something different. But on the contrary, I found them helpful and appreciative. I have experienced generosity from strangers and found them by my side whenever I needed help. There kindness has floored me many times. I guess it’s only when you travel, especially solo travel that you get to see and experience the humble side of mankind. Travelling in India have reaffirmed my belief that there is more good in this world than bad

Travelling does not always mean a vacation

Unfortunately in our society travelling is only looked upon as a vacation. Travel in their utter most sense is limited to break the mundane life and collecting series of photographs which can be showcased on social networks. During my journey I have realised that we are yet to understand what Travelling means. Travel in its truest self is the best teacher one can ever have. It transforms your perspective towards life and it transforms you. Today, I am grateful for even the smallest thing I have in my life. When you see people living in the remotest part of the world with not even basic amenities and still smiling, you tend to stop making excuses for your own life

Solo doesn’t mean being alone

I think while we decide to go solo, the biggest challenge or the things which come in our mind is loneliness, security and managing the budgets. But then, this is why you travel solo. To open ourselves to the world, to test your wings and learning to live a new dimension of life with limited means. It changes your priority and attitude towards life. Think differently

Evolution is important

Most of us have this problem, including me. We think and we really think a lot. We are not open to change and refuse to be flexible sometime. Let’s accept it; we are part of a protective society and travelling Solo can bring you in bad light. Iam not saying that it’s bad to live in a protective atmosphere but it’s equally important to evolve with time. Experiment is the key

Travel with an open mind

It feels good when I hear people sharing their inclination to travel in India. But it equally feels sad when they select destination which top the list of travellers for going solo. I am not saying that it’s a bad idea to opt for a comfortable place but India is way beyond of what we think it is. I have extensively travelled the Northern, western and southern part of India. I have gone as remotest as Zanskar Valley in Ladakh and travelled solo in states which are considered unsafe. And after covering a distance of uncountable kilometres all I can say is woman can travel SOLO and when it comes to travel in India, it’s a land of many hidden jewels with beautiful hearts.

Travel with open mind and may be you can discover the warmth which I experienced. Challenges may come and go but it will definitely help you to discover the beautiful side of this country that we live in :)

Happy Travelling !

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