Goa is popularly known as the party capital of India. The breezy beach parties, intoxicating Feni, and delicious seafood beckon tourists from across the world. While beaches, parties, and booze always make it to your to-do list in Goa, let’s remind you that the smallest state of India is much more than this. From tropical spice plantation treks and guitar-making workshops to fascinating museum visits, here are the offbeat things to do in Goa that must make it to your wish list the next time you’re in town for some fun.
Go Dolphin Spotting At The Beache
Dotted with beaches, you’re probably familiar with Goa’s water sports scene. But what you may not know about is dolphin spotting. Sit in a small boat and allow the boatman to take you right into the middle of the sea to witness the graceful creatures jumping. You can ask the experts or local fishermen to take you on a boat to spot dolphins.
Hot Air Ballooning Above The Sea
Have you ever gone hot-air ballooning? Or do you want to recreate your hot-air balloon ride memories? Well, you can definitely do this in Goa. Hot air ballooning is without a doubt one of the best offbeat activities in this beach resort. Head to Chandor in South Goa, board a hot air balloon with your loved ones, and float through the sky while admiring the gushing sea below. Propose to your loved one, socially distance yourself, or soak in the beauty of Goa from 900 feet above.
A water sport activity in Goa and other parts of the world wherein you get a chance to fly through the waves of the sea with the help of flying boards that are connected to a jet ski. Flyboarding is carried out with the help of two types of equipment: the fly-board and the personal watercraft.
Live-Bait Fishing in Goa
Live-bait fishing is a popular recreational activity in Goa that not many are aware of. Frequently caught fish include a variety of red snapper, grouper, cobia, GT’s, barramundi, threadfin salmon, barracuda, sailfish, king mackerel, wahoo, dorado (dolphin fish), yellow fin tuna, bonito, perch, reef cod, croaker, and trevally, to name a few.
Boat Tour in Goa
Enjoy a beautiful scenic boat tour while you are in Goa. The beautiful destination is popularly known for its beaches, ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to those in laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda. However, while Goa is famously known for its party places, the other side of the state consists of breath-taking views and gorgeous sunsets.
Kayaking in Goa
Kayaking is one type of recreational diving. In kayaking, two people sit side by side, with their legs in front. Kayaking is a popular leisure activity in Goa’s backwaters. In kayaking, you can view beautiful birds, and it is a great experience to find yourself between the lotuses. Do try this activity once when you visit Goa.
Traveling with your pet can be a fun and exciting experience, but it’s important to be prepared and know the regulations and requirements before embarking on your journey. Here are a few things you need to know before travelling with your pet:
Check The Regulations
Different countries and airlines have different regulations regarding pets, so make sure to check the rules and requirements of your destination before booking your travel. Some countries may require quarantine for your pet upon arrival, while others may have restrictions on certain breeds of animals.
Your pet will need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations and have a health certificate from a veterinarian. Make sure to check the health requirements of your destination and plan accordingly.
If you’re travelling by air, make sure to check the airline’s policies regarding pets and book a spot for your pet well in advance. If you’re travelling by car, make sure your pet is secure in a crate or harness during the journey.
Make sure to research pet-friendly accommodations in advance and book a room that will accommodate both you and your pet.
Make sure to pack your pet’s essentials, such as food, water, bowls, and any medications they may need. Also, bring a leash, a harness, and a favourite toy to keep your pet comfortable and entertained during the trip.
Be Prepared For Emergencies
Make sure you have your pet’s medical records and contact information for local veterinarians at your destination, in case of an emergency.
Traveling with your pet can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to be prepared and know the regulations and requirements before you embark on your journey. Planning ahead and being prepared can help ensure a safe and comfortable trip for both you and your furry companion.
First solo trip? Need a break from your hectic schedule and time to unwind in nature? Looking for an adventurous trip? a romantic trip for yourself? One of the most dreamy destinations to visit in India, Meghalaya has everything under the sun, and we are not kidding. You can visit gorgeous waterfalls, beautiful lakes, hills, valleys, and root bridges and learn some fascinating history. If you are the adventurous type, you can indulge in tonnes of activities like zip lining, trekking, hiking, kayaking, and more.
