These 7 Indian Women Travel Solo, and You Can Too.

Compiled by Sifti Dhillon.


In a country like India, where most women struggle with safety in their routine lives, travelling solo might be an incredulous idea. India Untravelled is proud of these 7 Indian women travellers who not only enjoy travelling alone, but also recommend it to everyone else. They have taken the bus alone, enjoyed their meals at cafes across the country (and the world) ignoring the occasional stares, and found friends in strangers.. So if you’re on the fence about travelling alone, we hope this post will inspire you to take that long pending solo trip.


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1) ANKITA MAHABIR


Wandering in Portugal, Ankita.

First Solo Trip: Thailand and Cambodia
Biggest challenge as a solo traveler: Fleeting interactions

"I started travelling solo at 21 and it's now one of my favourite ways to travel. I love how carefree and exhilarating solo travels can be and personally, I am a lot more open to talking to other people when I am on my own. I believe I’m a better traveller when I'm travelling solo. 

The only time I’ve ever wished I wasn’t by myself was the time I was nearly charged by a feral cow while I was hiking solo in the Sai Kung Peninsula, Hong Kong. I had to hide behind a bush for nearly an hour before I was “rescued”. I laugh at it now, but as I stood there with my legs shaking and my camping knife in hand, I was terrified. That same night, I went out for a swim in the middle of the night with some other hikers who were camping on the beach. As we swam, our bodies were completely lit up not only because of the giant moon above our heads but also because of the ridiculously phosphorescent waters we were swimming in. It was surreal. Would I give up that experience just because of a crazy feral cow? Definitely not!"

Advice for first time solo travellers: Make sure that you're perfectly happy going solo because there will be days when your book or your daydreams will be your only company. Also most importantly, don't over think it, you'll be fine. Just go! 

Follow her travels on: Her blog, Living & Escaping and on Twitter @living_escaping


2) SHIVYA NATH

At the Thar Desert in Phalodi, Shivya.

First Solo Trip: Hong Kong 
Biggest challenge as a solo traveler: Dealing with parents!

"Have you ever felt complete freedom, like you can fly anywhere and nothing or no one can clip your wings? That's how travelling solo makes me feel (most of the time anyway!), and I wouldn't trade that feeling, that you can experience the world on your own terms, for anything.

To be honest, even after years of travelling solo, my parents are still not convinced or comfortable with the concept. And I don't blame them, because it's ONLY when you travel alone and witness overwhelming acts of kindness from strangers, that you realize the world isn't as bad a place as we make it to be. A little bit of lying helps, and here are some tips to deal with travel-waryIndian parents"

Advice for first time solo travellers: Do your research to boost your confidence about going to an unknown place for the first time, but leave enough flexibility in your plans for adventure to find you.

Follow her travels on: Her blog, The Shooting Star and on Twitter @shivya.


3) AMRITA DAS

In Bodhgaya, Amrita.

First Solo Trip: Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
Biggest challenge as a solo traveler: Telling everyone I meet, 'Yes, I'm by myself and that's no big deal.' And hoping they'll understand :)

"There is always so much to learn and laugh at. I've made some obvious mistakes and laughed so much at them that now they've become a favorite memory. Solo travel has taught me how to laugh at myself and not take life so seriously. Also, one thing I have understood from my solo travels is that no matter where we go, people are essentially nice and kind. The farther I have travelled, the more compassionate I’ve found people."

Advice for first time solo travellers: Find your favorite place and go!

Follow her travels on: Twitter @Amrita_Dass and read what solo travel has taught her 


4) SUPRIYA SEHGAL 


Addicted to solo travel, Supriya.

First Solo Trip: Hampi, India
Biggest challenge as a solo traveler: Finding loos and someone to mind your stuff, both at the same time! 

"I started travelling solo about 9 years ago, to explore if I enjoyed my own company, not be bound by others’ plans and have the time and space to really get to know a destination well. Travelling with someone would make me spend more time accommodating them or chatting, while I could be talking with a local instead. It was a great decision and got me addicted! Understandably, it was difficult for my parents to be comfortable with my solo travels, but over time I have made the effort of keeping them informed at all times, leave my co-ordinates (or a rough idea) – no more questions asked. Infact, they are surprised if I DO travel with someone! I think travel has given my confidence a massive boost and certainly complimented my view of the world with a rather large dose of irrefutable faith in people; at the cost of sounding a little naïve, I love it like that."

