I was one of the 4 speakers at the women wanderers meet up by Holiday IQ in 2014! ( https://goo.gl/CLgdPr). The topic was travelling within India. To my surprise, I heard stories of how women were traveling solo all across the world! And I had never gone for a vacation all alone! For me, it was such a new concept. But, that day, I decided that, come what may, I will definitely go on a vacation all by myself.. What I didn't realize back then was that a) it's not going to be easy to leave my baby behind and go and b) I will love it so much that I will want to keep doing it ????
Fast forward to November 2017: My dream to holiday alone was still a dream. In the meanwhile, I did travel for work and with friends leaving my child alone for a day and that was it. However, this was the time, I thought I should just do this without thinking a lot. I discussed with my husband. Since I was sort of adamant, I managed to convince him to babysit for 2 nights (3 days), which also meant him taking one day off from work. I zeroed upon Goa as the destination as it was a one flight easy destination to go to, from Mumbai, with not much to see or do, thus, I could just relax and be.
My purpose of going solo was plenty actually.. First and foremost, it was to get out of my comfort zone, do something I had never done and tick an important activity off my bucket list ???? I also planned what am I going to do in those 3 days that I was away - it would be introspect, read and write. Yes, I can of course do all this in Mumbai too, but, I wanted to do this at peace, and for a longer duration.
I told my parents and friends I am going alone. The reactions ranged from being surprised (rather shocked) to some people even calling me mad.. Some were jealous ???? and some thought I was fooling around. My mom was one person, who insisted that I let her come with me as she thought may be I couldn't manage alone. Even while booking the tickets, my husband asked me several times if I was actually sure I am doing this. Finally, the tickets were booked from 12th to 14th January 2018!
January 2018: As the days passed, I started thinking if I really want to do this, specially because it was not really a 'necessity' and I was worried sick about leaving my son behind for 2 nights. But, the more I talked to my friends, they motivated me, cheered me and also gave me a whole list of new (read: exciting) things to do while I am there!
I still remember that moment I left my home telling bye to my husband.. The guilt was killing me.. And he on the other hand, was acting super cool.. ????
Airport scene: It was actually pretty awkward. Realization 1: Nobody goes to Goa alone for a vacation! I saw two groups of girls travelling to Goa in the same flight as mine. Then of course several groups of men were also there. In the flight, I was seated in between one lady and one man. I to the lady: Are you also going to Goa alone? She: yes! I: for a vacation? She: No, I live there Just when I thought, I had found somebody like me..
In Goa, nobody cares a damn about who has come with whom or if you have come all alone. They are not surprised to see a female solo traveller! I stayed in Radisson Blu which was connected to the beach. It was a beautiful resort with very pretty colorful cottages. I love all things colorful ???? I went to the beach a couple of times, got temporary tattoo done, read my book there, went for shopping.. I also rented a bicycle one day and went around the entire resort. It was an amazing feeling.. I felt like Alia Bhatt of Dear Zindagi ???? I went for dinner to a Greek restaurant in Radisson. When I entered, I was trying to look for a table. The server asked me if I want a table for 1. That was the time I realized oops..! I want a table for just one!! But, apart from that, it was absolutely cool. I had no apprehensions in sitting alone and eating or reading anywhere at all! Let me mention, before this trip, I had never gone to even dine alone anywhere.. Let alone a vacation!
To conclude, this was one vacation I will always remember. I must credit my husband for making it possible for me.. He was a super hands on dad while I was away! I suggest everybody, specially those with busy lives, must go for a solo trip once in a while (and not just once in your life).. Everybody deserves it!! ????