An Honest Account: My Musings as a Solo Backpacker in India

Ever since I quit my corporate life in 2013, I have only been travelling. My nomadic life has taken me to 20 states and 2 Union terrorities in India, which I solo backpacked to in a short span of 18 months. The irony is I never planned to quit my job. I did it all by chance. It was, as if, something was waiting for me to give up on my mundane life, to experience something more fascinating in the outer world. A chance taken and I am living my dream life.

I was always fascinated to explore the pristine lands of India but something always held me back from doing it solo. Maybe it was the notion with which I grew. I was pursued by the society and my surroundings that travelling in India is unsafe for a woman. But today as I am managing to explore every street of India on my own, and creating a wealth of wonderful memories in the process, I feel proud that I decided to challenge the notion and travel alone.

 Army base camp in Chitkul, Kinnaur, Himachal

Army base camp in Chitkul, Kinnaur, Himachal

As I went places and introduced myself, I expected people to raise their eyebrows and point fingers at me for doing something different. But on the contrary, I found them helpful and appreciative. I also have faced many challenges to keep my passion alive but I never gave up. Honestly I even could not blame them because unfortunately in our society, travelling is only understood and looked upon as only a vacation. It’s only when you travel, especially solo travel that you get to see and experience the humble side of mankind. During my journey as a backpacker in India I have realised that it’s easy to judge and play on categorisation. We must experience before we say.

Invariably, there are only selective destinations in India which top the list of places to travel alone. I am not saying that it’s a bad idea to opt for a convenient place but India is way beyond of what we think it is. I have extensively travelled the Northern, western and southern part of India. I have been to the remote Zanskar Valley in Ladakh and travelled on the roads of Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. All I can say today is Woman can travel alone and when it comes to travel in India, it’s a land of many hidden jewels with beautiful hearts.

With Kung Fu Monks

With Kung Fu Monks

As far as I remember, I always loved travelling but I never thought that it would become my passion one day. It was my trip to Ladakh which changed the things for me. I don’t know what but something stuck my mind that made me realise that the world is a better place and it needs to be explored in the best way. There is beauty, magnificence, splendour and all I want today is- Be a part of it.

I think while we decide to go solo, the biggest challenge or the things which come in our mind is loneliness, security and managing the budgets.  But then, this is why you travel solo. To open yourself to the world, to test your wings and learning to live a new dimension of life with limited means.  It changes your priority and attitude towards life.

Solo Trek to Phuktal Gompa in Zanskar Valley

Solo Trek to Phuktal Gompa in Zanskar Valley

My nomadic life has built me into a strong yet compassionate person by heart. Today, I am grateful for even the smallest thing I have in my life. I have come to realise that there is everything which is possible to achieve in this world. Travel has made me realise that Life is not about living in luxury. Life is about being Happy.

The content or the pictures may not be used without the author’s prior permission. 

 

 

 

This post was published by Swati Jain

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