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The Girl who Travelled Solo: A Travelouge by Payal Sipani

The Girl who Travelled Solo: A Travelouge by Payal Sipani

“I realized there was nothing to do but go, so I did”

Cheryl Strayed , Wild

I think we have someone inspired by Cheryl Strayed today, Miss Payal Sipani who literally packed her bags and left for her first solo trip, just like that.

She is pursuing masters in Psychology from Delhi and belongs to Marwari family based in Kolkata. Isn’t it interesting already?

Payal wants to pursue her career in clinical psychology and had been in Delhi for almost two years. Apart from this, she is a theatre artist.

Hello Ms. Payal, How are you doing ?

Doing great, still relishing the memories of my trip. I think my first solo trip was the perfect balance of water and mountains required to ignite for my spirit.

That’s an interesting reply. So tell us how did this solo trip happen ?

So my cousin and I had been planning a trip to Rishikesh for quite a while but somehow in between our busy schedules, this trip was just not in our cards. It got cancelled last minute, just before Dushherra. I was a bit low but still, the idea of the trip was hovering in my mind.

 I called up my best friend, while I was talking about the trip. I mentioned of what about a solo trip? To my surprise, she was in all support for a solo trip. But this was just not enough to convince me. I reached my college and spent my time in drama club wherein a particular improvisation I had an emotional outburst which actually cleared my confusion regarding the trip..

Around 8 pm, I called my roommate and asked for some information on Rishikesh and also, her thoughts about the idea of a solo trip. She encouraged me to go ahead.

Also while packing I got a post card which said this…

The Girl who Travelled Solo(11)
The Girl who Travelled Solo(11)

It was a sign, so I packed for two days. Looked into finances, and borrowed some money. And it all began with 4k budget.

The Girl Who Travelled Solo…

Took the metro to reach Kashmere Gate and tried contacting the hotel and adventure camp organizer, who was surprised by the idea of a girl travelling alone. But soon, he assured that he will guide me for the trip.

I reached Kashmere gate, where last 4-5 buses for Rishikesh were waiting and with no single seat at 11:15 pm. Anxiously I requested the driver who ignored me at first but later gave the seat right next to him. 

I clicked this picture as my journey commenced,

The Girl who Travelled Solo

The bus journey was a bit uncomfortable but the reason I couldn’t sleep that night was out of excitement. This journey was different, nervous jitters and a pool of emotions. 

6 o clock. I arrived at my destination. I arrived at a whole different place and was feeling transformed already. An ironic instance, when I took an Auto, I gazed a couple was seated right next to me, I was feeling weird just thinking about the solo trip.

Finally, I reached Tapovan and went straight to Laxman Jhoola and the timing couldn’t have been better, it was Dushhera. There was something about the vibes, so I sat there on a white shore and clicked some selfies.

The Girl Who Travelled Solo

Reality hit within that moment, so I hunted a decent hotel and gave 1/4th of my entire budget as booking charge. Finally, I went inside the room and felt surreal. So, I had to write my diary. I informed my friends who were concerned and told them that I won’t be able to talk for the upcoming days but I will be fine. Soon enough I got a call from the organizer from the camp saying,’Can you meet us at the office nearby?’

Then I went in the Sumo with everyone, most of them were males. Mostly overhearing and yet not listening, so I was in and out of zone.

The adventure begins…

I had an amazing instructor he guided teams for rafting and I was the sixth and only girl in with 3 boys group and 2 boys group. Well, everyone in my group expected that someone will accompany me soon. To which I blabbered “I am travelling Solo.” they were shocked at first, but we bonded over selfies & small talks and then we begin our rafting.

The scenic beauty had this strange fascination, enthralling and magical. The flowing river was a serene and peaceful sight. Just where my instructor said ‘Have the time of your life’. By the way look those photos because pictures don’t lie..

Rishikesh, The Girl who Travelled Solo

So, we had fun on our rafting. Here is the picture, where my instructor captured the perfect emotions I was experiencing.

Freedom perhaps!

Soon after all the adventure, I started having hunger pangs, so I bid farewell to the fellow mates and tried to find a decent cafe. And then I came across ‘Tulsi Cafe’.

I ordered white sauce pasta and juice but the order came after 25 min upon inquiry, the staff explained how the food is prepared right after you order from boiling to peeling everything.

And nevertheless the wait was worth it!

And the fate…

I was exhausted, so I went to my place and slept around 2:30. When I woke up I had this urge to watch the sunset at Ram Jhoola. So I went there sat there, zoning in and zoning out. Suddenly the serenity around me was broken with a voice from my back.

He said, “Can you hold the pose for me? “, I was fascinated by frame he was trying to capture. Before I could take the moment to appreciate, he asked, “Are you travelling solo?”. He was Saurav, he asked me to join him, to meet his friends who were also traveling solo……

Stay tuned for the next part of the story. Coming soon!

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