Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach!

Tripoto
23rd Jun 2015
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram
Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! by Rajita Ramachandram

As a solo female traveller, I felt like a ‘noob’ at the onset of my solo backpacking trip, half unnerved-half fearless and excitable. But it’s such a privileged leisure of life to be on a ‘no agenda’ trip for once, to just be and see and feel things around and that brought to me a lot of takeaways from travel. There’s a lot of women out there who want to get out but there will always be a ‘BUT’, like I did. So here’s some lessons from my experience that can help women wanting to get off the grid so bad for the longest time, either just waiting to set that foot out next or romanticizing that solo notion harboring it in some unflinching corner. Here goes my experience that taught me a couple of things:

  1. You WILL feel scared and that’s okay! Afterall, you’ve been taught all your life to watch-out for danger so much that anything a bit adventurous can potentially scare. So don’t worry if you recognize this feeling. It’s part of what’s trying to teach you to know more than what you already do.

  2. If you’re a female, KNOW that you will see men stare at you most of the times. Try to ignore this and not lose your cool or screw up your trip over an agitation with Indian men who stare. It can get irritating I understand and as rude as it may be, unless someone’s invading your space or disturbing you or troubling you, you can choose to keep to yourself and more-so, without generalizing that all Indian men can be like this. Yes, that can help because there ARE also kind men who will help you out.  Catch onto those helpful and resourceful vibes when you get them in travel. They can be of aid, especially in pestering situations! 

  3. Remember they say, 'When in Rome, act like a Roman'? Make an attempt to blend-in. Don’t stick out like a sour thumb. Try to mix with things and communicate with people around you in what is understandable culturally to them. That’s an added bonus if you can manage. And trust me it’s an art worth knowing how to blend versatile and flexibly. Travel will teach! And your flexibility will often be welcomed by others.  You will most likely receive the same vibes you pass around!

  4. Talk to locals. Smile at people and ask! Seek. If you like to explore, then talk not just with tourist guides, tourist taxis and autos alone. And know that smiling is NOT a ‘let-in’ that you are sending across to men, so don’t be afraid to smile and talk ladies! You know you don’t mean more than a harmless gesture, so feel free to smile at people. It can help you spread the warmth and connect to a lot of good friendly fellow travellers from different ages. You don't want to afterall just sit alone shacked up in your room scared all the time, right?

  5. Feel scared, but don’t show it. This is a rule I learnt. Make an attempt to feel composed and calm with yourself. Trust yourself to know what’s best for you and listen to your instincts! There’s a quote by Christopher Mccandless that I think everyone could use. It says, “I read somewhere how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong.” Chew on that thought.

  6. Going solo can have 2 outcomes. It can either teach you to be a wuss and feel scared or teach you some practical wisdom on how to handle people and conversations with tact. A solo trip can make you bold & help you step out of your comfort zone when you bump into people and situations you didn’t expect. And that is excitingly ALIVE about life! Recognize it!

  7. With pestering men, it may not always be smart to take a blunt offense when you’re alone. Sometimes, it may be wiser to find a way to not to hurt their ego and exit the situation smooth and quick instead. Tact is essential and trust yourself to know and learn. Always gauge what works when!

  8. If there are railway lines or bus routes that pass through scenic landscapes, it may be so much worth that trip to book. You don't want to miss the gorgeous breath-taking sights you'll see!

  9. The right kind of music on your playlist is important for travel. It can help guide your moods better and almost make you connect with a soaring space given a solo experience, can even make your trip feel meditative!

  10. Travel can accentuate the state of mind you are already in. If you feel disturbed within or unaligned with yourself and life in general, your solo moments can expand those periods of dissonance. When you’re in a relatively peaceful state of mind and feel freer within, a solo trip can enhance that state of alignment. Eitherway, both are for a purpose and both are good for you!

  11. When you’re travelling solo, you can really end up talking to people other than 'on your list’! Speech is so basic to humans that we will look to chat yet, so many of us won’t know how or what to converse about or just how to have a plain good time! Talking to others in your journey really helps your people skills and for those who believe in keeping an enterprising attitude, even more so.

  12. Identify the thin line between adventure and stupidity. Safety first may be a worthy rule especially when you’re solo. Surely take your risks and don't play too safe, but know the ones you do!

  13. Deviating from a plan adds more fun to your trip! Setting up something random or out of the blue to your itinerary can be exciting. Just know what you’re doing though.

  14. There’s always more to discover ahead if you seek it and allow. First at this moment, know it!

  15. If you think you cant, you wont. Simple. Travel is possible when you know what you want and generate reasons to make it happen. Then it feels like you've created magic. If you have like-minded people and friends who can push you, help you go or make things happen for you, take the chance. Just overthrow that inhibition and need for control for ONCE. It may well be worth a shot!

Let me give you a few reasons that collectively bought me into this for what's been brewing inside and maybe you can take some too. 

  • Because number of lives remaining are zero
  • Because the only things you regret in the end are the chances you didn’t take
  • Because we are fundamentally all in the pursuit of happiness
  • Because if they can, then so can I and if I can then so can you
  • Because you never get to the other side unless you try
  • Because the trouble is you think you have time
  • Because true freedom is life realized and life is your freedom realized [This last one’s been my own personal point of insight]

So ladies, keep dreaming and don’t forget to create magic!

To my late beloved mom who loved the idea of travel. Cheers!

Photo of Solo Female Backpacking in India: Tips and Tricks - What a Trip Can Teach! 1/1 by Rajita Ramachandram

Go-to place: Namaste Cafe. Their site: www.namastegokarna.com will give you budget options as well as mid-range stay options in 3 kinds of properties spread across Om beach and Kudle beach. I chose a budgeted stay at Namaste Café, 800/- INR per day at Om Beach, spent about 2 days which is enough to really see the whole of Gokarna. There's a number of beaches, all a few 30 minutes from the other and otherwise it is essentially a religious piligrimage place if you go to Gokarna town. You will see a number of temples there.
Go-to Place: Sun Beach Residency Resort. After 2 days at Gokarna, I switched to an impromptu plan made to Goa. The Madgaon Passenger Express takes you to Canacona station in an hour and costs about 40/- INR only! Warm and friendly owners and very resourceful in terms of making the stay comfortable and providing options to meet a customer's needs. My off season travel gave me the advantage to stay at 1/6th the price of a season time here. I paid 1000/- per day and the rooms are very comfortable and clean. A property just about 400 mtrs away from Palolem beach, toward the southern tip almost closing into Neptune Point, Goa. The owners helped me rent a bike and made me feel secure. They'd even arrange for bicycles on rent, autos for fares etc.
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You are my greater self ! Trust me.
Sat 07 22 17, 09:09 · Reply · Report