What Is It Like To Travel Alone?

by Sharmila Ashraf

Posted on 8th September, 2015

Girl Jumping Alone

I have been travelling alone since 2012. Unlike majority of the people who travel alone, I didn’t choose to travel alone, it just happened.

My travel started as soon as I started my career after a campus placement. My first flight was scheduled back in May 2012 to take me 1500 miles away from my comfort zone, my home. With a broken heart; without knowing the native language of the destination; with no experience in boarding a flight; with no friends to lean on; knowing nothing; except the contact number of the driver sent by a multi-national company which has already sent me an appointment letter and a flight ticket.

This would be a catastrophe for anyone, but was even worse for the cowardly, socially awkward introverted person I was at 22. Like any other average Indian youth, I left behind my Family, my friends and everything I love for a career. But when I got down at the destination, suddenly all fear was gone and I felt all grown up. From there started my travel tale! Since then I have been travelling (solo) pan India, at least 2 weeks a month. My first travel was to Delhi!

The best part of trvelling alone is the wild feeling of doing things only I know about, which I may or may not share with others.

Taj Mahal Agra
Taj Mahal - Agra

Mumbai Pune Expressway
Mumbai Pune Expressway

Nilgiris Monsoon
Nilgiris during Monsoon

Berijam Lake Kodaikanal
Berijam Lake - Kodaikanal


Allepey Kerala
Allepey - Kerala

Kutch Gujarat
Kutch - Gujarat

As i have too many pics of sunrise i don't remember this location

Hostel Pond Chennai
YWCA Hostel Pond - Chennai

Kumarakom - Kerala

Tea Plantation Assam
Tea plantation at Dibrugurh - Assam

Each and every picture above has a story behind. In these 3 years I may not have learned any new culture, I may not totally know the history of the places I have visited, and I may not have incorporated any new fashion, new friends or new language. But...

  • I surprised myself at how well I handle things.
  • I started trusting on my gut feeling, I listened a lot to my thoughts which are always right.
  • I got along with more people when I am alone than with friends.
  • I realized I am never truly alone, People gravitate towards me and I am constantly interacting. People are always willing to help you.
  • I found that I have a thing for photography and different cuisine.
  • I learned fears are just fears.
  • I absolutely enjoyed not having to groom well or worry about how I looked for anyone.
  • I learned to trust people; I learned to appreciate all little acts of kindness.
  • I learned to get adapt to any kind of environment.

If not for solo travel, nothing else would have taught me all these. I wouldn't have got stories to share with random strangers. The unknown doesn’t seem to scare me even a bit now.

Always people would get excited & agree to travel with me but always they ended up finding an excuse to back out. I have outgrown my friends now, after all it was my life and you can’t wait on people when it comes to living your life! And now most of my friends tell me how lucky I am that I “get” to travel. I’ve stopped trying to explain them that anyone can make the choice to travel and now just agree with them and say “yeah, I am lucky to travel”.

Trust me - it’s awesome to travel alone. You got to try it at least once in your life; the worst case scenario is that you hate it. Guess what? You can always go back home!

What’s more important is not to get too used to solo travel, or else it will be hard when you end up travelling with a partner which is as much important as travelling alone. Good luck!

What are your thoughts on traveling alone? Leave a comment below/Share it with your friends!

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About the Author: Sharmila Ashraf

Sharmila Ashraf

I am from Chennai, a social compliance auditor by profession and an avid traveller by passion. Travelling alone pan India since 2012 for both work and leisure. A minimalist and a great fan of ethical business practices.


Traveling alone, India, Agra, Lessons, Photograph, Cuisine