Are you really sure?
Aren’t you afraid?
Is it safe?
Won’t you be bored? And even..
Are you crazy?
There were a couple of the reactions that I got when I told people that I would be travelling alone for a holiday. All of this coming from people who have never travelled solo.
Less than 5 % of them actually responded positively and said –Go, Enjoy, Treat yourself. Thank you 5 % !
Why is that when women want to travel (read holiday) solo, it is looked upon negatively or treated with sympathy or as desperate and worse, selfish ?
This is my story.
The husband and me were all set for a ten-day dreamy European holiday to Paris, the French Alps, Burgundy Wine region and charming Bruges.
Air Tickets þ
Hotel bookings þ
Food Tours þ
Alas ! Owing to certain unforeseen entrepreneurial business circumstances for the husband, we had to cancel it all. ALL.
Was I upset ? Most definitely, considering I am a bit of an obsessive planner and had been researching for months for the trip. But even more that I wouId not be enjoying a long deserved break after stressful work situations and toddler tantrums.
Next emotion: Denial. I refused to not take a break and refused to accept the fact that I was not going anywhere. I neither wanted to end up working nor spend the break cooped up at home and a staycation did not seem good enough.
Checked with some family and friends for their availability which did not materialize considering our original travel dates were just about a week away.
Due to my desperation, I somehow ended up browsing on websites and blogs on female solo travel. If they can do it, why can’t I? But if I where to go, where could I and that too in such short notice.
The husband suggested I stick to the original Europe plan but that somehow felt like a major challenge to me considering it was an itinerary with 4 destinations spread over 10 days and with a considerable bit of travel.
With the time constraints, it also meant countries where pre-approved visas posed as one of the requirements were out of question.
One thing led to another and finally rounded upon Thailand and particularly, Bangkok as my destinations being one of the few countries where Indian passport holders could obtain visa on arrival.
Here I was once again excited and researching for my spontaneous holiday.
However now came the bigger challenger convincing parents –two sets !
With the husband by my side as a rock, we wore them down and there I was packing my bags for my first solo holiday.
I post the below with the risk of being ridiculed considering I have just done this once but I am definitely vouching for Solo travel even if not always.
Advantages of solo travel:
- Spontaneity and Flexible Plans like for instance I had just finished a day tour in the suburbs that started quite early in the morning and still wanted to go for shopping in the city later. And I did because I chose to !
- You are the boss ! You decide what to do because you like to and want to. I hardly moved from my hotel room the day I landed and just watched one cheesy serial to other in my pyjamas accompanied with endless room service.
- Quality time with yourself be it for reading, writing or even thinking and learning to discover and know one of your best travel partners, you !
- Immense confidence that it brings by travelling to a foreign country where you neither know anyone nor the language yet managing to have pretty much a great time.
- Your holiday plan are at your fingertips. Everything depends on just you and your leave plans. You needn’t wait for availability of family/friends and their schedules.
To anyone out there males/females on the fence about travelling solo? Trust me, the only decision you need to make is to just pack your bags and go !
As warned by one of my friends that solo travel could get addictive. And after my first solo holiday, I can definitely say I am hooked. J