Today, I am glad to have Shalini Baiswala aka Shalzmojo on my blog. I have always been very fascinated by her travel stories and her photography skills. So when she popped up the idea of a guest post series, I instantly knew what was it that I wanted her to talk about. So here she is sharing her views on why women should travel alone, atleast once in life.
Hey Shalz! Over to you…
Howdy folks! I am so very happy to be on Anypriya’s blog and she has asked me to talk about how important is it for a woman to have travelled solo once in her life. Being a travel blogger, my travel style is a lot different than expected. I generally ditch itineraries and stick to a general plan which can differ day to day. My key thing is to enjoy the journey.
Surprisingly, I did a solo trip at the age of 42. (Well I did travel solo before that but I would meet up with friends and family at those destinations and so it couldn’t be purely classified into a solo trip.)
It was a shock for me too, my dear readers. Here I thought I was such a bond kind of traveller 😉
I planned a trip around my 42nd birthday to Fort Kochi Kerala where the Kochi Art Biennale was in progress. This is a bi-annual art fair where artists from world over participate. Entire city gets converted into art spaces – art galleries, convention centres, cafes, book stores, gardens, and architectural monuments – all of them are used as venues.
I knew this was something I would enjoy a lot but couldn’t seem to find any family / friends interested in this. So that’s how it got deemed as a solo trip. And I am so so glad that I hopped onto it single for it let me find out some amazing things about me.
So let me share my 5 reasons why every woman should contemplate a solo trip once in their lifetime.
Learning To Be Organised
In a solo trip, one has to be able to figure out all the knick knacks of their travel by themself. Well there is the internet/ travel agents / etc but one has to decide all by oneself. So it builds decision making and one learns to economize on time, money and efforts. Be it the decision to pack light or to do connecting flights or multi transport system, one learns to settle on choices which suits them the best.
I booked leisurely flights for myself so that I could get up comfortably and then travel in an off peak time to the airport.
Unlike group trips, in a solo trip you get to be totally and unconventionally selfish. Its upto you what you want to do, see, eat and when you want to sleep/get up or simply laze all day. You are at your own disposal and there is no one to nag you or you aren’t pandering to someone’s whims. It means you get to do the things you always wanted to do but never did.
For me this is the best reason to plan a solo trip. Exploring an art festival on my own let me do things at my pace and see what I wanted to see. My wishes were my priority and that was such a liberating experience.
Solo traveling does come with its bouts of loneliness but then there are always people around you who will be friendly. You might need to let your guard down a bit and mingle with fellow travellers / diners and you will find friends for the entire trip. Often these friendships last a lifetime too. One learns to let go of being shy and reticent. Seeing others helping you out, you also start to do the same to other travellers.
I met a group of people who were all part of the archaeology department in Fort Kochi and were out for a cultural trip with their families. Seeing that I was a non-Malayalam and all alone, they took me under their wing. I was guided into the group lunch which was 100 % local cuisine and it was such a pleasure to dine so.
When you are out on your own, you get to learn troubleshooting in a huge way. Missed a flight – you need to figure out how to continue onto your journey. It’s actually scary at first but then once you realise help is not coming, you learn to deal with it. And at the end of it, you are just fine. But it lets you know how capable you can be on your own. It allows you to get out of your comfort zone. That in itself is so liberating and empowering.
Doing Unexpected Things
Being on a solo trip, one gives into childish whims and pleasures as there is no on to judge or kick a fuss about it. It might be participating in a workshop to learn local cuisine or art.
In my case it was hiring a cycle to ride the length and breadth of the art festival as I got sick of hiring autos. I loved riding my cycle, ringing the bell even as the cuckoos in the mango trees cooed out to me. Trust me, I hadn’t ridden a cycle in ages and was afraid of making a fool of myself. But once I got over the initial hesitation, there was no stopping me.
So there you go! These are reasons why I would indulge in more Solo travels and there is one coming up very shortly on the horizon. I would love to hear your views about solo traveling. Let me leave you with one of my posts from the Kerala solo trip
An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.
This post is part of the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo