I’m doing the craziest thing I’ve ever done.
In one month, I fly to India. For a month. And I’m going alone.
I’ve always loved travelling solo. I like the freedom to do what I want, when I want: to sleep in when I need it, to wake up early and take the day by storm, and (more often than not) to travel slowly, to wander, to take what comes. But in India, I wish I had someone by my side.
Fear is natural for females to feel when we’re in unknown circumstances. I learned so much during my first trip abroad at 18 years old in Australia. For one, I don’t get drunk when I travel, unless I’m at a safe hostel, where I feel comfortable, with people I trust. I know that I’m the only one looking out for me, and if I get myself in a sketchy situation, I can’t just call someone to come pick me up. I’m out of my element and in a new culture. I try to keep a clear, sober, rational mind.
I avoid travelling at dark. In fact, I avoid going out after the sun has set at all. I’d rather get a good sleep and wake up refreshed and eager to explore. In India, as soon as the sky turns purple, I’m locking the door to my guest room. I’ll bring lots of good books and take the day by storm.
I know that India will be a completely different experience to the other places I’ve travelled alone (namely Europe, Australia, and New Zealand); but the truth is, young females should take precaution everywhere they go. I have met countless strangers willing to help me, and other figures I’d rather avoid. The more you travel, the better you get at developing your intuition and deciding who to trust. In my experience, there are assholes and good people in every country.
So, as I’m preparing for my rapidly approaching trip to India, I feel this weird mix of confidence and fear. Every trip is a learning experience. I’ve got a tentative plan, but I usually deviate from those. The only thing I’ve booked is my round-trip flights.
I know I’m going to spend my first week involved in my friend’s traditional wedding. Then, it’s on to Goa. I hope to find a travel buddy and continue to MySore, Hampi, up to Agra, over to Bundi, and finally back to Mumbai. I’ll be documenting it all on my new tumblr, onemonthinindia.tumblr.com
I’m bringing covering clothing and wearing a wedding ring. I’m ready to dive into Indian culture (and cuisine!) but I won’t forget to respect it. Any country that lets you slip through their borders is also taking a risk on you—and this trip is one risk I won’t take for granted.