My First Solo Trip to Rishikesh. Revealing the Crazy Wanderer Hidden Inside

Photo of by Pankti Shah
Photo of by Pankti Shah
Photo of by Pankti Shah
Photo of by Pankti Shah
Photo of by Pankti Shah

My journey as a “Crazy Wanderer” began 8 months ago. I was on trail to Rishikesh, a city tagged as a hub for yoga and meditation courses in India. I was in Rishikesh to attend a Yoga course. I have always believed that Yoga brings spirituality and helps developing strong inner physique.

I was so exhausted as I reached Rishikesh. All I could do to rejuvenate my lost energy was sleeping like a log for 5 hours. Before, I fell asleep, I kept gazing at the ceiling and several questions popped in my mind. Somehow, I cleared the clouds of doubt and went to my cute dreamworld. As soon as I woke up, I felt to go back home. Actually, I have been pampered like a princess by my sweet Gujju family, so I was fearing from the world outside. It was a new place for me, new faces and a world that I have never witnessed.

Rishikesh seemed quite energetic, I could imagine foreigners enjoying the warm sand and chilled water of the Ganges. But, I needed confidence to step outside of my room. I wondered how can I just sit alone in a restaurant and feed my empty stomach.

Somehow, I gained confidence and stepped out. I reached a popular restaurant “Chotiwala Rishikesh” and consumed lip smacking Indian Thali. After, my tummy got some relief, I still grabbed some snacks and quickly headed to my room. You must be thinking this girl seems so shy, but you can imagine how difficult it is for a girl to rome alone in unknown streets of North India. That night, I just munched snacks, talked to my family for long and finally felt asleep.

Had yummy food @Chotiwala Restaurant
I realized that I have to break the shackles holding me from exploring the beautiful world outside. I boasted myself to go out. There was nothing I could do without a friend. I made myself my best friend and forgot all trauma hindering me to discover the scenic beauty of Rishikesh.

Once I was out on the streets of Rishikesh, I found myself confident. The people who gazed at me with blank face, I smiled at them and It was all cool. The tourists and localities now seemed friendly.

I started being more friendly. It was uncomfortable at first, but I did it. I made an effort to talk to people and introduce myself. I would like to thank my classmates, who taught me how to mix with people. I learned to give smile to strangers and initiate the conversation. Slowly, I started to see a different side of me. I was loving meeting new people, learning new things. Moreover, I found a new enthusiasm for life. And by doing this, I realised how restricted and limited my life had been back home.

Morning yoga class I stayed for six weeks in Rishikesh. The girl who could hardly mix with the outer world, she was now enjoying Rishikesh as She was the queen of the city.

By the end of six weeks, I felt completely at home in Rishikesh. I remember sitting on the ghats of Ganges , trying to talk with travellers, observing the people and spending a bright sunny day in doing meditation. I was trying to understand the different culture, which was not only spiritual, but taught about many phases of life.

Reading @ghat of Ganges Rishikesh introduced me to several mythological and ancient temples, which were the main source of studying the Hindu religion and culture. The morning chants sung by devotees at the temples rejuvenated my senses. I can still feel the warmth of the sand near the holy Ganga beaches in Rishikesh. Even I am not a complete sports freak, but I enjoyed water sports, river rafting and trekking nearby mountains.

Remembering me in Rishikesh, I come across thoughts, How I use to look outside the window and thought about all the things I’d learned, how different I felt and how much I’d changed in such a short time. Just six weeks earlier I was a frightened kid, who was too scared to leave the room to eat. Your Crazy Wanderer entered Rishikesh to learn Yoga, I did learned Yoga, but the city gifted me with lots of memories.

I gained confidence and I see myself chatting in a new language with people who were complete strangers. The localities from villages of Kumaon and Garhwal taught me their language. Today, I am not that perfect, but I know how to conversate in a broken Kumaoni. I made a whole new network of friends from all around the world. I still remember, the young German girl, who inspired me to travel without fear.

Finally, when the time came to board the train, I was crushed to leave, but I was so thankful for the inspiration that Rishikesh blessed me. Just one short trip introduced me to so many positive changes in my life, ultimately leading me to the journey that I’m on today. I will definitely plan to come back to Rishikesh one day. I miss Rishikesh!

I advise all young generation to step out of their fancy world and sense the freedom of living on your own, travelling without any support and encouraging their inner-self to explore new adventures.

Keep travelling, don’t litter, just spread love!

This trip was originally published on Crazy wanderer.