Let’s go back to the basics. Did you know Meghalaya literally translates into “living amongst the clouds”? The city has amazing high waterfalls and thick rainforests, which receive 11777 mm of rainfall each year, making it one of the rainiest places on earth. One of the top places to visit in Meghalaya is Shillong, which is also called “Scotland of the East.” The scenic beauty of Meghalaya cannot be described in words but must be experienced.
You cannot visit Meghalaya and not see the most gorgeous waterfalls in the city. Visit Elephant Falls, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Shillong and has three beautiful cascades. Another must-see place in Meghalaya is the Seven Sister Falls, where you can witness the beautiful flow of the brooks surrounded by lush green forests.
One of the top places to visit in Meghalaya is its iconic root bridges, which are believed to have been built by the Khasi tribes that once lived in the eastern parts of Meghalaya. You can witness over 100 living root bridges that are spread across different parts of the city. One of the most popular root bridges is the double-decker root bridge in Cherrapunji, which is also recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you love adventurous activities, go on a trek to these marvellous living root bridges, and don’t forget to take a selfie.
Now, who doesn’t love the sight of the beautiful, crystal-clear river? One of the top attractions in Meghalaya is Dawki, one of the most underrated and exquisite natural beauties in India. Our absolutely amazing local expert will take you on a boat ride where you can observe everything beneath the surface and try to find some marine life. You can also take a dip in these gorgeous waters and swim around.
Visit the cleanest village in Asia
Also known as “God’s own garden,” you cannot forget to visit Mawlinnong on your trip to the spectacular state of Meghalaya. Did you know that, apart from being the cleanest village in Asia, Mawlinnong has also achieved a 100% literacy rate? This picturesque city has it all, from living root bridges to beautiful waterfalls, iconic churches, and lush green jungles that have amazing spots for trekking, making it one of the best places to visit in Meghalaya. You have to try their mouth-watering dishes. Made from organically grown vegetables and meat, which comes from in-house-bred animals, Mawlinnong has some amazing dishes, such as Jadoh and Tungrymbai, which are must-tries.
Meet the Locals
One of the best ways to explore the city is with the locals, who are aware of the city, and you can have an amazing cultural experience. Wondering where you can find a local who will help you explore the city?
Lucky for you, we have an amazing local expert in Meghalaya who will take you around and help you learn the fascinating history of the place. Stay at the homestays, which are owned by local families, and try some delicious, mouth-watering food.
So, why wait to go on this amazing journey? Click here to learn more about our exciting trip to Meghalaya.
The Travel Industry has been constantly evolving. The kinds of vacations that are desired by tourists, the expectations of Travelers and the quality of travel are all ever-changing.
Experiential Travel, or Experience based Travel, is the new trend in the market. Experiential travel aims to make travelers’ trips more meaningful, immersive, and memorable. Through experiential travel, they can do activities that are specific to a region, interact with the local people, and learn about the history of a destination.
We’ve listed out 5 reasons why Experiential Travel has taken the lead over Destination-based Travel:
Local Immersion Traditional travel packages focus on destinations alone. Tourists are shown around the popular destinations in jam-packed buses without being able to actually understand the significance of the culture or the lives of the people living there. On the other hand, experiential travel makes sure that an individual gets to spend quality time at the destinations they’re visiting. They get to be a part of activities that are native to that region, interact with locals, and also understand the history and culture.
Best of Time and Money Vacation is a time for people to enjoy themselves and relax. Not being able to get the most out of a long-awaited vacation by visiting the same old places all over again or going on a hard-pressed journey in the hope of visiting several locations can usually prove to be disappointing and tiring. With experiential travel, one can make the most of their time, money, and place all at once. Along with the destinations, the travel experience is enhanced by the varied local experiences like surfing, skiing, sky diving, village immersion, and homestay, among many others.
Healthy Holiday Many travel packages now offer activities that are better suited to the needs of a solo traveller than boring and inflexible packages. Experiential travel allows a person to choose the activities they would like to take part in on their trips. This includes fitness-oriented activities like Beach Yoga, Cycling in the forests, Horse Riding and Workshops on Healthy Cooking. This way, one can make sure to stay healthy even on holidays!
