The Joy of Solo Travel

Travel: Something we do on a daily basis. Also known as commute when done in the same city/region to head to work.

However, travelling alone, no matter where has a totally different ring to it.

I travel alone a lot. Be it long distance, or short distance. It can be in any form, auto, taxi, bus, or train. Planes can also be counted, but I’ve rarely had any fun on a plane, just earaches and snobby co-passengers. I end up sleeping while listening to music during the flight.

So now, coming back to our grounded transport. Here’s what I have discovered.

Traveling solo opens up your mind to new thoughts that otherwise wouldn’t penetrate you. If you’re traveling with a friend chances are that you will spend most of your travel time interacting with them. When you go solo, your mind is open to observing more around and learning more.

Whenever I’ve been in a long bus ride, be it something as short of Mumbai-Pune or something as long as Bangalore-Mumbai, I’ve always had interesting conversations. I’ve had discussions ranging from 3 Idiots to Nuclear Warfare.

One one bus journey, I spent 5 hours discussing the state of India’s road network with my co-passenger. He was extremely enthusiastic on discussing the road network with me. We later branched into the rail network and ultimately discussed luxury buses. On another trip, I was discussing career plans with a Software Industry. Being a Computer Science student, I wasn’t too keen on taking it up as an occupation, and I was not interested in doing an MBA. He convinced me to write the entrance exams, which I did, and got into one of India’s better known B-Schools, but didn’t take up ultimately. My favourite trip was in 2009, when I discussed the Indian Education System, Piracy, Bad Roads, Missal Pav, Batata Vada, and Free Markets with a man who was an engineer in Bosch. How cool is that?

On trains, I recall various conversations with people too. On a railway trip from Mumbai to Delhi in the Rajdhani, I had an intense debate with an elderly Tambram couple from Matunga on the pros and cons of Dairy Whitener that was given with the Tea and Coffee on the train. Yes, a 2 hour conversation purely devoted to Milk Powder. On the return journey, I was both given and giving relationship advice from a complete stranger. It might have seen awkward, but I have multiple times in the past been accorded the status of the Single Guy who gives the best Relationship Advice. Of course, knowing me, I an probably give you the BEST advice, even on an NMMT or TMT bus.

On one trip in a Mumbai local, I was gifted a copy of the Bhagvad Gita. A month later, I was gifted a copy of the Bible by someone in the Delhi Metro. I’ve read both and keep them in my library of books.

It was on one trip in the Delhi Metro that I discovered that the MG Road station in Gurgaon was renamed after Syska. This was my first encounter with branded stations on the Delhi Metro. Prior to this, I had only encountered them on the Gurgaon Metro. Excited, I tweeted out an image to The Metro Rail Guy who promptly put out a post on his website and linked it back to me! [See: Delhi Metro’s MG Road Station in Gurgaon Renamed to SYSKA MG Road]

Travelling solo has made me understand more, learn more, and have interesting conversations with people from all walks of life. I think you guys should give it a shot too.

The Joys of Solo Travel Click To Tweet

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter. Current rank: 564838 globally and 44363 in India.

672 total views, 13 views today

Flattr this!

Author: Srikanth

BEST? Bus! Vroom, *pulls bellpull* Hi, I'm Srikanth. I'm a freelance media fellow with a fascination for buses, toll plazas, fire trucks and drones.

13 thoughts on “The Joy of Solo Travel”

  1. Wow you have some intense and interesting discussions with people. That’s really great, you must be a wonderful person to chat with. My solo journeys are mostly quiet… I hardly talk… Very boring 🙂

  2. What amazing chats you’ve had with people! I’m generally the girl with her nose firmly stuck in a book, or determinedly looking out the window! The only chatty trips I’ve had are with cab drivers sometimes – but that’s on the occasional commute when I’m not driving myself.

    1. I can’t read while traveling, usually makes me sick. So I stick to interactions so that I can try and discover something. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  3. I wish I had your conversation skills!
    Totally agree with you on how annoying air travel is. I like trains the best. Window seats and long playlists–sets the creative juices flowing ☺

  4. Wow 🙂 I used to travel alone a lot and used to try to talk to my fellow travelers.. Sometimes its awesome, sometimes thy would back off.. ha ha 🙂

    & you have had some amazing talks :))

  5. Be honest. You travel alone either because you’re a fan of Greenday’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Oasis’ Wonderwall or because you don’t have someone to accompany you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *