How can you travel alone?

I am often asked these questions. “How can you travel alone?” “Won’t it be boring?”

I am also asked, “Shall we go?”.

Once in a while, I prefer to go on what I call I, Me, Myself trips. It gives me a lot of freedom. Freedom to stop, go, eat, sleep, leave whenever and wherever I want. Being an amateur “auto mode” photographer who mindlessly clicks hoping for one good picture, freedom to leave is perhaps I cherish most.

It is definitely not boring. It allows me to experience the world in my own way and make my own interpretations, without anybody else’s immediate interference. It also allows me to make new, although temporary, acquaintances as I chat with strangers such as an auto driver or a security guard. To put it a bit philosophically, it gives me some time for introspection as well.

Another reason I travel alone is that I can start whenever I feel like. I don’t have to wait for others to be free, I don’t have to plan anything. At the end of the day, it is me who want to get out. So, discuss with them. But if we can’t agree on a mutually convenient date and terms, take off on my own. Honestly, no point in delaying or cancelling for their sake. What if I don’t get another chance? In other words, who owns my happiness? Me or them?

Here are some of the things that I did, and I probably could not have done if I was not alone.

  • Long drives on my Honda Dio. Longest in a day being Chitradurga-Vani Vilas Sagar dam-Tumkur, approximately 400 kms.
  • Sleep in bus stands and wait for the dawn for various reasons.
  • Skip food to visit places.
  • Stay back for sunset pics at Vani Vilas Sagar dam and end up staying in a hotel room at Tumkur as it was too late to reach Bangalore.
  • Long walks in Mumbai.
  • Freshen up in a messy dorm at the Vijayawada bus stand to save time.
  • Visit Badami as early as 7 in the morning.
  • Sit for an hour in the Bhootanatha temple complex soaking in the serenity and silence.
  • Revisit Gol Gumbaz at 7 in the morning.
  • Visit Gopals at 6 a.m, and revisit on the same day.
  • Visit Dhanushkodi and skip Rameshwaram temples. In fact, skip many temples on my trips.

Of course, there are downsides to traveling alone. The silliest I have experienced till date is that none of the lodges in Kanyakumari give rooms for a single person. I had to go through a tout to get one. Horanadu temple rooms are also not available for singles. Here, I had to pay Rs.300 at a private lodge just to freshen up.

Having said that, I must add that I enjoy traveling with my friends and family. I have had some good discussions and learned new things during these trips. Most importantly, I believe such trips help in knowing each other better thus strengthening relationships.

Let me end this blog post with a video on this subject.