Pick up a New Skill Destination-based travel experiences focus on passive enjoyment during vacations. People enjoy sight-seeing, shopping, clicking pictures, and watching someone perform a local art. Experiential travel elevates travel to a whole new level by allowing travellers to actively participate in a variety of experiences while on vacation. This could be Coffee Painting, Wine Tasting, Hiking or even Horse Riding! Some of these activities end up becoming the new-found interests and hobbies of the travellers that take part in them. Learning a new skill while having fun on their vacation helps them grow as individuals.
Meaningful and Memorable Experiences Traditional holiday packages show tourists the kind of life that is lived in a place. Experiential travel lets the tourists live that life themselves. Taking part in local experiences, interacting with the natives, learning about the culture, and understanding the significance of their history add deeply to their holiday experiences, making them more meaningful and memorable.
We at WanderingJane aim to amplify your life as a Solo Women Traveler by curating activity-based Travel Experiences. Handpicking our Local Destination Experts, we are on a journey to create a Safe and innovative travel ecosystem for women that enhances their travel experience and even motivates them to look at travelling as a profession. Plan your Solo Travel with WanderingJane today!
Don’t we all love the winter season? A perfect hot cup of coffee by the fire or having some warm baked muffins while snuggling into your blanket, sounds like a perfect date with self.
While this is applicable for one category of people, here are we, the latter, who love to explore the beauty of Winters! From trekking in the snow of Kullu Manali to enjoying hot kachoris in the streets of Rajasthan, winter is an absolute paradise for wanderlusts.
As “Winter is coming” in India, here are a few shortlisted travel destinations for winter travelling, so read on and get ready to back your warmest sweaters!
In frame : Hidimba Devi Temple, Manali
Best time to Visit : October to February
Places to visit : Rohtang Pass, Mall road, Solang Valley, Jogini Waterfalls, Van Vihar, Hidimba Devi Temple, etc.
We’ve all added Manali to our bucket lists after watching Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, haven’t we?
Mesmerizing views across this hill station are sure to make you never want to return back home. Numerous trekking options in and around Manali, river rafting in river Beas, paragliding over the snow capped hills, resting your eyes on the beauty of the Rohtang pass, you sure don’t want to miss this one, this winter. Don’t forget the small eateries which provide free wi-fi as well as a great ambience to give you the best relaxing vibes you’ll ever need.
In frame : Calangute Beach, Goa
Best time to visit : Mid November – Mid February ( winter season )
Places to visit : Tito’s Street, Calangute Beach, Baga beach, Dudhsagar falls, Casino Cruise, The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Fort Aguada, etc.
There’s no “best” time to visit the party capital of India, GOA, but for the winter lovers, it’s time to start packing by November! What’s more serene than laying on the cool beach sand with a fantastic vibe of the city that never stops partying? Want a relaxing trip? Goa! Want an adventurous trip? Goa! Experience the beauty of coastal India in winters as you visit old forts, churches and monuments by sunrise, and take a stroll at the beaches with water splashing at your feet by sunset. Hippie shopping, going high yet carefree, jet skiing, many bucket List items are gonna get ticked here, this winter!
In frame : Udaipur City Palace
Best time to visit : September – March ( Peak winter : November – February )
Places to visit : Lake Pichola, City Palace, Sajjangarh Palace, Eklingji Temple, Haldighati, Jag Mandir Palace, Saheliyon-ki-Bari, Shilpgram, Ambrai Ghat, etc.
Udaipur is a beautiful city in Rajasthan and is great to experience royalty, luxury and novel comfort on a budget! Beautiful architecture and lightings, this city is one of a kind. For all those who love heritage sites, this city will be a treat to the eyes. Don’t forget to have hot kachoris as your body soaks in the cold weather. Shop traditional Rajasthani items at Bada Bazaar and have a relaxing sunset view by the Fateh Sagar Lake. Pack your fanciest yet warmest clothes to visit Udaipur, this winter!
In frame : Alpather Lake
Best time to visit : October to February ( for winter & snow lovers )
March to June ( for a greener sight )
Places to visit/ things to do : Gulmarg Gondola, Alpather Lake, Ningle Nallah, children’s park, Strawberry valley, Seven springs, etc.
Heaven on earth, Kashmir is a must visit for every Indian. Experience the second longest and second-highest cable car in the world at the Gulmarg Gondola and don’t forget to trek across the scenic Alpather Lake. Skiing in the valleys of Gulmarg has been an ever loved activity for tourists and can never get boring for anyone! Although the peak season is from March to June when the weather is pleasant, it is an adventure to visit this place during the winters after the snowfall season in January/ February, to see thick layers of snow sheets everywhere. Get ready to have the best snow fight fun in Gulmarg, this winter!
