SOLIVAGANT

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”The beginning of the adventure of finding yourself is to lose your way”

“Solivagant” is a Latin word which when translated means “lone wanderer” or one who seeks to travel the world alone. Many stories are derived and based on fun trips with friends or family however the crux of solo travel is much deeper than just merely enjoying what meets the eye. Travelling forces one to face their fears alone, getting out of troubled situations by their own fixes, befriending strangers, and most importantly making their own choices and thereby, bearing the resultant consequences. Society although supportive of solo male travellers is quite apprehensive and judgemental when asked to extend the same courtesy to the females who want to walk on this path of self-discovery. The world as a whole has however progressed far beyond the reaches to hold any woman back today and hence, I would urge all my fellow ladies to venture out of their comfort zone and explore the globe to ultimately find themselves. 

To motivate you for the same I want to share certain information that will help formulate an outline for your trip and also certain tips for safety and help.

Take Your Pick: Choose Your Destination

To start off we need to choose a destination that excites us and warrants some amount of safety.

Top 5 International Travel Destinations for Solo Female Travellers

1. Spain

2. New Zealand

3.Thailand

4. Iceland

5. Argentina

Unique Domestic Travel Destinations for Solo Female Travellers

1.Sikkim

2.Hampi

3.Kovalam

4.Ziro Valley

5.Kaziranga

6.Shillong

7.Jaisalmer

Travelling Essentials

10 Must Have Travel Essentials for Women - Klook Travel Blog

Image Source: https://www.klook.com/en-IN/blog/10-must-have-travel-essentials-for-women/

When travelling solo, it is of prime importance to carry minimalistic luggage while ensuring to pack all necessary items. Apart from the regular essentials solo travel requires certain additional carry-ons.

Compact bag/backpack

 It is highly recommended to carry only a single suitcase and one other handbag or backpack if needed. This ensures that you will be able to manage your luggage single-handedly without assistance. Also, it is advisable to carry a single large backpack as it will keep your hands free for other tasks and will make your commute very easy and simplified.

Portable charger

Fluctuations in electric supply and power cuts make having an additional power source to charge your phone, camera, laptop very handy. 

Travel wallet

Segregate all essential documents (passport /aadhar card/ license/tickets/hotel reservations/ travel vouchers/travel insurance) and currency( international/ Indian) into well-divided compartments in a travel wallet so that you don’t need to fumble to find certain papers or lose money in any confusion or panicky situations.

Menstrual cup

Irrespective of whether or not your cycle coincides with your trip you must have all sanitary products handy so that in an emergency you are well equipped and do not need to hunt for supplies.

Pepper spray

Now available in various well-concealed forms ( pens /keychains) this should be kept at hands reach for all uncalled for attention.

Mini first aid kit

For any medical emergencies and minor cuts and bruises, the medical kit should have all the necessary provisions.

Folding bag

As we do tend to ‘shop till we drop’ any chance we get!

Ready-to-eat meals

Cuppa noodles, biscuits, granola bars, and all other ready-to-eat packets come very much in handy for a short snack or when en route to a new destination.

Foreign currency

When travelling abroad it is always better to carry some amount if not all money in the currency specific to that country as you may need it immediately on arrival or it may be more expensive to convert it abroad. 

Comfortable footwear

Most places are best seen when explored on foot and hence, it is best to carry a pair of sneakers or shoes that fit well and are well suited to the surroundings (snow/sand/soil)

Safety Tips 

When travelling alone, it is always better to switch on the location services on your mobile phone. Also, starting the ‘find my phone’ option is better to track the cell phone in case of theft, misplacement and if the need arises for someone to trace your whereabouts. Purchasing a local sim card is also necessary to contact local authorities or booking a cab. (A dual sim device is very useful in such cases)

When arriving at a new destination it is always better to travel during working hours of the day rather than odd hours when people might be scarce or help may not be available easily. Do not assume that women are safe and hence can be trusted. Always be on high alert when it comes to strangers. However, don’t let it hamper you from making friends or having a decent conversation with new people.

Always scan all important documents and have a backup copy of them linked to your email or uploaded on the drive in case of any emergency. It is also not advisable to keep all the money in one place. Always divide it and keep it in different inconspicuous spots so that you are never stranded or short of money in any scenario.

When travelling alone, always have a backup plan ready. Your itinerary may be pre-planned thoroughly but things can go haywire and hence, another travel route or plan must be formulated and kept in store. Solo travel is done to get away from your regular life, family, job and friends yet sharing your flight details, emergency contact number, hotel name and number with atleast one person is always a good idea.

When on your trip, never take an unlicensed taxi or sharing a cab with a stranger when travelling alone. Also, do not share details of where you are staying with unknown people. Open the door of your hotel room only after confirming and checking who’s at the door.

All women travelling solo are advised to study the geographical and sociological history of your destination as it will ease your journey and also make it a lot more exciting. Having a map in the pocket and downloading a language translating map can also prove very beneficial. 

Lastly, I would like to add that all these words can merely guide you but you must embark on this journey yourself as Albert Einstein had said:

The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has been before”

Featured Image Source: Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels
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About the author

Dr Zaahra Bandukwala(BDS, PGCAD) is a dentist by profession and runs her clinic successfully in South Mumbai. An avid reader and traveller, Dr Zaahra has always been a keen writer. She has written poetry in her school days and was the editor of the college magazine during her graduation days.

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