There is absolutely no doubt that traveling alone somewhere is an unusual experience but that the unusualness is not the only thing that comes. Couple that with myriad problems when it is about women traveling solo, especially saying to be a country like India. Surely counting the country’s dubious reputation of being unsafe for women and this impression is so profound that it is solely responsible for holding back a woman’s feet to uncover all what is hidden across the nation.
To cajole the parents, family or partners at first is the biggest challenge for a woman. But only if they accord, what awaits a solo woman traveler is a predominantly patriarchal world where they will be judged at each step they take in, made uncomfortable with every stare and more.
And that is followed by a series of physical and mental preparations. WHY? Well, while a woman can physically arrange for pepper sprays and knives that she may require on her trip to ensure her safety, there is still a need to undergo a mental evoking session wherein she can pre-prepare herself for all what she might pass through in her journey alone.
Solo women travel through the years
Travelling solo is a ride like no other and every woman should really experience it once in a lifetime! Stuck in the cocoon of life and stretches of our own comfort zone, we miss out on being just us! So, we really need an eye-opener once in a while. Traveling is that eye-opener for all of us! By taking all your stress away and instilling liberating feels in you, travel gives tons of fresh vibes to your soul.
If we take back a look, traveling solo was not even an option for women. With lives confined to the four walls of the house, women never even thought of treating themselves with a treasure like this one. Today, as women stand stronger, bolder and fearless, right amongst the men, solo women traveling has become more of a passion. However, still not we mean to share that solo women traveling is an easy task.
Most worries that revolve around travelling solo are in regards to safety. And there is a lot amid the safety concerns! Your family and society holds you at first way before, calling it a scary world. Calling you ‘careless’ and ‘irresponsible’ is what follows further. But that is not even always true! Solow travelling is actually safe! When you travel solo, your intuition gets sharper, you become more aware of your surroundings and you realize how you need to take care of yourself.
How to be safe?
When it comes to safety, don’t compromise on anything. Just because an accommodation is cheap, don’t pick it up for your travel. Do some good research on the accommodation and pick a place which is recommended by the previous visitors.
Even if you are travelling solo, keep a family member or friend updated about your travel plan. Send them pictures or locations on WhatsApp or Facebook. Ring them up a couple of times during your trip to tell that you are safe.
Make sure you dress conservatively. Not like you need to be covered head to toe every time and every place but at most places, too revealing clothes aren’t really appreciated. It is best to stick to basic clothes and keep a scarf handy in your bag that will be your saviour at many occasions.
Travel tips from the expert!
We got in touch with Bollywood celebrity and India’s number one travel influencer, Shenaz Treasuryvala and she shared how she got the travel bug, what makes all her holidays worth it and how she ensures her safety while traveling. There is a lot more, here are excerpts from the interview:
Ques. What instilled the travel bug in you?
I spent 0-6 years of age on a cargo ship that sailed the world. My dad was the captain. By the time I was 6 I had visited every continent. I didn’t know what it was like to live in one place. It was just natural and in my blood to travel. I don’t know any other way.
Ques. What do you think does travel give to an individual?
Travel is the best education. Travel makes you more open, liberal; you are able to see the world with a different point of view. It helps you establish deep connections with people from other cultures, who worship different Gods. It makes you see we are all different but same. Travel releases stress. Travel makes you healthier. Travel makes you happier. There is a study that says that just planning travel makes you happier. Thus, the benefits of traveling abroad begin well before the trip does. And travel is a great escape (laughs) from a breakup, from a bad job, from the mundane life in one place.
Ques. How can one become a travel influencer like you?
Ah nobody can be like me (laughing).
Ques. Many women are still not allowed to travel solo because of safety issues in India. What is your take on that?
I have traveled around the world by myself but India is one place I actually am most careful. Unfortunately our country is VERY UNSAFE FOR WOMEN SOLO TRAVELERS. So, unless you can afford to stay in a 5 star hotel, solo traveling for women is not recommended, even by me.
Ques. How do you ensure your safety while traveling around?
- Dress Down
- Stay alert
- Don’t over drink
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers
- Blend in
- Keep your money in a locker
- Try using credit card as much as possible
- Stay confident
- Look like you know where you’re going even when you don’t
Ques. What is one key tip you would like to give to all solo women travelers?
Common sense goes a long way.
Ques. What are the 5 things we’ll always find in your travel bag?
- Sun block
- Hotel Key
Ques. How do you manage to stay fit while you travel all the time?
Ques. Please throw some light on travel as a profession
It has the best perks in the world. Don’t expect to get rich doing it.
Ques. What is your secret to a happy vacation?
Happiness. So if you’re happy, you will be happy anywhere. People ask me how I am always smiling. I say- happiness is a choice. Besides that – choose your destination according to the weather. Never fun to be too hot or too cold. Choose a place you can afford- not fun to feel poor. Example- I never go to London anymore. It just makes me feel poor. I want to be able to afford to order a starter and a main course. Choose a place that you feel safe in- not fun to be looking over your shoulder.
Ques. What is that one thing that you always manage to bring back home after coming back from a holiday?
Memories. Videos. Photos. That’s all I need.
Ques. Any message you would like to send across for the readers of Woman’s era?
Yes, measure your success not in terms of the wealth you accumulate but the experiences you have and the number of people you can affect positively in your life.