Author – HARMIT AHUJA is a Marketing Consultant based in Chandigarh with keen interests in wildlife & nature travel and photography. Also hold’s interests in music, cooking & international travel.  Has so far been to over 35 countries. He believes in: ‘I travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape me’!

Today the social media is filled with pictures of Solo adventurers taking the world. When Solo travel comes to mind it’s normal for so many concerns to arise, safety concerns, loneliness, and boredom can make solo travel scary especially for women. At the same time, one must consider that not every solo traveler is concerned of being alone, So is it really a good idea?

Let’s look at all my travels on account of business, in groups, with family, friends and by myself. ‘By myself’ is what I have been preaching upon since I started to indulge in solo travel. Solo travel represents freedom, independence, and of course wanderlust. Whether you travel independently or join a group, solo travel can be a very enriching experience. You can surely travel alone without being lonely.

Snow Drive Keylong. Keylong is the administrative centre of the Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh, 71 km north of Manali.

Solo travel is literally the epitome of self-indulgence. You can do whatever you want during a trip, go wherever you want, do whatever you want, pick your own challenges and activities, make your own mistakes, learn from them and basically, triumph through all with a feeling of exhilaration

Rather than being focused on your companion, you’re focused on your surroundings including the people around you. You’re open to the world that in turn makes the world open for you. People start to step in the wide-open space created by you and the results are wonderful!

With the little Monks of Kye Gompa. This is a Tibetian Buddhist Monastery located on top of a hill at an altitude of 13,700ft close to the Spiti River in the Spiti Valley of HimachalPradesh, Lahaul and Spiti district. It is the largest manastery of the Spiti valley and a religious training centre for the lamas.

Solo travelers feel empowered when they return from a trip. They come back with a fresh perspective on life & the confidence to face the world since they stepped out of their comfort zone. Given that you’re entering the unknown, opportunities do come your way to learn how to face various types of scenarios.

Most importantly solo travel gives you a chance to listen to your gut and control what direction you want to head. It gives you a chance to be in solitude which will allow you to embark on an inward journey to self-discovery. You have only yourself to rely on, which may seem scary but also invigorating.

Don’t wait for a friend for you to finalize your travel. If you are inspired to do the trip, do yourself a favor, just ‘Do it, just for you’.

Near Padam, Zanskar. Zanskar is a region in Ladakh famous for stunning scenery and Tibetan-style Buddhist manasteries. It is very remote, less densely popolated and negligible infrastructure. Padam was historically one of the two main capitals of the Zanskar Kingdom, the other being Zangla. 

Even if you can’t afford to take a trip now, just researching, planning and dreaming can give you a boost to build excitement for the time when you can afford to go. Include saving money as a part of your planning!

It’s the time where the only compromises you must make are with yourself.

I am now living my own solo wilderness fantasies and photographing them.

Travelling alone will be the scariest, most liberating, life changing experience of your life. Try it at least once.

With Chacha & Chachi at their Dahba in Batal: Chacha & Chachi are the pride of Spiti’s unassuming Batal valley. Batal at an altitude of over 13,000 ft is a perilous region with no network signal negligible human habitation and only deadly roads. Despite that, this old couple has their make-shift Dhaba, ensures delectable food and comfortable accommodation.

By Harmit Ahuja

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