|Romancing the Clouds in Korigad Fort.|
Every solo traveller, worth his or her salt, especially a female, has a post on her blog about why they travel solo. My first solo trip was to Jammu in 2011. My husband was to go on a 10 day official trip abroad. Being a free lancer, I didn't have any issues about leaves and such. Accompanying him wasn't possible on that trip. So, I called a friend working in the Army, who was posted in Jammu and off I went. There was a lot of resistance from my parents who said that a Jammu was a terrorist area and it wouldn't be safe to go. When I think of it, I still laugh. But I’ll reserve that story for another post. Let me tell you very candidly what my reasons for travelling solo are.
|Profusion of Beauty.|
- My husband has a regular job so cannot take long leaves. And I’m a believer in slow travel. My travel is not about ticking things off on a check-list of must-do’s in any place. It’s more about soaking up the place, being with Nature, enjoying the food and being touched by the hospitality of the people. And this cannot be done over weekend trip you know or even over 3-4 days. That’s why all my trips have been for a minimum of 10 days. But after returning I always feel I could have extended that.
- Now, I may sound like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. But, my inner world itself is so rich and colourful that I don’t crave company. When I’m travelling my sense perceptions are heightened and every leaf, flower, ray of light, ant everything else is alive for me. It’s like, I enter a world I’ve created where everything talks and interacts. The beauty of everything is amplified manifold and I just want to lose myself in its beauty without any interference. Need I say more, if I need human company?
|Soaking up the sunset at Udaipur.|
- I never get bored alone, so that works in my favour. If I may add one more seemingly audacious line, I like my own company the best and never tire of it!! I know I sound like a snob, but that’s true. Even in my school days, after returning from school, I used to spend long hours, alone at home till my Mother returned from work, and those memories are the best when I wrote poems, let my imagination run amok and felt truly happy.
- Before I started solo travel, I had travelled in groups. I realized that in groups, everybody is talking or busy taking photos and after returning I realized I hardly experienced the place itself fully. The ‘being in the moment’ and soaking it up was disturbed by distractions by the other group members.
- If you observe some huge groups that travel, you will notice the amount of noise they make without revering the surroundings. It’s not their fault really. Being in a group makes one give in to that ‘mob psychology’. I've been to monasteries and forests and I absolutely detest big groups making noise, talking loudly, hooting, singing (cheap) Bollywood songs, etc and desecrating the place. So I like to travel solo to keep away from these as much as possible (unless I'm going with an environmentally conscious group of people, like I did for Kaas and Bhimashankar).
- When I travel solo, I have the liberty of going at my own pace, without having to worry about anything else.
- I'm usually the quietest when commuting from one place to another. That is the time to observe the world as it passes by while being seated in a train/plane/vehicle. I detest small talk and it drains my energy. So travelling solo gives me that time and space to be myself and be charged by the visual inputs.
- Reading all this may make you think of me as a people hater. But in my defense, let me quote Lord Byron:
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.”