The Unappealing side of Traveling

I’ve always been very vocal about my love for travel. However, I’ve never written much about the downside of being an Indian female solo traveller in India. At no point, did I imagine that I would write something like this, but my recent experiences led me to do so. Just a word of caution that this post is not to discourage anyone from traveling, these are a few instances that I came across. Moreover, I don’t mean to target any particular place or state. However, when you travel, your trip can go very smoothly, and you might not even face any issues.

Instance 1: Following a pleasant visit to all the sightseeing spots around Bhuj, I settled in my room after receiving a sweet token of wishes from the hotel staff on the eve of Diwali. I found a few disturbing messages from the auto guy, who had dropped me from the airport, saying he wants to be “friends with me” and “talk to me all night” etc. Usually, I havenโ€™t faced such issues at popular tourist destinations. This experience left me outright disappointed.

Instance 2: During my travel at Rajasthan, I took a train back to Jaipur from Jaisalmer. A local tourist happened to sit beside me. Since he was an old man, I didn’t want to be rude to him. When he asked me questions about what I do for a living and my other whereabouts, I politely responded. Later, he turned the conversation against me and started telling me that it was because of girls “like me” that men are losing control over the family, and things (like having children) aren’t happening on time. He added that earlier when girls and boys would get married at a younger age the boy would take up responsibilities and earn for the family, so the girl would respect the boy, and the boy would have control over the family. I politely responded saying that even my parents broke that trend and got married at an “older age” much unlike the rest of the society.

Instance 3: At Indore, I took a cab to Omkareshwar. I got an edgy vibe from the cab driver but ignored it. He kept giving me suggestions about places I could go, etc., some of which were useful. Later, he went on to ask me a typical question (which is a common phenomenon among local tourists across India): “Can I take a selfie with you?” I said “No.” I’ve seen many Indians do this with foreigners, and I personally find it annoying. Afterwards once I was back he kept trying to call me on my phone, so I raised a complaint with the cab company.

Instance 4: This experience again comes from Gujarat at Dwarka station where I was taking the train to Somnath. Unfortunately, my train was delayed. The moment I entered the station I was in utter shock when I saw a number of people (who seemed educated) sitting on the train platform having dinner with numerous boxes open, while cows and buffalos were also wandering around. After seeing this, I really needed a place to sit. I found a place beside a middle-aged man who was sitting with his mother. Later when he tried to ask me personal questions after trickily distracting his mother, I had no choice but to walk away.

There were few other situations, for example, a guide at Jaisalmer, who tried to ask me to spend the evening with him, or a random stranger who tried to follow me at Diu, or some eve-teasing on the streets of Bhopal. Do remember that these are the only few shady experiences from the countless times I’ve travelled. My heart goes out to all the solo travellers, especially females who chase their dreams despite all the risks out there. If you donโ€™t step outside your comfort zone, you would never know. Even so, it is worth all the effort when you get to see places you’ve always wanted to explore. Just make sure you know when and where to be vigilant.

PS: What do you guys think about the pictures I’ve been taking myself, including the cover picture. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Eshan Kapania says:

    Great Share Sudha – It’s really Unfortunate and disgusting that even in the so called “Modern India” – Even educated people can’t stop judging others for their personal choices , Someone really needs to make them understand and remind them that India is a Free Country and each individual (Woman or Man) has the right to live as per their free will ! The Mindset of this Society has to change for Good – Just because A woman is travelling alone – Certain people start behaving in a lewd manner is extremely disturbing and pathetic for our nation as a whole . I am Really Glad Sudha that you Braved it out , were vigilant and are Continuing to Explore New destinations on the Go ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜€ โค More Power to You Dear – Respect , Love and Care always ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ โค p.s. – Love the Cover Photo especially the effortless candidness about it – Cheers !!!
    Stay Strong , Stay Blessed – Take Care ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for reading Eshan, yes the society needs to change and accept others choices, and people in the business of transport etc need to be more professional. Hoping for a better tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Eshan Kapania says:

      My Pleasure Sudha – Always look forward reading your Blog and Experiencing Beautiful Destinations through your Pictures ๐Ÿ™‚ โค โค You give me Travel Goals Dear
      ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Traveling can be rough sometimes Sudha. Amazingly free experience overall but sometimes we experience some discomfort too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I usually donโ€™t mind if its tough because of the general struggle but when people annoy me its irritating.

      Like

  3. Vidhu kapoor says:

    Very nicely written n expressed…
    Sometimes I feel like kicking these weird men at right place so that they get hurt also n at same time there should be a ‘tring’ in their head also . Men need to understand that they came in this world coz of a women only , So women r no less. They need space , respect and security.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, if they canโ€™t respect they must at least leave us alone.

      Like

  4. Atanu says:

    Hi ,

    Top read as usual.

    First let me congratulate you on ur new skill …. taking your own pics …. itโ€™s super.

    Coming to the content, this is a global phenomenon not restricted to India …. I heard and even observed harassment in leading EU cities (refraining from taking names) .

    The main takeaway is that these pidly things should not be a dampner to a avid matured traveller .

    Keep rocking the world and exploring. Best of luck

    Cheese

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a ton for your kind words ๐Ÿ˜€, yes Iโ€™ve heard that this happens in a few other countries as well. Although I wonโ€™t let it bring down my spirits.

      Like

  5. Hemant Joshi says:

    Good that you are bringing these out ! It can be learnings for many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I was hoping for that

      Like

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