In frame : Kodaikanal Pine Forest
Best time to visit : Throughout the year! ( Peak winter : November – February )
Places to visit : Bryant Park, Coaker’s walk, Kodaikanal Lake, Silver Cascade Falls, Pine Forest, etc.
Kodaikanal, known as the princess of hill stations is a winsome treat to the eyes. One of the most beautiful hill stations of South India, this one’s a scenic trip and you’re sure to get loads of amazing pictures captured, because literally, this has been the shooting spot for numerous bollywood films!
Cycle around the Kodaikanal Lake ( you get cycles for rent right there ) and visit the Pine Forest for an enchanting view of the trees. The cool breeze and the aroma of the pine trees makes it an exquisite experience. Relaxing, beautiful and wholesome, this one’s a must this winter!
In frame : Auli Artificial Lake
Best time to visit : December to February
Places to visit : Auli ropeway, Auli Artificial Lake, Gorson Bugyal, Chattrakund, Kwani Bugyal, Joshimath, Chenab Lake, Nanda Devi peak, etc.
India’s premier Ski resort destination is Auli, a small yet picture perfect town. A beautiful winter getaway, this place is a must visit for all the winter lovers during December as this place receives heavy snowfall, which is very hard to find in India. The slopes here that are as high as 9000 feet above sea level offer stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks; like that of Nanda Devi, Kamet, Dunagiri and Mana Parvat. There are a number of attractions here at the hill station. The most famous one amongst tourists is the ropeway. Don’t forget to trek your way across the magnificent lakes, to the scenic Bugyals, this winter!
In frame : Thiruvalluvar Statue
Best time to visit : October – March ( mild winters )
Places to visit : Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Our Lady of Ransom Church, Kanyakumari Beach, Mathoor Aqueduct, Triveni Sangam, Padmanabhapuram Palace, etc.
The southern tip of India, Kanyakumari, is the house to the Triveni Sangam, where the waters of the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal & Arabian Sea confluence. Miraculously, here you can see that the water of three seas does not mix, you can distinguish between the turquoise blue, deep blue, and sea green waters of the three seas, though the colors keep changing with the season and the day’s weather. Isn’t that so interesting and make you want to visit it even more?
The beautiful architecture of the temples, the scenic sunsets at the beaches, gives Kanyakumari a beautiful mix of spiritual as well as adventurous trips and cannot be missed this winter!
In frame : Rann of Katch
Best time to visit : October – March
Places to visit : Rann of Katch, Dholavira, Gandhidham, Mandvi, Bhuj
One of the most out of the box experiences is visiting the salt marshes of Kutch, aka, the great Rann of Kutch. Do not miss the kutch festivals where hundreds of local artisans bring out the best culture of Gujarat and make it an exquisite experience for shopping, fun and memories! Winters make it very comfortable to enjoy and have a complete soaking experience of traditional Gujarati culture and food here. Empty your tummies, pack on the best traditional outfits, to visit the beautiful Kutch this winter!
Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, is a major Hindu festival that marks the end of Navratri.This festive week is celebrated in various forms, with varied names, across the country! Each celebration has its own unique beautiful aspect and is sure to make every curious traveller fall in love with the glorious cultures of India! Here are a few remarkable ways for every traveller to explore the Dussehra week, this year!
Mysore Dasara festival:
In Karnataka, Dasara is observed as the State festival – Nadahabba, because the celebration of the festival is steered by the Royal Family of Mysore. During Dasara, the entire City is gaily decorated and illuminated. The Palace and other important buildings are illuminated. Cultural programmes by famous artists are arranged in the Palace along with Sports, Wrestling, Poet’s meet, Food Festival, Film Festival witnessed by a large number of people. The Jambu Savari or the Elephant procession is one of the most prominent events of this festival. During this procession, 12 trained elephants adorned with colourful attire are taken around the streets. Performances like traditional dances, musicals, and displays of swordsmanship can be witnessed throughout the procession – indeed a sight to behold. As it travels through the city streets, it spreads zeal and joy throughout the city.
