Most of my unforgettable travel stories are stories of solo travel. Before I take you the destinations I have covered in India, in the last few years, I want to make a point about traveling solo.
Why do people travel solo?
As a solo traveler myself, my take is because they want to travel and they cannot wait for people to get their plans together to make a trip. Not all solo travelers are weird, although, some are. They are people like you who feel the urge to get away from the usual routine of life and all they do is pack their bags and zip off.
Now, I will take you through some brief periods of beautiful travel stories, which are etched in some corner of my mind. They are indelible like all our travel stories are. They are indelible, like all the moments of our lives which made us feel special about our mundane existence.
I went to Srinagar on a whim. I was on a leave from work for a few days. Even the leave was taken on a whim. Why? It was because I was bored of regular monotonous schedule. So, I was on an off and I looked up places I could go to using the ‘TO’ search button on a travel site. I told you all solo travelers are not peculiar.
I looked up tickets to Srinagar and found them reasonable. Bingo, I was off within 3 days of booking the journey.
Srinagar turned out to be one of most beautiful places I have been to. The beauty of the Dal Lake is pristine and divine. I am so sorry to see the floods which have ravaged the beautiful city of Srinagar. When I went there, it was lovely. I shopped on my ride on the Chikara (name of a boat which has a hut like canopy).
I went to Gulmarg by myself. I took a trolley to a height I cannot remember and felt on top of the world. It was beautiful. There was slow everywhere I could see and I went mad, all by myself. I am sure people at Gulmarg thought I was deranged. It was so much fun that I can feel the snowpe and the beauty of the landsca in my memories, as I write this.
I thought I will take you straight to the south now. I love beaches.
If I have to choose between mountains and beaches to live forever, I would choose a sandy, loud beach and live there like a loafer. I am a nomad living in the city.
I went to Pondi (as it is lovingly called) in 2013. Pondicherry is a union territory, just like Delhi, as much as Arvind Kejriwal would have believes otherwise. The road ride between Chennai and Pondicherry is lovely, with views of the coastline, which starts somewhere and ends somewhere you don’t understand.
Pondicherry has a few beaches. I am not sure how many. I wonder if anybody cares to count. I was living next to the Pondi beach in a guest house. It is not a sandy beach. I would just sit next to the rocky shore and watch the waves hit the rocks and die. It was buzzing when I went there, so people were cycling, walking, chilling.
You can take a scooter and just go about town. One can’t mention Pondicherry without Auroville. It is small village with spiritual undertones. You can visit the ashram located there and choose to meditate. There are many people from different nationalities who have made Auroville their home. It’s quite an exotic set up. It’s lovely, quiet and peaceful.
I have my own ideas about God and spirituality and so I didn’t delve much into the ashram set up. Moreover, I would have experienced the meditation if I had time. I didn’t.
Someday, hopefully, when I can make more time, I will go and live in Auroville for a few days. If I grow very rich, which I intend to, I will have a home there.
So, yeah, I guess this is it for this piece. In one post, I hope I made you taste the charm of India from the north to the south, from mountains to the beaches. Do make the time to ravel solo, once in a while, even when you have the choice of a company.
Sometimes, when you lose yourself on roads never walked before, you may find parts of you, you never knew existed.
Thanks for reading.