Why women travel alone – BusinessLine

* The voices of solo travelers can be heard everywhere, on social media, on blogs, and are being watched by travel companies that are now designing packages for the solo traveler

* Traveling alone for most of these women means not only traveling from one place to another, but also creating awareness of nature conservation, ecotourism and building your own brands by getting them featured on TV and in print media

***

Not long ago, in a pre-lockdown era, it was morning and the sun was shining brightly over the waters of the Kaveri in Coorg. While sitting happily in a boat with some strangers, a young woman asked with a spark of admiration in her voice, “Solo travel?” In a country considered the most dangerous for women, women travelers in India risk the thrills and joys of traveling alone. Despite the real and perceived dangers, solo female trips are increasingly referred to as “sexy”. The voices of solo travelers can be heard everywhere, on social media, on blogs, and are being watched by travel companies that are now designing packages for solo travelers.

Why are these women traveling alone? First of all, there are different types of female solo travelers, those who travel when they find the time, those who retreat and travel, those who prefer to travel alone despite their husbands / partners, and still others who boldly leave their desks. tied jobs, traveling full time for a living. Many of them are digital nomads, travel writers, travel bloggers, storytellers, travel photographers, and travel entrepreneurs who make most of their living traveling. The narrowness of an office drives these women traveling alone to quit their regular jobs and seek nature and the unknown. These women choose to travel alone because they not only enjoy it, but also because it gives them meaning and purpose in their lives.

For most of these women, traveling alone not only means traveling from one place to another, but also creating awareness of nature conservation, ecotourism and building your own brands by getting them featured on TV and in print media.

Shivya Nath, a 33-year-old from Dehradun, quit her job to travel full-time, became what she calls a “nomad,” and sold most of her belongings. She wrote a book about traveling solo around the world and even created goods to raise funds for reforestation. She finances her travels mainly through her blog The Shooting Star.

Most women who travel alone do it because of the thrill it gives them. You fall in love with her and you can’t stop. Sharanya Iyer, a Mumbai-based travel blogger who has been to a volcano in Iceland, dived with turtles and intimidating shipwrecks in Indonesia, and was a parachutist in Dubai, writes on her blog Truly Nomadly: “I was hit and bitten by the notorious travel bug once it happens the disease is downright incurable, boy! Three solo trips later I discovered another new love – my own company and the freedom that comes with it. “What started as a bucket list has turned into a real passion. Many of the women describe traveling alone as a form of restless energy, an itch.

But what about the lifelong single women who travel alone because that is how they live?

Sujata Chakraborty, a 50-year-old longtime solo traveler and single from Mumbai, says, “I’m tired of coordinating vacations and plans with others. Traveling alone is very liberating. I can spend time doing exactly what I want without taking other people’s thoughts into account. I live alone and take care of my entertainment alone. So traveling alone is just an extension of that. ”Chakraborty also says that the joys of traveling alone abound, much like the joys of being single and living alone. “The freedom to choose activities or take a break when I want, not having to share the car or hotel room, etc.,” she explains some of the things you can get used to. Manisha Mangret, a 33-year-old IT expert and animal activist who lives alone in Noida, told BLink that she chose to travel alone because “it connects me to myself and lets me experience my own perspective”.

Single parents have recognized the stigma of being alone in public. It is very easy to feel marginalized and discriminated against as a woman traveling alone. Says Chakraborty, “It’s amusing when people can’t handle a woman traveling alone and choosing to join you (unsolicited) in a restaurant. Curiosity is always there. Vacationers, friends and family wonder why I am alone and not married ”. A young boy in a tea room on Sela Pass in Arunachal asked her where her husband was and she was once questioned by police in the Anantnag district of Kashmir for about half an hour.

But there are also some heartwarming stories of traveling alone. Mangret, a longtime single, tells of an incident where it was around 3 a.m. and her bus left without her. “I could have been afraid, but I decided to keep calm and got on another bus, knowing that all my belongings could be lost because they were on an earlier bus. To my surprise, I saw the first bus driver going back to find me, ”she says. Other such stories can be found on the blogs of female travelers telling true adventure stories.

The growing adoption of solo travel by women could be market-driven to sell travel packages to women and push them to spend more to experience more. But women traveling alone do not fall into this trap. They boldly explore the world to find themselves, create meaning and purpose, make money while traveling, and live their best lives alone.

Ketaki Chowkhani teaches sociology at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka

Comments are closed.