India is not unsafe for travelling: Swati Jain, a solo woman backpacker

Swati Jain
Swati Jain

I am a solo woman backpacker and have been Travelling in India for close to 2 years now. In a scenario where we say that India is unsafe for a woman to Travel solo, I am taking my voyages to a new height by already slow traveling in India. I have been to 130 cities across 20 states and 2 Union Territories in a span of 18 months. I have traveled solo from border villages to the places which are remarked as completely unsafe for a woman to Travel Solo. And this is not where I have stopped, this is where I have started. With each place Iam falling in love with India even more, leaving fond memories behind. My never ending fascination to explore India led me to quit my settled 8 years of PR career without a thought.

But the reality is traveling Solo in India especially for a woman is still not an easy task. And this is not because that we can’t do it. It because we are made to believe that travelling in India is unsafe for a woman. Precisely the reason why initially I was hesitant of taking up Solo Travels in India

While I decided to venture out Solo, I have realised that we live in a realm of pre-conceived notions that our surroundings teach us. We are always ready to accept things blindly but hate to take challenges and experiment.

Every day we read stories in media on the incidents which are happening in this country. In the process of noticing all bad, we forgot to remember that there is good side of mankind too. There are still good people which exist in this country and far more in number of what we think it is.  As I went places and introduced myself, I expected people to raise their eyebrows. But on the contrary, I found them helpful and appreciative. I have experienced generosity from strangers and found them by my side whenever I needed help. There kindness has floored me many times. I guess it’s only when you travel, especially solo travel that you get to see and experience the humble side of mankind. Travelling in India have reaffirmed my belief that there is more good in this world than bad

Invariably, there are only selective destinations in India which tops the list of travellers for going solo. I am not saying that it’s a bad idea to opt for a comfortable place but India is way beyond of what we think it is. I have extensively travelled the Northern, western and southern part of India. I have gone as remotest as Zanskar Valley in Ladakh and travelled solo in states which are considered unsafe. And after covering a distance of uncountable kilometres all I can say is woman can travel SOLO and when it comes to travel in India, it’s a land of many hidden jewels with beautiful hearts.

I agree there are challenges involved in Solo Travel, especially for the first timers but how about taking it as a Life Lesson? The truth is we think and we really think a lot. We are not open to change and refuse to be flexible sometime. Let’s accept it; we are part of a protective society and travelling alone can bring you in bad light. Iam not saying that it’s bad to live in a protective atmosphere but it’s equally important to evolve with time. It is just that how open are we to CHANGE!