I always knew that I was passionate about traveling, but I’d never thought of solo traveling as an option for me. I didn’t even know it existed back then. Solo traveling happened to me after countless failed travel plans with my friends due to various reasons which are familiar to all of us – finances, leaves, enthusiasm, compromising sleep on weekends, errands, family, etc. Frustrated with all sorts of excuses that I received from them for not traveling, I set out alone and I would confess that it was the best decision of my life. I’ve been traveling solo for 5 years and the kind of person that I’m molded into in these years feels empowering to me.
Breaking traveling myths felt encouraging
Why would anyone travel solo? Isn’t travel meant to be enjoyed with husband/family and friends? How could I live alone in a hotel, when it’s not for work? I was bombarded with these questions for a very long time by my friends, family, and people I met on my travels. I felt a little uncomfortable to answer these questions earlier, but now, after traveling solo for 5 years, I feel great that I’ve broken all these myths when my friends, family, and others look up to me when they think of traveling solo or even in a group.
I learned to trust my instincts
During my backpacking trips, I never book my accommodation or logistics in advance. I only book my flights and land up there, walk around the place, feel the vibes and then decide on accommodation and logistics for my internal travels. I had to learn to understand people and places. I had to constantly listen to the signals from my brains. If my instincts tell me something’s wrong, there are high chances of something being wrong, so I avoid taking the risk. I then started implementing this in my regular life and I feel happier than before.
Traveling solo made me more confident
My initial solo travels were to places which were frequented by tourists and other travelers. Eventually, I started trekking solo in remote regions of the mountains, driving solo in the Himalayas, living with locals in small villages in the Himalayas. Solo traveling was building my confidence one step at a time. I no longer had any apprehensions about adventures I take up on my way.
I learned to be dependent only on myself
When I traveled to remote regions of foreign countries where none of my languages were understood, where I couldn’t even ask for directions, I learned to survive on my own. I learned that I need to be prepared for whatever comes my way and be sharp enough to take calls when required. At the end, it was my journey and I had to sail through it. It felt so liberating when I learned this simple fact of life through my solo travels.
Decision making for everything in my life became easy
We all are taught to consult others (family, friends, professionals) for decision making when we are confused. I used to do that too subconsciously before I learned how important it was for me take my own decisions because nobody would know me better than myself. While traveling solo in the mountains where I remained cut-off from all the networks, I learned how to make my own decisions without any support. I eventually stopped asking for help from others for recommendations or decision making when my travels went wrong.
I discovered myself better
They say that to know any person better, travel with him. That exactly applied to me when I started traveling solo. When I put myself alone on the roads and places without roads, I got to spend enough time with myself. I rediscovered myself on my travels. My own strengths, weaknesses, dreams, things that make me happy, things that I found irrelevant for me but yet I kept running after them, started getting clearer in my head. I could take a stand for myself to commit to my passions for the rest of my life.
Medhavi Davda is an ex-Techie, with 9.5 years of experience with multinationals in Software Development. She’s a high altitude trekker, an advanced adventure scuba diver, a trained dancer, a badminton champion, one of the top travel bloggers in India. She quit her corporate career to follow her dreams of making a living out of her passions and experience life in different places across the globe. She’s living in different parts of Himachal Pradesh since a year.
She shares her travel stories on RavenousLegs.