Now, no matter how many brave girls I see now a day travelling alone in India I still can't be that courageous yet. I fear travelling alone in India. Trust me, I am working on it (EDIT: A WEEK AFTER WRITING THIS I WENT FOR MY FIRST SOLO TRIP IN INDIA TO MYSORE, BLOG COMING SOON). I was in Europe a year ago, on a semester exchange and I thought hey what better time to go for a solo travel. While all my friends were planning on how to go around as a group making the most of our time and money, I was sitting there with a map thinking how do I make the most out of it by myself. Now, don't get me wrong, I love having friends. But the whole point for me to go abroad on an exchange was to go out of my comfort zone and do something different. I didn't want to stick to my friends, go as a big Indian family everywhere, looking for Indian restaurants and laughing at naughty Indian jokes. NOOOO! I wasn't prepared for that. I was more into you know, taking a bus alone, walking down the beautiful streets and looking at extra ordinary things or ordinary things in an extraordinary way all at my pace.
And I did exactly what I wanted. I'll tell you a secret, my Indian friends were more surprised to see me go for a solo travel than my other western friends who thought its perfectly alright to do so. I got questions from them which were like, "what will you do there alone?", "will you walk and see stuff?". "who will you talk to while travelling?", "won't you feel lonely?" and all sorts of that.
I wish I could tell them that you find people along the way. You must take one step and opportunities will tale ninety-nine more steps towards you. I wish I told them about the Chinese guy I met in Prague who I took to an ice bar because he didn't even know it existed and how he told me that I speak fast for English not being my first language. About that time how terrified I was when I found that the hostel I booked in Poland was beside a strip club and my sanskari values didn't allow me to stay there, and how I managed to walk around trying to find another hostel in a busy weekend when two beautiful polish ladies came to my rescue out of nowhere, also when I was lost in Krakow and that sweet gentleman noticed I was lost and offered to help. I even went to a romantic country like Venice all by myself and met a Pakistani uncle selling pizza right next to my BnB. Or about how an old man tried hitting on me while I was in Rome trying to take that one Instagram perfect shot. Oh, how perfect Solo travelling is!
If there's one thing I agree with the internet sensations are travelling! And especially solo travelling. Oh, it's not so easy though. You will hate it, you will question if you're even made for it, you will see bunch of people partying but some nights you won't have anyone to party with, and that night my friend, you will go out of the comfort zone and talk to someone. That someone might end up being a good friend, a nice party maker, or a genuine flirt, but I'm sure you'll have your share of the fun.
I've been in situations when I had to go back to my hostel drunk out of mind all by myself making sure I reached fine. Situations when I tried to find a mountain in Poland and got lost, resulting in some workers passing comments on me (oh yes, this happens everywhere) Also when I had no energy to explore a city so I just made a promise to myself, to explore the city when I come for the next time Rome, I'm looking at you. There will also be days when you will get caught trying to take a self-timer picture by a huge group of tourist looking at you strangely, you got to do what you got to do. Listen, there are ups and downs to everything. You must try them to know what exactly is in store for you. So, go get that passport and get it tattooed.
Oh, did I forget to tell you, "how I prepped for my solo trip?". I didn't. I went ahead with it and fell in love with it. Now I can't get it out of my system. Try it, Its good! I read it somewhere, "don't be afraid to travel solo, be afraid to like it" and I agree to it to the fullest.
This post was originally published on Everything On My List.