Now on a high.
decided to write on ‘solo women travellers’ because there was a time when a woman’s place was in the home. As she whiled away those hours in home chores, tending to old people and kids with contentment, she looked forward to the end of the day when she could rest awhile, in her own world of dreams and fantasy. How did we not know she dreamt of going out into the real world, realised her selfworth in terms of money, dignity and, most of all, see the world?
Around the world, people weave into everyday life the idea that all men are superior to women in anything and that women are vulnerable all the time. In modern times, not being beaten into a state of slavery by whips and chains doesn’t mean all women, working and otherwise, are empowered. Persuading women into something by words and teachings of centuries-old traditions haven’t stopped. Though it’s not faith in these words that continue to bind women but the ‘fear of the unknown’ prevents many from living their dreams. We’re too scared of the unknown and never set even a timorous toe out of our comfort zones. Looking up to heroes who have challenged these conventions to explore their world in their own terms is a motivation to break free. So, remember…
“You are still young, free. Do yourself a favour. Before it's too late, without thinking too much about it first, pack a pillow and a blanket and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it. One day, it will be too late.”
To know ‘something’ of the wonders of travelling is to contemplate a little of the miracle of life itself. A passionate traveller will conclude that there was an exuberant joy in the creation of this beautiful world, for the world so teems with the adventurous lot called humans that no one knows how many different kinds are there. A few of my acquaintances, who also happened to be solo travellers, share their testimonies. After the first solo trip, a vigorous pride is awakened inspiring them to go the extra mile to make the next.
Given the stereotyped notion of gender identity and roles in our country, the first step itself feels like liberation, a fresh start like winning a lottery. So, for solo women travellers, through all the travelling experiences, the one connecting thread has been ‘personal freedom’ whether it is to fly or sail, to drive, to come back, to go farther and further and live according to the call of their hearts. Being solo involves taking the initiative, making hard decisions and always believing in oneself.
Reasons for solo travelling could be many but three lessons we can take from these women are ✿ Believing in oneself. If not me, then who? Stand up to be financially independent so that we achieve our independence to live our life. Trust our own instincts and pepper it with common sense. As with taste, so with scent and views. An avid traveller experiences the world also as a “smellscape” of titillating vividness. Talking to Navina Joseph, I wonder if she is blessed with a ‘travel brain’; she is guided through her travels by strange and lavish sensory gifts helping her listen, see and taste with the many different kinds of senses. Spotting wonder women like her helps her to share her beliefs, hopes, concerns and opinions about globetrotting thereby challenging all conventions.