Wrapping a financial year is like completing a cherished project, when I sit down to figure what worked and what did not. And then on I am to my next project based on the learnings from my last one. Last year was no different, and one clear stand-out achievement has been the fact that I was able to complete a dozen trips throughout the 12 months.
– By Priyanka Naik
Frankly, it was a pretty steep number for a full-time working professional, and it would not have been possible, had I not pushed myself to make this happen.
Now that I take out the time to reflect on how I made this work for me, I realize it wasn’t as difficult as I had thought it to be when I set this goal at the beginning of last year. All I really needed to do was to shed my baggage of concerns and excuses which stopped me from travelling.
I have also realised travelling is not just an activity, it is a mindset. And I have had to fight hard with my own baggage of beliefs to really adopt this mindset.
So here, in this write-up, I wanted to share some of the perceived excuses that I have experienced and overcome to be able to explore my love for travelling:
Two Is Company, Three Is a Crowd, And Solo Is Lonely
Doing anything solo is difficult. It just is. As social beings, well and as an Indian specially, I think we have a cultural block to trying out things alone. It’s just more comfortable to have someone accompany me for trips outstation or attend activities or events together. I guess it is majorly a ‘what am I going to do alone?’ block that stopped me from thinking about solo travel.
However, last year was a year of trying out the new. Within a matter of a few months, I understood quite clearly that this overly popular concept is also one of the flimsiest excuses I had on my list. While visiting the Sundarbans early in 2016, I not only thoroughly enjoyed my first attempt at going solo but also ended up befriending a British couple and an American who were also touring India, pretty much spending time together discussing differences in cultural aspects and travel experiences. It was an eye opening experience.
People like or unlike me were touring countries worldwide. People like and unlike me who had a wide repertoire of experiences to share over conversations. The American had even dropped out of his job to tour the globe for a few months. That was also his first solo trip outside the US.
I have since then been on 5 more such trips last year and it’s been a fantastic experience. I have been ecstatic, emotional, thoughtful, tired, and in awe of places, but never lonely!
No Time, I Am Busy With a Million Things!
I am in a role which requires me to work around the clock, quite a hectic profile. So, actually it is just an easier route to let my mind trick me into playing this excuse as a winning card when planning for a trip, and I have been doing this for years. What was different last year? I think setting an actual number to my travel trips helped quite a lot. When I set myself a goal in the beginning of the year, I just knew I had to make it happen for me. Every free moment I would get, I would search for places I could visit over weekends or long holidays or club with my business trips. The number in my head kept me grounded, it also forced me to push to make time. And now I know it is possible.
There were a hoard of possibilities just waiting to be exploited that I was too near-sighted to visualise earlier. Ever heard of ‘where there is a will…’?
But, It Is Not Safe To Travel In Small Numbers
This is a tricky one. Because this is not an unfound or negligible excuse that anyone can discount easily. The scenario is such that safety becomes a concern for anyone, traveling solo or not. I have even had instances where my friends were not allowed to travel because we were planning it in twos, and then the trip would just get cancelled.
Luckily, I have been making trips in twos and groups for a while, so guess I was more open to the idea of exploring further and taking the final leap of going solo, but yes, what did help me mentally prepare was the planning I put in place before my travel – the destination I would choose, pre-bookings, timings all of that does provide a sense of safety which helps overcome this roadblock.
How Do I Even Go About Planning a trip
Frankly, I am ashamed to have ever had this on my list of excuses. Because really! The amount of information available today, courtesy the internet and the many helpful travel bloggers who keep posting their experiences online, is humongous. I am actually quite thankful to all the people who take out time to help jot down their thoughts of travel online. It has made travelling so much easier and convenient.
Now, I do all my planning online, from places to visit, to how to get there, to hotels, to food, just about everything!
It took a bit of work on myself to be able to clearly see what was stopping me from exploring my love for travelling, but once I had it in sight, it was easier to find my way around the barriers. And am happier for it, since it helped me successfully wrap my year with a dozen fabulous destination visits.
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About The Author
Priyanka believes life is an endless collection of new experiences, with a story born every moment. Every time one sets eyes on something new or reviews something with a fresh view, the narrative changes. A marketing & PR professional, she strives to live and share her experiences with food, travel and dance, by penning down her stories, and relive those priceless moments.