Can Women Travel To India Alone?

 

Yes… You can travel to India alone!
I have managed to rack up quite a few stamps in the old passport over the years. I actually had to go to the embassy in Jakarta to get more pages put in because I was out of space.
And even with all that jet-setting under my belt (much of it alone in Southeast Asia) I was a little unnerved and uncomfortable with the idea of coming to India alone.
Everyone’s stories and overall impressions on India are more or less like a giant sound-effect somewhere around the sound of “skaBLOOOSH!!!”
Like all their experiences, the sights, sounds, chaos, people, all combine into this explosion of memory.
It always sounded to me like a blonde chick from LA might get swallowed up and spit out somewhere over Pakistan.
I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t really ever have a plan coming here. All I knew was that something in India called to me.
Maybe it was the yoga motherland thing initially, but it became something more.
I used to use it as a threat in fights with my ex-husband (before Eat Pray Love even was written). “ya know what!?” I’d yell at him, “I’m just gonna go get lost in India for a year! I’m out of here.”
He did this wet-blanket thing that made me feel totally held back and smothered and restricted.
He would just roll his eyes.
He had no interest to go to India or anywhere else on my post-it note bucket-list of places around the world that I was itching to go to.
I don’t think he believed I could last in India, especially alone.
He perceived me as this high-maintenance west LA girl that would certainly end up like the aforementioned-  spit out in Pakistan or Burma or something.
But I broke free and finally years later I booked my ticket to Delhi (God Bless you American Express) and arrived on October 15th.
Traveling in India is amazing and definitely skaBLOOOSH… But you are NEVER alone, even if you want to be!
(I actually just did a ten day silent Tibetan Buddhist meditation course at Tushita Meditation Center in Dharamshala which I highly recommend- partly just to disconnect and be alone)
But even walking into the meditation center, I met an Israeli who carried one of my bags… And on my way out, my new Scotish friend carried my bags for me. In all honesty, I think I’ve carried all my stuff maybe once in the last month. Everyone is so helpful and friendly and I have never once felt threatened as a single 27 year old woman travelling alone.
The one thing that was good to know in advance was a place to stay once I arrived in Delhi. (Cottage Yes Please in Pahar Gang was perfect)… I got my bearings, used the free wi-fi and cracked the old lonely planet- deciding my next destination.
Everywhere I have gone, single women have gone before me. There is a smooth-ish groove that I am gliding through and so grateful for all the solo females who have gone before me.
But- I’m here (literally- writing this from the Shanti Guest House in Varanasi) to tell you that you can do it.
You don’t have to quit your job and leave your husband by any means. But you can come here alone! There is a tribe of incredibly strong, beautiful traveling females in India, holding their hand out to you, waiting for you to join the ranks.
So what are you waiting for? Start finding some time- carve it out for yourself next year. Buy a ticket to Delhi and let this adventure unfold.
It’s skaBLOOOSH!
-Zani    www.livelikeyoureonvacation.org

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