To travel is to live,
To travel is to discover,
To travel is to inspire!
We often find ourselves questioning our abilities to try new things; most of all when it comes to travelling! The idea of exploring unknown places, meeting new people or even embracing a new culture seems like a huge task. Sure enough, it takes a lot of effort and courage to finally set foot in the outside world and venture out into the unknown. But that’s no reason to not do it! Here are 7 trailblazers, writers, photographers, bloggers, solo travellers but most importantly, women who dared to dream and achieve! Read about their experiences and learn a few tricks-of-the-trade from these fellow adventurers…
1.) Be Traceable! – Kalpana Sunder
‘Always keep someone back home informed on a daily basis when you’re travelling alone. Leave behind an itinerary with the family, with telephone numbers and information about where you’re staying. Send emails or WhatsApp messages so you can be tracked. When I’m staying alone in a hotel, I always ask for a room near the elevator, so I don’t need to walk down long, often ill-lit hallways to reach my room’
A freelance travel writer and blogger based in Chennai, Kalpana Sunder has snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, flown in a microlight over the Victoria Falls, snowmobiled in Lapland and floated in the Dead Sea, all in her search for a good travel tale.
2.) Stay Local – Deepti Asthana
‘I mostly travel offbeat and rural India in search of stories that will move my readers and pictures that have yet to be seen. I usually arrange a homestay for accommodation to get easy access to the local community. I have never had any problem staying with locals, and it is wonderfully true that rural India is safer than urban India. They are more respectful towards women and the respect grows manifold, especially if you are travelling alone far from your home. And we form a bond, which is more than a casual meeting; we create beautiful memories in sharing meals, laughing together and being part of many amazing heart-felt conversations. I sometimes cry when I leave people behind. It is probably due to my emotions and willingness to accept a new life, a new place and different surroundings, and the ease with which I become one of them’
Deepti Asthana is a travel and documentary photographer. She runs a personal documentary project called ‘Women of India’ about integrating women’s social issues with photography.
3.) Don’t Fall Off The Map – Sejal Mehta
‘If I’m travelling alone, I always tell one person where I am for the duration of the trip – if I am moving hotels, or have hired a cab for the day (I usually hire a cab service through word-of-mouth, never through an online search). If I think I may not have a phone network, I email my itinerary (with landline numbers) to my family. It’s important to not fall off the map! At the destination, I walk to familiarize myself with the area – it’s the fastest way to do that, so I am better prepped to navigate later. It’s also the best way to see a place, and make friends and future contacts for travel.’
Sejal Mehta is an editor, writer and consultant. An old travel hack with a bias towards forests and big cats!
To know more about such travel bloggers, also read: Top 10 Travel Content Creators That Will Awaken The Wanderlust In You!
4.) Use Common Sense to Stay Safe – Lakshmi Sharath
‘Always try and blend in with the local crowd and see if there are local women or families if possible. And, most important, use your common sense! There is always something tempting about going for a walk in the night or heading to a bar, but I would trust my gut before heading out on my own in an unfamiliar destination.’
Lakshmi Sharath is a travel blogger and writer from Bangalore.
5.) Go For It! – Manjulika Pramod
‘Just go! Start with small trips and then go on to the bigger ones. As a blogger, I feel it is very important to read magazines, scan through blogs and take the advice to get acquainted with certain aspects of the place before you visit. It always helps to plan and prepare before-hand.
Manjulika Pramod is a telecom engineer, short-story writer, big-time foodie and a compulsive traveller. She has two published short stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul – Indian College Students and Lovelets.
6.) Be Present – Amrita Das
‘While travelling, it is easy to escape the ‘now’ and lose our way in the might-have-beens. It is easy to wish to be somewhere else or with someone else. Travelling is a privilege and realising that we are living someone else’s dream is power. But, to soak in all of this, we need to be present in the moment. Not only does this enrich our experience, but it also makes us self-aware.’
Amrita Das is a freelance travel writer and full-time travel blogger at Travelling Ides of March. She quit her corporate job to become a traveller. She encourages female solo travel and shares her experiences from off-beat, culture and adventure travel through her writing.
7.) Blend In – Bindu Gopal Rao
‘I believe it is best to blend with local traditions and culture. Read up a little bit on the place beforehand and always ask your host or a local what is acceptable and what is not. As a woman, your safety is always in your hands, so stay safe and explore sensibly.’
Bindu Gopal Rao is a freelance writer and photographer and writes as a hobby and passion. She writes on a wide variety of topics and believes it gives her a wonderful perspective on everything.
Travel not just because you want your social media handles to look good; travel because you mean it! Stop making excuses and stop waiting for people to accompany you every single time; sometimes its okay to forge your own path, make your own mistakes and learn from them in order to grow and succeed. In the end, be it travel or life, it’s always going to be difficult but it is also going to be completely worthwhile!