Mangalore is a magical place. The beach is lonely, and I am alone. No gossips of football, movies, and politics are loitering about my ears. It’s just the sizzling sound of waves that I can hear.
Wait… someone’s talking aloud! It’s my mind. It’s am talking to myself loudly, asking the same question again and again: Is it okay to travel alone? Why are people so reluctant about travelling alone?
I have heard people say things like: I didn’t go anywhere this vacation because I didn’t have anyone to go with.
Really? Is that an excuse for not going out, and staying in your home all the times? Do you also feel traveling alone is boring and weird? If you tend to feel that way, it’s time for you to rework on this notion.
I love to travel with family and friends, but in the recent years I have found myself being addicted to travelling alone! There had been a couple of questions, however, that muddled me before I took ‘solo travel’ as one of my passion.
‘What if I fall sick and nobody is there to take care of me?’
‘What if I am robbed of all my money?’
‘What if I meet an accident, get kidnapped, or get murdered?”
The concerns are genuine. But even when you travel with someone, what’s the guarantee that you’re 100 percent safe? Accidents can befall anytime, and not doing something just because you feel something bad will happen is cowardly. It is just like saying that I don’t drive because vehicles can cause accidents.
With a strong determination, and a strong backup plan, you can really come over all these inhibitions, and take control of your journey. That’s what I did, and I find it very rewarding.
Having travelled a lot, I have had all kinds of experiences. I have realized that all these experiences differ. But there is one thing common: When you travel with someone, you are outside of your head and much in-tuned with people around you. When you travel alone, you tend to be inside your head. You tend to talk a lot to yourself.
I have been to Mysore thrice-once with my friends, once as a part of camera crew to shoot a documentary, and once alone. Though the destination was the same, the experience differed.
My first journey was clandestine getaway-a trip planned by my friends out of the blue.
“Let’s go to Mysore”, my friend and mastermind proposed one day. “Bunking a day of college won’t hurt”.
And we packed for the trip the same day, and left for Mysore early in the morning next day. Not much money we had to expend, so we decided to come back the same day via the jam-packed local passenger train. It was a six hour of tiring return journey without having a place to sit. But the journey was fun: squatting by the door of a moving train, debating all the way about the best beer in the world, about the fastest bullet train, about cannibal tribes of Africa. That was a trip I would seldom forget, a trip that made me experience the true joys being a bohemian.
My second journey was an official one. There were directors, producers, faculties, and students. It was a crowded journey, and we seldom got chance to enjoy the place. For most part of the journey, we were roaming in a claustrophobic vehicle, and much of what we saw was through the camera lens. We were in a rush. The only thing I enjoyed during this journey was the lunch with the producer in Royal club. Few people around us were having shots of Vodka, but we were not allowed to have it. We returned in the same van-our butts glued to seats, backs frozen, and mind bored to death.
Recently, I went to Mysore once again, to attend a club meeting. I was alone this time! It endowed me a different kind of experience-a wonderful one!
I had the complete freedom to choose exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. My time and budget was my own. I had far more flexibility and was open to lots of new, exciting opportunities. I met a large number of solo travelers, one of them turned out to be a blogger, just like me!