2. Durga puja in Kolkata:
Durga Puja in Kolkata is the grandest of all festivals celebrated in the capital city in honour of Goddess Durga during the period of Navaratri. While the festival of Durga Pujo is without a doubt celebrated across the world, in Kolkata, the vigour with which it is celebrated is second to none.This grand social event of Durga Puja showcases the beautiful culture of the Bengalis in India. It is celebrated for 10 days, starting from the sixth day until the ninth day, the Pandals with grand idols of Goddess Durga are open for visitors. The tenth day, also known as Dashami marks the Visarjan (immersion in water) of the idol with grand celebrations and processions. Women, especially married women initiate the procession by first applying red sindoor or vermillion powder on the Goddess and then to each other. Food is a major feature of the Kolkata Durga Puja festival and Kolkata is reputed to be a foodie’s paradise. Kolkata Durga Puja special themed Bhog meals that have a little of everything.
3. Kulasekarapattinam dasara in Tamil nadu:
Thisis a different way of celebrating Dussehra in Tamil Nadu state of India. The festival is celebrated for 10 days around the Mutharamman Temple, which is a hotspot of music, dance and drama and showcases an amazing range of vibrant costumes. An exclusive aspect of this festival is a trance dance in which people swing in unique costumes on the lively beats of thara thappattam.
This gives travellers a different outlook of the festival and is a one of a kind experience.
4. Ravan dahan in North India (mainly Uttar Pradesh):
There are many places in Uttar Pradesh state of India where Dussehra is celebrated by setting the statue of Ravana on fire by Lord Rama. It depicts the victory of good over evil. At cities like Varanasi, Lucknow and Kanpur, Ram Leela is performed on a grand level at prime locations of the city. Actors in the attire of Lord Ram, Lakshman and Hanuman perform the epic saga using audio visual devices and the audience is thrilled to see them while assassinating the idols of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnath.
This is a very interesting sight for tourists and gives goosebumps, taking every traveller down to its Indian mythological roots.
5. Kullu dussehra:
This is one of the much-awaited festivals not only for Indians but for people outside the country too.
The centre of this festival is the Dhalpur Maidan. The festival starts with the pooja of Lord Raghunath. Then all the deities across the town are carried on a rath by the Worshipper’s to the Maidan. On the 5th or 6th day of Dussehra celebration, a gathering of all the village devtas takes place. On the last day, a huge bonfire is lit in which a lamb, a rooster, a fish, a crab and a buffalo are sacrificed.
The Kullu Dussehra celebration is different from Dussehra celebrations anywhere else and thus is to be a must witnessed event by every avid traveller!
#LiveLikeALocal Let our network of handpicked, verified local experts make sure that you get the real taste of the place you are visiting. Get to know the people who are hosting you, taste their food, celebrate their festivals, get to know about the latest hot spots and more.
India is one of the richest countries in terms of culture and of course, FOOD! Here are the most popular and mouth watering dishes from across the country which you gotta add on your food travel bucket List right away!
Even international tourists do not miss visiting these super famous eateries!
Paranthe wali gali, Delhi:
The paranthas at Gali Paranthe Wali are a mix of the traditional Punjabi paratha and the Bedmi poori (deep-fried stuffed Indian bread), which is cooked not on the Tawa but deep-fried in a kadhai.. It is served with spicy potato sabzi or curry and tamarind-banana chutney. You just cannot miss this one when in Delhi!
2. MTR, Bangalore:
Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, known more popularly as MTR, was established in 1924 and is one of Bangalore’s oldest and most well known restaurants. It serves one of the best Dosas and Idlis in Bangalore along with a generous amount of chutney and ghee!
Not even a fitness freak can resist this one!
3. Deena chat bhandar, Varanasi:
Varanasi is a paradise for North Indian food lovers. When it comes to street food, Deena Chat Bhandar tops every must-go-to list. You’ll get to savour a myriad of chaats here, but its most famous offering is the tamatar chaat. It has two outlets, both situated in Varanasi’s food hotspots – Dashashwamedh Ghat and Chowk. Deena Chat Bhandar has been wowing people for 5 decades and things haven’t changed a bit.
