Six reasons why women need to travel alone and why it's beautiful

It's very important for everyone to travel alone at least once in your life. And here's why it'll be worth the effort:

travel Updated: Apr 07, 2015 17:10 IST
Mamta Banga
Mamta Banga
Hindustan Times
Travel,Travelling alone,Women

Life is all about enjoying the good days and getting through the not-so-good ones. And when things seem to be going downhill, travel! Rather than sitting and brooding, indulge in 'energy travel'. This journey is meant to be undertaken alone -- a journey to regain lost energy, to come back with a peaceful mind.

Travelling alone: Seems too much effort? Think it needs a lot of courage? Questions like, 'Where would I stay? With whom would I talk? What if I need help?', cropping up in your mind? I'll be honest, it seemed to be a daunting task, at first. It required a number of phone calls, a lot of motivation and an overdose of courage to be alone on the road. But I managed to do it, and so can you.

It's very important for everyone to travel alone at least once in your life, more so for women. And here's why it'll be worth the effort:

1 You'll discover a new 'you'
When you’re all alone on the road, trying to figure things out, you’ll be surprised to discover certain qualities about yourself, which you never knew you had. You'll be able to manage all by yourself, from accommodation to local travel to food. You might be scared of taking help from strangers in your own city, but when you are travelling alone, you’ll talk to so many people, be it asking directions or just making small talk. Don't be surprised if a bus conductor or a taxi driver becomes your friends for life. Speaking from experience, this much is plain: You’ll be keen to talk to people, and people would be keen to talk to you. And at times, you’ll get help even before asking. All of this is sure to open your mind and heart to a whole new world out there.

2 You’ll learn to trust others
With so much happening in our country, we think twice before getting out of the house. Especially for women, travelling alone is a no no. But a lot of it is just in our minds. It’s just our cowardly mindset that doesn’t let us trust others. Travelling alone will make you meet good and helpful people at every step.

3 You’ll learn to trust your own instincts
When you travel alone, few things are understood: Your parents or friends won’t be there to advise you. That's when your gut feeling will play a major role. You’ll trust your instincts, make your own choices, and never regret them. We always have an intuition as to what is right and wrong; it’s just that it gets blurred or buried somewhere with too many noises around. Travelling alone will make you listen to your own voice.

4 You’ll get to see a different world altogether
When we are travelling with friends or family, we hardly talk to or notice people around. But when you are travelling alone, you’ll not just meet people like you, who are travelling alone, but even locals will help you learn a lot. People living in altogether different conditions with smiles on their faces might just give you the inner peace that you have been craving for.

My recent trip to Bir in Himachal Pradesh was all about the people I met. Bir is a noted centre for ecotourism, spiritual studies and meditation. And about 40 minutes from Bir is Billing (valley) - the highest point for paragliding in India and the second highest in Asia.

The kind of people I met there has changed my perspective about life. Some of them have left everything behind - cars, business, family -- and are now on the spiritual path. They don’t know the end of the road, but were sure that it would turn out to be the journey of a lifetime.

When I asked them, “don’t you miss your people, ever?” They just smiled and said, “Never.” They taught me how important it is to spend time with yourself, to sit quietly in a room and just think and do nothing.

And then there was this woman with a life-threatening disease, but who fought and came out as a stronger individual. And there’s still so much she wants to do - right from paragliding to staying in a nunnery.

It’s just amazing how you meet strangers on the road and can share your life so easily with them. There's so much to know, so much to learn.

5 You’ll be re-energised
Travelling gives a high of a different sort. I received so much positive energy during my Bir trip that I was scared of returning. I feared losing it the moment I step in the city. Travelling alone will also boost your self esteem by a zillion times. You'll feel much more confident while taking all the big and small decisions.

6 You’ll never forget the experience
It might turn out to be a bad idea for you. You might get bored and decide never to go alone again. And for those of you who dread your mother’s morning wake up calls, or your dad’s endless where, when and how queries, you may end up actually missing those things while you are on a voyage. Thus, you may just start valuing your family more. But, you'll never forget the experience; it isn't a bad deal after all.

Every day we are just busy travelling to-and-fro from office to home, we hardly get time to think about our own selves. There’s so much to do, office work, paying bills, spending time with family, friends, colleagues, it just becomes impossible to spend some time with your own self. Taking a few days off from the hectic schedule and spending time alone will help fill the vacuum. Just take the plunge, happy journey!

First Published: Apr 02, 2015 16:06 IST