Thailand — my first solo international trip.
It was my first window into the world of traveling and backpackers and hostels and not knowing where would I sleep the next day.
Thailand was absolutely beautiful, marvelously racist at times, but enriching with delicious food.
I met some amazing people, ran away from obnoxious ones, visited some beautiful temples, found the most beautiful stones in the most beautiful night markets, visited the biggest national park of Thailand, had some beautiful seafood, lived the hostel life for the first time, saw the red light areas and the pole dances on the street side in the most popular restaurants, drowned in the pool with my friend and beer, and happily but unknowingly overstayed my stay.
Going to South America was one of the best decisions that I ever took. And the nine months I spent there is the shining skyline of my chaotic life.
As I returned back and tried to stand straight on Indian grounds again, someone told me about a writing competition which was looking for entries from women who had traveled solo to South America.
Yes, I was one of those women.
Everyone asks me where did I go, what did I do, what did I see, how did I feel, how did I manage such long travels, and how did my family react?
They say that I am lucky that I get to travel so much.
I smile. Sometimes, I lecture that everyone can travel. Why don’t you take a sabbatical and go?
People laugh. They shake their heads as if I had asked them to do the impossible. They say it is not easy. What would their parents say? Office won’t allow. Their partner is settled here. It would be too expensive.
They think these are unique problems.