Advice for first time solo travellers: If you are taking a cab, choose to sit in the front seat, strike a conversation with the driver, share meals or a cup of tea, even go to his house to meet his family, if invited. The camaraderie goes a long way! I do this on all my longish travels and it has worked really well to forge a bond and shift the onus of my safety to my co-traveller as well.

Follow her travels on: Her website and on Twitter @supsonthemove


5) JAI BHARATHI 

Solo selfie, by Jai.


First Solo Trip: A trip to World Heritage Sites in Agra, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Mumbai
Biggest challenge as a solo traveler: Accommodation, both in terms of safety and budget


"In the summer of 2012, I decided to give my travels a new dimension and came across the interesting idea of traveling to all the UNESCO Heritage sites in India in a single calendar year. One after another, I travelled to all the UNESCO heritage sites, not just in India but in Nepal as well. With each trip, my planning skills improved; I travelled at odd hours and tried all modes of transport. It was not just a travel challenge, but one that changed my perspective on travel – how travelling can be made more fun, insightful and exploratory."

Advice for first time solo travellers: Travel during the nights to avoid staying at hotels in unknown places; it also saves money and time

Follow her travels on: The GoUNESCO challenge and on Twitter @JaiBharathi


6) RENUKA SINGH          

Soaking in the moment, Renuka.
First Solo Trip: Udaipur, Rajasthan
Biggest challenge as a solo traveler: Managing expenses

"When I travelled solo for the first time, I was more curious about the idea of travelling alone. I was eager to discover a place on my own. But now I travel solo for convenience. It gives me freedom and flexibility to travel the way I want. Fortunately, I did not have to try too hard to convince my people at home. My mother asked me only once about my plans, to which I answered confidently. She knew that I knew what I was doing, so she was fine with the idea of solo travel. Travelling alone has taught me a lot. It has boosted my confidence and made me a wiser individual."

Advice for first time solo travellers: Research deeply and plan ahead

Follow her travels on: Twitter @renns20 and read her tips on how to travel solo safely


7) ELITA ALMEIDA 

At the Great Rann of Kutch, Elita.

First Solo Trip: Trasi (Kundapur), Karnataka
Biggest challenge as a solo traveller: The constant stares

"Solo travel lets me disconnect from everything around me, mostly by default (read: no access to data on the phone, hence no emails, work or otherwise, and no social media updates). Being a solo female traveller has taught me how to adapt and think on my feet, and made me better at planning my travel budgets. It's taught me to not only decide for myself but most importantly, to trust myself. I take off on my solo travels realizing fully well that this is meant to qualify as “me time”. In other words, it’s time for me to catch up on some long overdue reading (my backpack will have no less than 3 books) and writing (or what I call ‘distilling thoughts’)."

Advice for first time solo travellers: The most difficult part is only getting to the other side of your door!

Follow her travels on: Her blog, Thoughts Run Amok and on Twitter @ElleLogical  


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DO YOU TRAVEL SOLO? WHY OR WHY NOT?

If you know of inspirational Indian travellers we should feature in our upcoming traveller spotlights, please send us a note at blog@indiauntravelled.com.

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Visit www.indiauntravelled.com to plan experiential solo trips to offbeat destinations in India, and join India Untravelled on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. 

To contribute guest posts / photo essays to this blog, please see our contribution guidelines and send your story ideas to blog@indiauntravelled.com


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26 comments:

  1. Thanks for featuring me! Nice to meet my fellow female solo travelers. :)

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    1. We hope many women get inspired by your stories! :)

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  2. what a great list, I follow many of these blogs. I also travel solo in India and ended up moving to Goa because I loved it so much

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    1. That's great Rachel! We hope to feature your travel stories someday soon.

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    2. Rachel, I did the same thing! I'm from Bombay, but I moved to Goa for a couple of years. I got back to Bombay last month, though.

