Sunday, August 17, 2014

Solo travel and a bagful of emotions

This post has been chosen as Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday pick! :-) 


 ‘One week!? What are you going to do alone for 1 week?’
‘Why didn’t you ask any of your friends to accompany you?’

These and many such questions were thrown at me as soon as everyone got to know about my first solo trip. Honestly, I was more amused than irritated with this volley of questions.

Those who know me know that I am usually very happy within myself. I mostly keep myself entertained with incessant blabbering and louder-than-humming singing. Almost all the weekends I take off in Delhi to be with myself. I eat, listen to music, look around, hear people talk, read a book, savour coffee and come back home at night. So, I am pretty used to spending time with myself. However, seven days in a new place with no one to talk to, now that was new. I knew I would sail through yet there was this unknown barrage of emotions going inside me. And what’s amazing is the progression these emotions went through over a period of seven days on an imaginery EQ scale!

The trip started with anxiety. I was not scared but anxious. Of what? Frankly not so much for the stay and everything in between. But traveling alone in Volvo from Delhi. There were questions swimming in my head about the co-passengers, on what if I am the only one in the bus (silly but hey it was my first trip!), on what if I can’t control my even otherwise uncontrollable bladder for the long journey. But when I entered the bus I remember I smiled really ear to ear. Because it was full of families, kids, group of friends, couples and all of them beaming with noise. I liked that. And I contently took my window seat. J

Next was this feeling of panic. How will I control my motion sickness, what if I feel the need to puke, who will take care of me and all that. I forgot to take the motion sickness tablet in time. Took it long after the bus had started on the altitude mainly because it was dead in the night and I realized it only when I woke up feeling quite eeky. Once I took it I felt better. I kept closing my eyes, tried to catch sleep so as to not focus on the movements of the bus. This way I missed great views outside many a times but it was the only way I knew to handle it. But yes, at eight o’clock next morning, I reached Manali without a hitch! J

Once there, first it all started sinking in that I was no longer in Delhi, that there were no office calls to be taken, that I could do whatever I wished to, that I am not answerable to anyone at least for this one week, that feeling of not knowing what to do next day. This feeling of nothingness was a first for me for I am quite used to loading myself with unnecessary emotional baggage. But this? This was a breath of fresh air. Waking up at my time, reading till late, going for long walks, setting the day’s agenda as I desired was so cool beyond words. It was like I was free of all the garbage of feeling I had been holding on to.

On my home stay lady’s suggestion, I set out for Rohtang. Little knowing the altitude or anything of the place. The trip started good and all through it was like picture postcard slideshow. Every frame was so gorgeous that you needed to have your eyes and cameras open. Me? I just kept swallowing orange candies to not feel the motion sickness because the altitude was the highest I have ever been to. But once I reached Rohtang, it was like a world I had never seen before. Snow and so much of it. I was on my own, roamed about, took a mountain bike ride, chatted with the bike driver, ate hot maggi, feasted my eyes on the all white snowy envelope and there, I had this amazing feeling that I did it. I braved the motion sickness and traveled alone to witness this gorgeous sight.  This feeling of freedom was my first taste of real freedom and now I know what travel does to you. It sets you free.

On the return journey, again I was just being too cautious of the motion sickness and kept having the candies to keep myself busy.  Somewhere past midnight, the bus reached the plains. I was kind of up, listening to an A. R. Rehman number on repeat. And right then, the moment I opened my eyes widely and looked out and saw the plains, I felt my eyes moist. A couple of tears might also have fallen down. I choked too. It was like I felt I had finally accomplished this small little feat of traveling solo first time, overcame the altitude sickness, explored a new place, met amazing people, had great food,  marveled at breathtaking views and kept myself good company. This feeling of accomplishment was something I have had after a long long time. A feeling that no academic, professional or personal success had ever brought me.

So this was me. Tell me, have you too gone through these? Or was I the only one? What was your baggage like? J

19 comments:

  1. I'meant so proud of you! That's more than I could ever do!!! I absolutely loved the dab pics you posted on FB! I can quite imagine the freedom you felt about setting your own agenda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Roshni! Means a lot. Yes, all those pictures were freedom in action :)

      Delete
  2. I had seen all your trip photos on fb, and woman, you have inspired me to do this. I wish I would be able to that soon. Loved reading about this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks much! And yes do it soon. Trust me, there is no better time. Whenever you think it's time, pack your bags and head out!
      Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  3. I have never ever travelled alone. Something I have always and always wanted to do. And you're so right about that immense feeling of freedom. For now, it’s just the work, the husband, the parents and the girls. Like most people I didn't realise when and how I lost myself within all these relationdhips that tagged along. Not that I'm unhappy but I do long for those moments of solitude to be with myself. Inspired by you I might soon end up going on one such expedition. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Rekha, you are really a super busy woman! But..go and take one trip with yourself. Ek baar :)

      Delete
  4. The feeling of nothingness and freedom. Yes these are what i cherish the most. Wishing you a life full of travel and adventures !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ruch! I know I have your aashirwad :P

      Delete
  5. There was a time when I had the opportunity to enjoy the way you did but I never gave myself a chance!! I am glad that you used the freedom and found a side of you which we are scared to explore :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bas Smita, chance mila and I decided I won't let it go! Hope you get your chance soon.

      Delete
  6. And the great thing is, I could actually see you enjoying your freedom in this post! Glad of your personal victory. And hope it's the start of many, many more!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have never travelled alone. And I suffer from motion sickness too. Glad you overcame your fears. Your sense of accomplishment and happiness comes across in this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a first step. Long way to go. So many things to do. So many fears to overcome. But yes, traveling alone and motion sickness, I think I handled well. :)
      Thank you, Alka!

      Delete
  8. I hate the fear I experience when manic drivers drive me up the mountains but once there it is beautiful. I loved all your pics and felt so glad that you ticked this one off your bucket list. I have traveled solo extensively and I completely love it. Here's wishing you many more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In fact Rachna, I am in awe of those mountains wale drivers. At least I have got all good ones. The way they drive, it is so difficult to think of..the terrain etc. But they do a decent job.
      I will take suggestions from you then on next destinations. ;)

      Delete
  9. As I gear up for a similar trip, these are exactly the questions that I face and the emotions that I go through - including the bladder anxieties. What I've noticed is guys have a look of disbelief and 'something's seriously wrong with you' look on their faces while almost all my girl friends are like, "just go, wish we could do it" :D

    As for me, it's a mix of excitement and trepidation :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Bindu, I think Dhiren had mentioned about your week long solo trip to Raju's. :)
      Now lady, I am looking forward to your gorgeous pictures and updates.

      Delete
  10. Loved reading your experience! :) Nope I have not done anything like this ever... I have travelled but never done a week long solo trip without work!

    I am sure someday I will though... :)

    ReplyDelete