I dont remember anyone who ever said to me that he/she hate traveling. In this busy world lives are bcoming very hectic and travel is considerd as the most sought after recreational activity. We think, we plan and we travel. We all a bucket list for our travel, which we hope to finish in th life. One of the things that you must include in your bucket list is “Travelling solo”. For those bitten by the travel bug, it is the ultimate way of finding yourself. The quest of travelling alone can be quite rejuvenating and spiritual.
Thinking about travelling solo? Read on to find out more about this exciting new way of travelling.
What Does Traveling Solo Means?
Let’s first understand what travelling solo really means. Solo travel means going to someplace else alone. It is not just getting from one point to another. Taking a flight or driving alone to visit friends and family somewhere does not count as solo travel!
Travelling alone doesn’t mean that you have to be alone at all points during your journey. It simply means you will spend a major portion of your travel on your own. You can always meet new people and make friends along the way.
That is the whole point of travelling solo. You come out of your comfort zone and push the boundaries. The sheer spontaneity of travelling alone has made it steadily popular in the travel communities.
Benefits of Solo Travel?
Travel in itself has a way of liberating you and expanding your horizons. There are new experiences to be encountered, people to meet, food to try, places to be..now imagine doing all this by yourself. It is indeed an overwhelming thought. But, there are great advantages to it also.
Here are a few for you to consider:
• Getting to know yourself better– Exploring different destinations on your own will give you a chance to really know the real you inside. The raw experiences makes you expand and grow as a person.
• Listening to yourself – When you travel alone, you need to listen to your heart to make the choices. This means you will become more self reliant and understand the importance of following your own lead.
• Coming out of your comfort zone – Travelling alone will definitely take you out of your comfort zone. It will test your limits and challenge you at every step But boy, do you learn.
• Choosing your own route– When you are on your own, you have the liberty to visit all the places that you want to. You don’t need to compromise with cut and dried itineraries with the same old “touristy” places.
• Learning to make new friends: – Travelling in a group means you are in your own comfortable bubble. On your own, you get the chance to meet new people and make friends with locals. You will be surprised to know how friendly locals are to solo travellers!
• It is cheaper– Travelling by yourself is a much better way to stick to your budget. You are the one who gets to decide where you want to stay and eat. This way, you are more likely to have money left for trying out the things that really interest you.
Solo Travel in India
India has been gaining steady popularity as a solo travel destination in the global travel community. More and more solo travellers are choosing this mystical destination for their journey. There are so many wonderful options in this country to choose from. And the best thing is, it is quite safe.
Gokarna: The pristine beaches and chilled out people make this an amazing destination for solo travellers to India. Visitors come to this quaint temple town, from all over the world, for its amazing beach bonfires and parties. You can choose from simple but comfortable cottages and guest houses. The best time to visit is between October to March.Puduchhery: It is a little slice of France in India. Stay in one of the French-style homestays and try their delectable cuisine. This tranquil town is also home to the Auroville Ashram, in case you are looking for some spiritual enlightenment. It is a pleasant and picturesque drive from Chennai. The best time to visit is between October to February.
Manali: This paradise with thick pine forests and a gurggling river, is one of the most favourite solo travel destinations in India. It is also the gateway to Leh and Spiti and can be visited throughout the year. One of the most unique and spiritual experiences that you can plan for is the Lossar Festival (Tibetan New Year) during the month of February. The drive up is definitely a memory will cherish forever.
Dharamshala: Home to the Dalai Lama, this charming little Tibetan monastry town is famous among solo travellers. The upper part of Dharamshala, called McLeodganj, is reminiscent of old world charm. The best time to visit is between the months of March to October. You can take a flight up to Dharamshala, or take the bus or train for a more authentic experience. It is also home to the famed Tushita Meditation Center.
Rishikesh: If you are looking for a spiritual adventure in the lap of nature, Rishikesh is the ultimate destination for you. Famed for its numerous yoga and meditation retreats, this holy city is a favourite getaway for domestic as well as international travellers. You can choose from the many hostels and homestays for your accommodation. For a greater spiritual experience, you can choose to stay in one of the many ashrams.
Safety Concerns For Solo Travellers to India
It is true that India is a land of many wonders for the solo traveller. But, how safe is it for them? The answer is, it absolutely can be. As with every other destination in the world, there are certain safety concerns that one needs to be aware of when travelling alone in India.
• There are bound to be tourist scams in the major destinations
• Theft and pick-pockets
• Solo women travellers may face unwanted attention
• Dressing “modestly” or “properly”
These are some of the concerns that have been raised by some travellers to India. Regardless of whether you are travelling alone or in a group, most Western tourists find themselves disadvantaged. It is more so in the case of women. However, it is not correct to generalise and many travellers to India have also shared their experiences where they have been protected by locals from scams and unwanted attention.
India is a massive nation with people from all walks of life mingling together in one big melting pot of culture. The safety concerns for tourists can easily be overcome if we follow certain precautions. It is a magical and stunning country to explore, you just need to have a positive and open mindset when you set about your journey through this vast nation.
Preacautions For Solo Travellers to India
There are some tips that you can follow as a single traveller visiting India to help make your trip more enjoyable. Most of the trips maybe applicable only for women, however, it is best for members of both the genders to exercise these precautions. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
• Be patient. It can be very frustrating when things don’t follow your timetable, and trust me, in India, nothing will. If you are patient, you will soon start to see the order in all the chaos.
• Always keep your luggage tied to your seat when you are using public transportation like overnight buses and trains. If you are using local transport during the day, make sure to keep your belongings safely with yourself.
• Always keep identification handy. There are many instances where you maybe asked to show your ID such as on trains. It is best to keep your driver’s license handy instead of having to keep taking out your passport at every place.
• If you feel you are being harassed or scammed, you can try informing the authorities. Some solo female travellers have also claimed that making your displeasure known or even creating a scene has worked in their favour. However, it is always best to alert the authorities in case of trouble
• Always take prior reservations. This will help you avoid sscams with hotels and getting into sticky situations at some seedy motel.
• Before you check in, have a good look at your room and make sure all the locks (including doors and windows) work. If you feel dissatisfied with any of the arrangements, it is absolutely ok to ask for another room.
• In certain parts of India, especially if you are travelling to the hills or forests, the power maybe switched off during certains times of the day. Make sure to ask your hotel about back up or arrange for your own.
• Be careful of the change you receive. It is always a good idea to count the change you receive before leaving the counter. This way you will be better able to deal with a possible case of cheating.
Travel to India can be an amazing experience for a solo traveller. It is important to keep an open mind when you visit this amazing nation. Most visitors to India have experienced the warmest hospitality and cooperation from the people. With a little bit of caution, solo travel in India can be an enriching and fulfilling experience indeed.