4. Dastarkhwan, Lucknow:
The Mughal’s Dastarkhwan in Hazratganj is the right place to sample authentic Mughlai fare from Awadh. From lip-smacking galawat kebab and mutton rogan josh to chicken biryani and shami kabab, this restaurant is a carnivore’s delight. A hub for Mughlai food lovers, the restaurant is frequently listed as one of the best places for Mughlai cuisine in Lucknow. You can enjoy a wide array of non-vegetarian dishes at a pocket-friendly rate.
You’re guaranteed to walk out with a wide smile and satisfied stomach.
5. masala chowk, Jaipur:
Jaipur Masala Chowk is an open-air food court in Ram Niwas Garden to enjoy the local flavors of Jaipur! Masala means spice and chowk means public square or an open area. The word hints at a place with a variety of shops and kiosks serving street food.
Must try : Pyaaz Kachori, Kulfi Falooda, Dal Baati Churma, Aloo Cholle Tikki, etc.
6. Ashok vada pao stall, Mumbai:
The vada pav is iconic to Mumbai, and Ashok Vada Pav at Prabhadevi has time and again been declared as the best in the city. This place has been serving vada pav for over two decades now and is truly the favourite of every Mumbaikar. India takes pride in Vada Pav as a street food, and as a tourist, you just cannot miss this one!
7. Joshi dahi bada house, Indore:
If you are in Indore, not seeing Joshi Ji swirling Dahi vada would be a big miss. The local people love Joshi Ji who is the owner of this eatery, for throwing Dahi vada in the air and catching it like a pro! Joshi Ji is one talented man! It’s something that every foodie should definitely try at least once. Eat this flying Dahi Vada, bite on the lip-smacking bhutte ka kees, sip Kadak Chai, and get lost in the amazing taste and conversations with the numerous foodies who visit this place everyday!
8. Dindigul thalappakatti, Chennai:
The Thalappakatti Biriyani Hotel’s roots can be traced all the way back to 1957. The Rs 200-crore biriyani brand now has 40 branches across the world and is cooking up other plans of expansion. Dindigul Thalappakatti Biriyani’s core offering is the Mutton Biryani, chicken and minced meat biryani. Varieties like Chicken 65 Biryani, Paneer Biryani and Mushroom Biryani,among other options, are also available. The menu also has barbecues and other South Indian delicacies like Mutton Sukka and Karandi Omelette.
No non veg foodie traveller can miss this!
9. Hot stimulating cafe, Darjeeling (momos):
Darjeeling takes pride in this tiny, cozy place called Hot Stimulating Cafe, for serving one of the best Momos in town! Super popular amongst tourists, it’s a small place serving mainly vegetarian delicacies and also famous homemade root beer, served in bamboo glass. This is offered only to tourists and not to the localites. Thukpa is a must try here as well!
There, we just gave you 9 reasons to travel if you are a food lover. Even if you are not, make sure to include such local hot spots on your next trip to your favorite locations. Locals can give you the best recommendations and this will make you feel like a local #TravelLikeaLocal
Every once in a while, i feel like getting away from the chaos. Chaos can be different for everyone- for me its my household responsibilities. I feel like getting away from all this, only once in a while
I am otherwise a very well read and educated girl who was working in the IT sector for 5 years before i married the love of my life and decided to focus on the house part of the ecosystem.
Not that is was a one sided decision or my hubby suggested it or anything, its just me that thought about taking a break and being the engine of the new ecosystem we had built. Now i wish to take a break from this “break”.
My first solo travel was not very hard to conceive as my husband is a very free minded person himself and was in the least happy about me doing something new in life for myself. I decided to go to a quaint home-stay in Kerala and read a couple of books. I took along Tuesdays with Morrie and The three sisters. One of these was a re-read, you can guess which one
While i was arranging my logistics and the household’s logistics while i would be away- i read up about this Belgian yogi who was travelling throughout India at that time. It fascinated me how this woman from a society at least 30 years ahead of our’s, was so interested in bought-in in the yogi lifestyle that she embraced it full-time. She had been travelling across the world and practicing and teaching yoga for over 7 years now, so it couldn’t have been infatuation- I had to try it out!
I contacted her through her blog and enrolled for a 4 days yoga-essence lesson. Yay! my vacation had a purpose now.
To be honest it was a lot of work to make this trip happen, book the home-stay, find out and arrange for a transport from the airport till the home-stay, things to carry, chargers, books, clothes, yoga clothes, non-yoga clothes, find out other things to do, buy a lonely planet, pretend to read it, so on and so forth. It did not matter though, I was doing it all for MYSELF.
