Should you travel solo at 18?

Tripoto

It was a chilled foggy morning and I was heading towards the railway station. It was the first time I was experiencing all the emotions at once. I was happy, excited, nervous, scared all together.

I had a morning train from Secunderabad station and reached Delhi the next day where I stayed with a family friend that day. It was a different experience at Delhi. The city I never liked became so close to me. I have visited Delhi a lot of times before but hated it everytime I was there. It was the first time I fell in love with the city and loved almost everything about the city, the street food, the roads, the places I explored and many other things. The best thing I liked about Delhi was the good food and the clothes you would get at a cheap rate. I bought sweaters to use them in Manali for just 100.

I had done a lot of research about the place I was going to and read many solo travel stories of female travellers on Tripoto. I would reread the trips, research and still till the last moment I wasn't sure if I should go but the one thing that kept me going was the desperate desire to travel somewhere, away from the hustle bustle of city, to have sometime with myself.

And that was enough to keep me going but the only question I had been searching everywhere and asking people was if I should travel alone to an unknown place at this age. I was eighteen, a college student who has never been to that place before. Is this the right age to take a solo trip? Am I mature enough to handle things ? Will it be safe in Delhi ? Will it be safe in sleeper ? Should I go alone ? These were some of the questions going on in my mind even while packing for the trip, to which I had no answer until this trip.

Beacuse I wasn't sure till the end, I called up my besties's sister at the last moment, just 5 minutes before the tatkal timings and asked to book a ticket without any hopes of a confirmed seat. My bags were not packed even after the ticket got booked as I was scared with the thought of going alone to Manali. Because it was like going to an unknown place for the first time and boarding the train to Delhi alone. So I kept thinking if I should go on with my plan. I had two choices in front either to go to my family friend in Nanitaal or go to an unknown place that I have been wanting to go since a month or two. And all these things out me in dilemma till the end.

I told none except my family friend who I convinced a day before my trip to let me go and which finally gave me some confidence and I was out there on my journey. I had never thought this decision would prove to be my bestest decision ever. It changed my thoughts, my life for the good. But today while writing this, sitting in the hotel room I feel it was the bestest decision of my life.

Today I'll be leaving for Delhi. And I can't believe that I'm actually leaving from here although I really don't want to leave but then life is a journey and you have to keep moving and I am sure to come here again in the future. This trip was like a real freedom to me. A freedom to do what I love to, to chase my dreams, to be myself, to be happy and live in the present moment the most.

I feel if you believe in yourself and in your decisions and you think you're strong enough to do it then you must go on with that even if the whole world is against you. If I wouldn't have taken that decision even after knowing that it might not be safe, I wouldn't have got this experience. I'm not saying you should go without telling anyone all I'm saying is if you believe in yourself and you know you're smart enough to handle things and you know what you're doing then you must go on.

And the answers which were troubling finally got the solutions and I found it all by myself. There is no right or wrong age to travel solo. It's just the little courage and a desire to explore the world outside your comfort zone. And there is no place safe or unsafe, your safety depends on you on how alert and aware you are. I was in such a big dilemma with going on this trip and today I feel it was the bestest thing to believe in myself even when no one believed.

Photo of Should you travel solo at 18? 1/12 by Anjali Negi
River crossing at old Manali
Photo of Should you travel solo at 18? 2/12 by Anjali Negi
Zostel Manali
Photo of Should you travel solo at 18? 3/12 by Anjali Negi
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Photo of Should you travel solo at 18? 8/12 by Anjali Negi
Zostel
Photo of Should you travel solo at 18? 9/12 by Anjali Negi
Manu temple
Photo of Should you travel solo at 18? 10/12 by Anjali Negi
Photo of Should you travel solo at 18? 11/12 by Anjali Negi
Solang valley
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Mall road
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