This famous song; I used to hear as a child “Suhana Safar Aur ye Mausam Haseen, Hume Darr hai hum Kho Na Jaye Kahi.” This song was used to show Dilip Kumar, on a solo trip enjoying the beautiful nature, & I with wide eyes used to tell my dad I will travel like this one day. And really, I did, though I was very apprehensive initially. But I desire to take this opportunity, & bring out the eccentric wanderer in me. When I set off to dive into these trips, it made me realize you couldn’t have everything so enjoy the moment you get- there is this famous Bollywood dialogue around it “Jitna Bhi try Kar lo Kuch Na Kuch Chootega hi, Isley Yahin Isi pal ka Maza Lete hai.”
The orb is a wanderlust, and while you explore it on your own, you learn to survive, when & whom to trust, also how to find a way for yourself amidst the thick & thin. My solo trips taught me to be disciplined, or else there would not be any sunrise or sunset for me. I have tons of photos of them, each one of the beautiful & different from the other. These trips made me humble, & forced me to come out of my comfort zone, its made me more receptive to varied people of different age group, culture & perceptions. A solo traveller is more approachable & less intimidating; you can chat with a bartender or join a group for a drink on your next table. These build up fond memories, with people you are likely not to meet again. I met people with background & experiences which are opposite to mine, and it led to a beautiful friendship.
My solo trip also gave me the ultimate freedom that I longed for, at the same time, taught me its actual substance too. Since you are the leader & the decision-maker of your journey, you tend to become more responsible for your choices & decision. This freedom also teaches to take chances, explore and let your fear take a parting. But being precautious is another lesson freedom departs, like giving your travel plan back home to be checked once a while, carrying a copy of your identities, significant numbers & address, not getting sloshed at a bar, travelling light etc. The knowledge that this freedom offers made me self-reliant, and at that place is no distraction fully observing the sounds, smells, sights and other people’s social interactions. Even the different places we see and ethnicity broadens the knowledge of life & its learning. Abraham Maslow said- “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”
Sooner or later, most of the time in your lifespan, you are going to be alone. Fortunately, I love the time to myself as my thoughts are always muddled, but this loneliness on my trips gives me to untangle & focus on correct thinking. This loneliness or your time helps to understand you your pace, rhythm,& preferences. This time is like a gift, and I learned that I did not miss anyone on my solo trips. It aided me to understand myself better, explore my likes, dislikes, strength & weakness. I learnt to appreciate moments over assets, acceptance towards survival with just the bare necessities, the beauty of nature, the silence of the mountains, the sound of the ocean & chirping of a bird. Besides, time travelling alone is the perfect opportunity feast on books, or watch movies, book some adventure activity, hike or trek, tour around the city soak in the charm & enjoy conversation with locals, meditate or eat out at best joints or cafe. It reminded me of another beautiful line from our Bollywood movie- “Waqt Rukta Nahi, beet Jata hai. Aur hum Kharch ho Jate Hai.”
From my small to big solo trips, I learnt to introspect life & love. I realized self-love is the best boast of one’s confidence & self-esteem. When you start indulging yourself, you let loose the doubts, & focus on opportunities. I determined to listen, reflect and articulate my voice. Even travelling solo will help your career, and new experiences help to open multiple doors. I even swept up the positivity around me while navigating unfamiliar places or putting up in a hostel or Dharamshala. Solo travel is that time reflection where confronting truth can be a challenge, but learning to master them is a part of growth. It eventually improves in solitude & makes us a happy person by bringing peace to mind. My trips keep me sane, as I value those moments by myself. It aids me to feel balanced, giving me space to think about the question of what’s important to me and whether I’m on the right path.
Make memories as many as you can, capture them in a photo. Absorb in the flow of your trip, and enjoy every minute of doing nothing, or barely doing anything. In time slow down and savour the quiet and serene moments other time be spontaneous liberating your soul. Live the moment, as other things can wait. After writing, why I preferred solo travelling being a woman, I can only confess I wanted to hold memories. While sitting on my work table or a meeting room, I can relish on them & smile. It can be scary when thinking about a solo trip, but t trust me it’s not. Why wait for someone else, when we can inevitably find our self, be responsible for our action, thereby liberating our mind & soul.
I can sing what Ed Sheeran sang,
“We keep this love in a photograph.
We made these memories for ourselves.
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken.
And time’s forever frozen still
So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans
Holding me closer ’til our eyes meet
You won’t ever be alone, wait for me to come home.“