On the day of the flight, i felt quite free even before i embarked on it! funny!, but i thought to myself, when was the last time i did anything for myself. I have done huge projects for the company, not so huge but equally tedious ones for the house, never ever have I done anything JUST FOR MYSELF. as if everything else vanished from my equation- the house, the husband, the responsibilities, the pressure, the DULLNESS of life in general. I felt happy.
The home-stay was really sweet and small, it had 4 rooms and a very large central veranda. It was quite a bit from the airport but the taxi was comfortable and the location was nestled between coconut trees and I could faintly hear the waves crash- so I knew it was close to the beach. I was rather glad that it was not on the beach, because usually that is such a farce. You can do hardly anything on the beach at the night but have to constantly bear the loud waves crashing, i have never liked it.
The host was just enough involved and detached at the same time that i still felt alone. That is what i wanted !
I read up both my books during the 4 days and the yogi was fantastic. I have to admit it was funny learning yoga from a non-Indian, to endure the life lessons in that acquired English accent- god it took me a while to not smirk. But the feeling of being alone, all by myself and surrounded by these girls who were also looking for a similar freedom i suppose, was really a multiplying factor. None of us really talked much to each other besides pleasantries. Few of the girls really got together on their interest of photography.
The whole environment felt something like it would in an Osho ashram i suppose. Never been to one, but i suppose a place where everyone is for the common goal but do not get into chitter-chatter about other worldly things and just remain focused.
The 4 days DID NOT go through in a breeze and i am glad they didn’t. I could soak in the fact that here I was, at a wonder place, doing what id rather do everyday and learning a new thing which Id have never done otherwise. It was a truly fruitful trip.
When I announced my most awaited Kovalam trip to my friends and family, I almost got a synchronized reaction from all, “Who are you going with?” I proudly replied, “I am going on my own, by myself!” My statement resulted in a loud discouraging voices “Wow that is very brave of you!” “Aren’t you scared?” “Will it be safe?” “Alone? I could never do that.”
It’s 2016. Women have made strides in all walks of life. But even the friends,
whom I considered to be modern and forward-thinking, questioned my decision to travel alone.
As a single 26-year-old living in in a metro, I was almost tired of seeing my friends with their significant others post photos of their incredible journeys together. Every time tried to get a group together for a trip, I failed, for the dates didn’t match or spending capabilities were starkly different. My well settled happy couple friends almost felt bad for me for I had no one to travel with.
I’ve been quite independent all throughout and would often go for movies by myself or ended up in some or the other weekend class. I somehow mustered up the courage and extended my weekend one hour yoga class to a four day yoga retreat. I have to admit, it was daunting once I landed there and had my inhibitions in spending four days with complete strangers. After all what would I be doing all alone?
Travelling Solo does not mean you are travelling alone, Yoga or any other activity, brings together a set of like-minded people and that’s the first filter for a trip! Isn’t it? Activities are more than star signs, you instantly connect and bond. My fears vanished somewhere in the dark alleys of the society.
I met travelers from all over the world, we sang, danced, had the best wine, shared our stories, shopped and above all had the most soulful experience while we started our day with a YOGA session on the beach. I made new friends, some soul sisters perhaps. I felt empowered like never before and I was not alone.
To all the ladies who often face the same dilemma as I did in the beginning, my advice to you is to take the plunge. I channelize the Zen from my trip whenever I feel stressed out. It’s true, wanderlust is indeed contagious. I’ve already booked my next trip.
So I started on lists but I feel this one deserves a separate list-
Medical emergencies or irritants can be the biggest spoiler in a trip and since you are traveling alone, you do not want any irritant to spoil your trip even a tiny bit. Assuming you are not a health hazard to yourself and to the society, these are all the items you might need to protect yourself from unnecessary illness and keep you going on enjoying your solo time.
Pain Killer: For any untoward pain or a tiny injury that might happen while getting off the train or flight or hauling your luggage across the pathway of a dream villa. You don’t want any tiny injury or pain to spoil your trip.
Balm: For any muscle pain that might irritate you.
Antibiotics and anti-allergens: In case you get an infection from any water source or from something you eat.
Band-aids: for the unavoidable bruises if any. Somehow i always end up getting bruised on my treks and camping trips.