Married or not, when the travel bug bites, your wayfarer soul is unleashed. Avantika Kekan, Yo!Vizag reader writes about travelling alone and solo travel experiences post tying the knot.
People either love travelling alone or they simply can’t stand the thought of going alone for vacations or trips. The fear of the unknown has always scared humans and it is one of the greatest factors that fuels curiosity to explore more in life. It depends on whether one wants to hold back or experience something new. I have chosen the later of Solo Travel. “I fall into the category of people who enjoys their own company thoroughly and love to run off alone to explore new places. The decision to go solo backpacking was an impromptu one based on a single question – Why Not ?!”
Best foot forward
The struggle of travelling alone starts right from the point of convincing one’s parents and if you are married then make that two sets. The next difﬁcult part is to select a destination and following one’s heart, as there is plenty to explore. As fate would have it, a friend’s wedding heralded the first solo exploration. The ﬁrst time was a train journey to Punjab in 2005 with almost empty pockets, loads of apprehension and excitement mixed with fear. After one’s ﬁrst solo travel it is like a newbie introduced to some mind blowing Biryani for the very ﬁrst time. And heaven knows it is love and there is never enough.
Ones very own Choice – Travelling, especially travelling alone is insatiable love. Instead of planning the whole itinerary, asking one’s self and following the heart will unravel a solo trip in the best possible manner. “I don’t have to plan every single thing and that’s the beauty of it.” The best part of a solo trip is getting to do exactly what one wants. An example would be hours of trekking in the hot sun, enjoying the beautiful Borneo rainforests in Malaysia or lazing around for ten hours straight on beaches in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Choice is yours and the pace is yours.
Evolving into a seasoned Traveler
With every trip one tends to evolve. While travelling alone to see new places, one comes across new things that one may or may not relate to. But what makes it special is the awareness. Awareness about your surroundings, the places, it’s people, the sounds or the silence. A deeper connection develops and relaxation in the true sense becomes possible. “Travelling solo is meditation for me”. One trusts the instincts and goes with the gut feeling but at every step one must be careful. From trying fried metallic and crunchy insects in a small market of Cambodia to visiting places with safety concerns, one must go with the inner call with home work and research done earlier. Nothing should stop one from trying solo travel atleast once in their lifetime.
A whole new World
“Making new friends is the best part about my travels. It’s next to liberating sitting with a group of strangers sharing ideas, listening to stories of travels and life. You will be surprised by the number of new things you learn or stories that will inspire you.”
In Malaysia, an experience of an impromptu get together of seven divers from different countries across a table after a dive is very memorable. A chance to bond across oceans out of nowhere. Such incidents leave one less judgmental about people and more aware of self. This belief gives some serious travel and life goals to a person embarking on solo adventures.
Love, support and family – A supporting partner gives one immense relief, happiness and support and helps you face bravely the disbelief and judgemental assessments of society. No negative baggage is the best baggage to carry. When questioned about leaving behind husband, family and friends, one must remember that the support is valued more when it is unconditional. Such silly questions don’t deter the motivated traveller who loves to bring back the stories and experiences. Solo travelling makes one more confident and a livelier human on a daily basis. An essential adventure that one must take on once in atleast in a lifetime.
“I’m questioned as to whether my solo trips are for ﬁnding out meaning in life?! Why do you travel alone after all?? Hell no! Because it makes me happy and that’s enough.” With that Avantika sums up her experiences and attitude towards exploring solo while being hitched.