Travel Solo, Girl!
As they say, travelling makes you a storyteller. How about- it makes you aware, scholastic and more importantly a superior being. When I told my protective parents that I needed to travel alone because I wanted some time off from my symmetrical lifestyle; to my surprise, they said “sure, you deserve it! You should see what’s out there for you.” And, I thought, “maybe this will be my Kate Winslet moment from “The Holiday”! I’ll travel, meet someone, and explore more with him.” Little did I know that travelling alone was addictive- waking up as per your comfort, writing and executing your own itinerary, conversing with strangers to find company, tasting mysterious recipes, and learning immensely about a culture (something that I knew, but never experienced it), I absolutely loved it!
At first, I was unable to hide my excitement to travel alone. But, I still had several internal fears such as my inability to protect myself, lack of confidence in making decisions, and my dubious thoughts on pursuing solitary fun which were constantly clouding my judgement. My comprehensive fear package was the outcome of the cocooned life I led until then. My brain was not just monotonously functioning on questions - how will I fight a stranger or flee an unfortunate situation? It pushed me to focus on additional variables such as the different expeditions that were necessary for my travelogue which supplemented my geo-political and social knowledge. From gallivanting in the meandering lanes in the old city of Zurich or watching a hunt in Masai Mara with strangers, to devouring Durian at Bugis in Singapore, I strived to fight several apprehensions of mine. These queries were not just limited to my security and protection as a woman. Rather, it included being receptive to cultural differences, interrogating my well-established perspectives, and most importantly taking independent decisions.
Amidst my dealing with internal confusions and queries, I met some interesting people from all walks of life who commended my ability to travel alone as a woman. All these years, I had been subjected as a brave girl due to my capacity to travel alone. To be honest, they were unaware of the fact that sometimes, even I get scared, and it’s not always because of low-security reasons around the world for a woman. More so, would I be able to enjoy the place all by myself? Each time, my journey proves me wrong- I adore my personal itinerary and its impeccable execution. Secondly, the praising tone of those wonderful humans have always surprised me, and made me analyze the effects of patriarchy. Its base is immensely rooted in every society, which makes us all either question or praise the unusual path that we decide to walk on.
I began my journey as a solo traveller with an objective of moving on from a poignant phase of my life. However, my criteria changed, or I would say – it graduated. It motivated me to reassess personal decisions, explore my own strengths and weaknesses, and widen my scope of knowledge on various facets of societies. After 7 years of gaining strength and bravery by travelling alone, I can confidently proclaim that it did not just help me be a part of intriguing conversation clubs. It also provided me with an all-encompassing experience of prompting my well-thought out decisions, and supporting my ideas of challenging myself during testing situations.