Solo Backpacker Meghal Bhatt talks about her experience as a Solo Backpacker and why travelling alone can be a very liberating experience.
Solo Travel is when you make a conscious decision of venturing out alone. Simple enough, right?
You navigate the streets alone, eat in solitude, and walk alone. And, gradually, realization sets in, how beautiful it can be to be alone. You realize being alone is sufficient. Solo Travel is empowering.
I have come across this question very often – Isn’t solo travelling weird/lonely/boring?
When you are alone, you get an outright opportunity to Trust yourself and become Self-reliant. Because in the overwhelming moments of awe and scary times, there was no one to support you. You were on your own. Instead of losing mind, you start taking hold of the shit, and try to grasp the situation with the sane mind.
If you can solo navigate different roads, without any internet connection in a different continent, different country, and a totally other different city, automatically, I bet your Confidence will become 25x. If you could successfully handle talking to people who do not speak your language, order food in a language which you barely know, because you need to have your basic needs met, then possibly, you can handle many other daunting tasks.
You get to make new friends while you are on your journey. I never knew talking to people/ strangers was so easy.
You would experience how kind strangers can be, and it is not always a big, scary world.
People are genuinely very nice, and you can always ask for their help. You will be amazed to know how much people go out of their way to help you.
I have had hosts who gave up their bed, left their rooms, dropped me to some totally other new town, waited with me till I boarded my train, showed me around their city till 2 am, took off time and went out to dine with me, cooked dinner for me, with me, introduced me to their friends, gave me a cardigan when I was cold, helped me by dropping me to my hostel room when they saw I was struggling with streets/ addresses and, lastly, shared a laughter. Without them, the journey would’ve been so uneventful. They were the reason I could always look back and realize how imperative is to show Kindness.
How important and potentially powerful it is offer to one kind word and the amount of difference it makes.
I am not denying there could be times where you would see a family, where all of them are talking, laughing, and it may make your heart ache, making you think about your family back at home. Or, when you see a couple holding hands, standing closely, while you are all alone and cold, not sure where to go ahead, it may hit you that it could be comforting to have a company. However, I assure you, this phase will last for a very, very short time, and in comparison to the exposure+ thrill + adrenaline + serotonin (happy hormones) you would get by travelling alone.
Enjoy the freedom, the liberation, and the spontaneity. While travelling solo, we are not accountable to opinions, or act in accordance, with respect to other people’s expectations. For once, you can just Be yourself. You leave your home to set out for Prague, but end up in Feldberg, in Black Forest in South Germany.
You get to decide what you want to think, you get to Introspect the past and the present respectively. Funny thing about introspection is- many of us think, it is all about thinking deeply.
But it is not.
When alone, your eye perceives so many images which connects your thinking and takes it to totally different level. Makes you wonder how fleeting and unimportant some issues are, ones which you have fretted in the past, or the ones you think are taken to be serious.
You don’t just meander the roads; it is your mind meandering along with you.
Do you know how it feels like to see so many different faces, observe their actions, and their responses to different visual stimuli?
You intently pay attention to their laughter, and sometimes, in that moment of solitude, you see a couple fighting and one of them walking out angrily, with tears. You see happy people, and you notice sad people.
Observation is a badass fun activity.
If you are already bored and tired of reading, you may stop. Or, be patient, and quickly go through the points below.
- Travel solo would teach you to be Bold, going up to a stranger, asking them in mumbling German, exchanging warm greetings, talking to them about their culture. To break the hard shells around and freely float, without any agenda, or concept of time.
- Ordering food in a language you barely speak will make you susceptible to changes and place you in a situation where you will acquit yourself to have your basic needs met which incontrovertibly, make you Proactive.
- You will handle awkward situations, and deal with a lot of different kinds of people, make many new friends from different countries and learn to communicate with people using Non-verbal communication. Interaction with different people will broaden your understanding of diverse cultures.
- It will help you build Resilience– an ability to bounce back. Because while travelling alone, being alone, you know you can depend on yourself, and you have realized that most of the issues/challenges we come across, are infinitesimally small.
- You would realize how at times we are so caught up that we forget to take pleasure in small things. Now you must be thinking the statement ‘ Take joy in small things’ is such a cliché. Two things- Firstly, it may be a cliché; however, it doesn’t undermine its credibility as a fact. Secondly, it is often underrated.
- It will give new insights on how to Network better; you get to have friends from so many places present in the atlas.
- You will learn Soft skills, the ability to work well with others and navigate different situations which will imbue you with a sense of independence and teach you that, behind the façade of race, ethnicity and religion, we are all same. We are essentially humans.
Your solo experiences will ingrain in you the confidence that you can venture anywhere in the world, where you wouldn’t know a soul and still would make it in the end. What else do you need? 🙂
What are your insights about solo travelling? How has solo travelling changed you?
About the author:
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About Le Pension Backpackers Hostel, Jaipur
Le Pension is India’s only chain of backpackers Hostels/guest houses that aims to provide backpackers with a place which they can call their second home. Our endeavour is to imbibe a homely feeling, just what you need to get rid of the home sickness ;). Le Pension provides a clean, comfortable, safe and fun stay to solo travellers, backpackers and budget tourists looking for an ideal budget stay in Jaipur. Along with a comfortable stay in Jaipur you also get the opportunity to meet new people and learn about new cultures, making the most out of your time in Jaipur.
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