THE JOURNEY BEGINS

So excited, as I embark upon my maiden….…… wait
And there, the first interruption. Got asked something in Kannada (I assume kannada because of where this bus is headed), which I couldn’t figure. Turns out, I’ve taken someone else’s seat. But then, one little perk of being a solo woman traveller is that people generally don’t trouble you too much. Or maybe it’s just the mess that my tiny berth has become within the first ten minutes of my boarding that intimidated the bus guy! Not too much samaan though… just my favourite big blue bag bursting out of its seams, a gadget store masquerading as my handbag (laptop, adaptor, phone, power-backup, kindle and more) and a big blue jacket since mom has mistaken Hampi as the Himalayas! (No, she hasn’t. She’s just being herself). While still on mom, thepla – check, khajurpaak – check, Good Day – check. (Ask any Gujju, how important these are).
Coming back, I love travelling (like who doesn’t?!). So far I’ve been to some 60-odd cities across seven countries, India included. Though not as much as I would have liked to, also realize I should just be thankful for what I could (not modest; the fear of karma talking). And yet, it’s taken me over three decades to embark upon what’s my first #SoloTrip. (Yes, this comes with a hashtag).
The Solo Traveller’s Handbook by Janice Waugh describes solo travel as “an experience like none other, which allows you “to enjoy a destination on your own terms.” (Didn’t know this book existed before I planned this trip though). And then of course, the internet is flooded with quotes about how solo trips are about connecting with your inner self and self-discovery and inner peace and blah and blah.
So what’s my deal? Frankly, haven’t even given it so much thought. I am just in love with the idea of exploring a new place totally on my own. To be honest, it has been a while since I’ve just run on the diving board without worrying about the height of the board or how hard the water’s going to slap me across the face. Just the thrill of jumping… the mid-air suspension… and thunderous collision with the water… and the desperate laps to rise up and breathe again. Can it be frightful? Can it be adventurous? Well, that’s a point of view.
What matters though is that right now this bus journey feels amazingly comfortable, despite me having to cling on to the handle-bar and exert extra palm pressure on the laptop hoping it will resist the temptation of head-banging with the bumps and slide off from the upper berth. After all, my belongings and I have a long-ish ride ahead. We should be making it to Hospet around 6.45am tomorrow, if my chariot is on time. Another 12 km then on. And Hampi it will be!
Guess, that’s that for now. Showtime begins. Cannot possibly miss this bad print bad audio movie on my little private screen. (Yes, each berth has one in this bus. Fancy shit, eh?)
Haven’t been much of a blogger so far. But heeding to a friend’s advice, I do plan to put out interesting bits of my travel, if any. More, later. Do keep reading.

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2 Responses to THE JOURNEY BEGINS

  1. Solo travel is amazing…I’ve done a 10-day road trip, a week’s holiday and a couple of other things on my own and loved it. Looking forward to reading your adventures my dear friend! 🙂

  2. Dhruv Patel says:

    Dear Alka didi, I am about to start solo travel for the first time and got to read your blog before that. That will be surely helpful and interesting to read as always. Looking forward, enjoy.
    Regards, Dhruv.

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