      Incidentally, Goa was where I went on my first solo trip. And then once I went solo, I only wanted to do more of it, so SE Asia and Europe it was!

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  3. Thanks for sharing this, it's very inspiring. To anyone who thinks they can't do the travel solo thing, or thinks it's always better to travel in groups, here are 7 people to inspire you to think otherwise! Solo travel IS freedom. Freedom to get up whatever time you want, set you own pace and schedule. Learn to trust your instincts, to solve problems by yourself. Fantastic article thanks!

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    1. Thank you Andrew! Exactly our thoughts.

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  4. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

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    1. We hope it inspires you to travel solo someday soon Deepika!

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  5. This is awesome! When I recently started solo traveling and blogging, I searched high and low for fellow Indian girls who are traveling on their own to seek guidance and inspiration. This list is perfect!

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    1. That's great! We hope the list helps you travel more!

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  6. Ii travel solo...and nice to know do many are there from India for the same...thanks for the list of blogs...

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  7. This was a great blog. Thank you for sharing this. I'd been wanting to travel solo for a while now, but just wasn't sure I could pull it off. I'll definitely give it a go this year! :)

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    1. Hey Jyotsna! Wondefrul to know that we could inspire you to make that solo trip. :)

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  8. I have been a solo traveler for more than 7 years now. I travelled to Europe, Cambodia, Japan, Bhutan and many places in India. Solo travel is unique and liberating, but also under appreciated.

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    1. Hello Prasanna, great to know about your travels. We would definitely like to feature you in our upcoming posts.

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  9. I have done a few of trips solo within India and I totally identify with reminiscences penned by the ladies! For me, travelling solo always humbles me because more often than not I have met people who have been astoundingly kind. I also believe solo travels imprint clearer memories of the sights, sounds and colors of the destination. Glad to have come across this article & looking forward to many more, cheers!

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  10. Amazing post! So glad to meet my fellow mates.. I too travel alone, and can relate to every word.. Good job of bringing them all together..

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    1. Thanks Nikitha. You must share your experiences too :)

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  11. Glad to know of other solo female travelers ( from the post as well as the travelers in comments). So many of their thoughts echo with my own experiences!

    India Untravelled, thanks for showcasing solo traveling by us ladies :) Its really encouraging, the mere fact that there are many morel like me out there :)

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  12. Another solo traveler here :) Started last April and I've got about 3 months under my belt already! I love it because it lets my inner wild child side come out without anyone to hold me back. Eyebrow piercing? Cliff jumping? Staying with people I met at a restaurant or on the train? Solo-hitchhiking 500kms where I don't speak the language? Check, check, check and check!!

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  13. It's just Awesome solo travel is really a fun, no restrictions no compromise, no catering. Wake up early; sleep until noon. Eat at the corner Total fun.

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  14. WOW!!!
    I wish u all gud luck n keep rocking!!!
    My younger sister Priya Singh is also fond of travelling alone and exploring new places experiencing in her own way.She is more into adventurous trips.its motivating for all of us who don't travel so much.

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  15. I have finally gathered enough courage to plan my first solo trip and this post is really helpful! After reading this, I feel a little confident in doing this. Thank you so much!

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  16. thanks for motivating my dream.. :)
    finally realized i am not alone as a crazy girl traveller who belongs from India, there are many more girls traveller who are crazy like me and some are having the same family problem.. :p
    started my journey from my own city Lucknow and waiting for july for completing my MTA course.
    till then exploring my city and its excursion which are quite popular and beautiful but unknown...
    my main focus will be India and this will little effort from me to improve the image of our country to whom people specially all country's says that "India is not safe for alone girl traveller" and also whenever get the chance, will also explore other countries ...
    running my page on facebook as "From A Chick Traveller's diary" can join through this link https://www.facebook.com/home.php
    can follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/ChickTraveller
    can read my blogs http://vermashobha06.blogspot.in
    i will feel very glad and thankful if this site will also add me.. :)

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  17. Seriously I was searching for something like this to boost up my confidence. Solo travel has always been my dream. Now reading all these post I feel like I should already start planning it. I am a bit afraid about night stay but I guess travelling during night is a good and safest idea.
    Thank you for this blog :)

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