3 Reasons Why I Want to Travel Solo

I have been fantasizing travelling alone somewhere far away from home. While watched ‘Queen’ and reveling in Kangana Ranaut’s brilliant acting I wished so hard that I could do what she did- go alone on a vacation and spend all the time exploring new bylanes, eating new cuisines, making new friends, etc. While listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s beautiful storyteller-voice in the audiobook ‘Eat Pray Love’ I had myself wishing the same, once again. She spent a year in three different countries- Italy, India and Indonesia- after the eventual end of her dysfunctional marriage; four months in each place, alone, trying to discover herself through the experience and heal from the depression that she suffered for years.

It is when you get lost that you find yourself. Losing oneself is the only way to discover one’s real self back. And travel gives that spiritual and philosophical opportunity to spend time in quiet contemplation. Amidst chaos is calm. Friedrich Nietzsche had said; "You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star." When your mind is in chaos and you have questions raging inside about the path you are following, about your identity, the cause of living on; remember there inside your core is calm and it holds all the answers- just like the place at the center of a storm is always calm. Traveling solo helps you to reach out to this inner core. So this is the first reason I want to travel solo- to reach my inner core.

Second reason- I am terrified of travelling solo. Yes, you read that right. I am so damn terrified to even take a public transport to a nearby place within the city. And it shows in my face. I look so lost and afraid and panicky. And when I am so, my sense of direction, roads, and talent of reading maps vanishes into thin air. I don’t know the art of putting up a straight and unbothered face even when you are boiling and bursting inside. When I am nervous, I look nervous; when I am sad, I look sad; when I am happy, it is clearly visible in my eyes; and when I am devastated, I look torn into pieces. That’s a big negative point. It puts you at a great disadvantage. Coming back from awry descriptions, I am not much of a risk taker. I know I just can’t pack my bags, stash some cash and some map apps, and go about solo. That’s the exact reason I want to travel solo.

My top wishes are my greatest fears. What I desire the most is what I fear the most. Travelling solo is one of them. I want to overcome my fears. I want to rise above them. I so much wish to have someone to teach me how to do it and guide me through the process. I wish I had a guru or a mentor under whose influential tutelage I could do this. I wish. I pray. I hope.

Now, the third reason- I need to learn to trust more, open up more, and make new friends. I am an embarrassing failure at striking a casual conversation with anyone I don’t know well. I fail at creating a good rapport with most of my new colleagues. I guess I retreat to my shell whenever I don’t find the atmosphere conducive to my senses. I am a failure at initiating friendships and reaching out, and I am not at all proud of that. I don’t know the right reason, but I am miserable at making new friends. I always wish to meet new people and make acquaintances, from whom I can learn new things, know new perspectives to things, share knowledge, have long fruitful discussions about numerous things. Travelling solo, when you have no known person to depend on, but another traveler creates situations and makes way to new friendships. I wish.

PS: Maybe I should start by taking long walks in my neighborhood, and city, alone.


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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