Thanks to my over-protective parents, I used to be someone who always stayed in a bubble of safety and comfort no matter where I went. This meant that I never had a first-hand experience of the big-bad world. Everything was easy and convenient for me. It was only as I grew up and the solo travel trend took over everyone by a storm, that I thought about stepping out of my comfort zone. This would be a difficult step for me, I was scared because I had no idea whether I'd be able to manage on a trip all by myself.
In spite of my qualms, I decided to take the plunge, and since then, I've travelled solo numerous times. My experiences have made me realise that travelling solo doesn't always mean travelling alone. Here are a few tips that will convince you to finally head for a solo trip.
1. Travel with a group of strangers
Travelling in a group as a solo traveller is the perfect first-step towards building your confidence for a solo trip. When you travel with complete strangers, you will get an experience of travelling independently, out of your comfort zone. At the same time, you will be surrounded with people and not for once, feel alone.
You can read my experience of travelling with a group of strangers here.
2. Strike up conversations with other travellers
Strike up conversations with travellers you meet and you are sure to bond over your shared love for exploration. In fact, when it comes to foreigners, they are happier interacting with Indian solo travellers rather than locals talking in an unknown language. Foreigners are also keen on understanding the culture, mythology and ongoing politics in India.
3. Interact with locals
This is a wonderful way to immerse yourself into another culture. You get a chance to learn about the place you're visiting through a completely authentic perspective. Locals, especially in remote areas are extremely warm and welcoming, and will definitely make for great company on your trip. Be prepared to know about the spookiest stories and legends that even Google cannot tell you about. Truly, there's no better way to experience a place than spending time with locals.
4. What better than animals for company?
If you want to minimise human interaction on your trip and yet, not be alone, there's nothing better than hanging out with dogs and cats. As a dog-lover myself, I have beautiful memories of spending time with dogs while travelling. They have diligently led the way on hikes and treks, given me company when I wanted to hide from the world, and adoringly played a game of catch when I got bored. If I could travel alone just to pet all dogs in the world, trust me, I would.
5. Be one with nature
Spend your time amidst nature. Take long walks in the forest or sit by the riverside for hours; you are sure to feel that every element around you has sprung to life. As urbanites, we rarely get the opportunity to interact with nature, so spending time with it is also a great way to rejuvenate. Keep away your phone and head into the wild to feel a sense of oneness like never before.
6. Redefine your concept of being alone
It is important to understand that there is a massive difference between being "alone" and being "lonely". As a generation that remains connected each second, our idea of loneliness is quite stunted. You can be alone and yet feel the most wholesome you have ever felt. Take a solo trip, spend time with yourself and your thoughts, and you will know that you are enough.
Are you a solo traveller too? Share your experience by creating a blog on Tripoto here.