JYOTIKA BADYAL, 32
On her solo trip to Srilanka, casting director Jyotika Badyal asked a French traveller if he was travelling alone. He replied, ‘alone you travel, together you holiday’. Those words stayed with her. “When you travel alone you talk to people more often – lead yourself, make decisions and change them. While travelling with others, you can’t be self-absorbed,” says Badyal. An explorer in every bit, Badyal believes that one has come alone and will leave alone. Travel for Badyal is what a ‘blank canvas is to a painter or rhythm is to a musician’. She adds, “The more I travel, the more I learn and understand myself. Travel is education – it makes a human humble, patient and accommodating.” Badyal has travelled alone to most of north, west and central India. She has also been to Kerala, Nepal, Thailand, Spiti Valley, Kinnaur and Bhaba Pass Trek. The most common question that Badyal faces is why she doesn’t travel with her husband. “I’ve always got extreme reactions because I’m in my 30s, married and instead of starting a family I’m always planning my next travel. Some applaud me for following my heart whereas some lecture me but I take everything with a pinch of salt,” says Badyal.