"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"
Solo travel: an emotion of self-exploration

Self-exploration has become increasingly popular in recent times. However, it can be difficult to find enough time for self-discovery at home. At least, that is my experience and why I recommend that we take the opportunity to travel solo for self-exploration.

Responsibilities of one kind or another add stress to our lives while simultaneously challenging us to find time in our day for our personal needs.

Spending time away from home, travelling solo, provides the opportunity to take time for oneself in a manner that is most suitable for you. This can be achieved through a retreat destination that has been carefully planned.

I had my first affection on my first solo trip to the Dharamshala. I went to the Namgyal monastery and then headed off to the Triund trek for some serious offline living.

I did have a camera at the time, but other than that, I didn’t have a single digital device in my hands. I relied on the map I read in the travel brochure, the advice of the people I met on the road, and my knowledge of the trail to get me where I needed to go.

I spent the entire day reading Gulzar saab’s “Zero Line” and concluded the night on the top of the mountain conversing with the locals and other trekkers.

On 22 September 2018, another opportunity for self-discovery occurs in Spiti Valley, with no prior warning. Upon awakening, I noticed that the clear blue sky that had previously framed the view was now enveloped in a white blanket of wetness, illuminated by sleet and snow.

The weather outside the window was frigid; it was raining heavily, and the snow had already accumulated two hundred meters above the base of the mountains.

After 3 cups of tea I gave up on my thoughts and left Kaza to spend the storm of the decade in ki monastery.

During my stay at Key Monastery I spent a lot of time in the kitchen of the monastery. I sat with the lamas around a big fire that was supported by big logs of wood, and drinking Tsampa– a mixture of salt tea and butter with barley flour.

The pace of the conversations at Key Gompa is slow. There are no fast-paced talks like a tennis match. Instead, we talk like chess, one move at a time, keeping the pace slow and thoughtful.

No, I am not falling into a spiritual trap. I am simply maximizing my resources.

I know that tomorrow I will be back on my path and all of this will be forgotten. So I try to make the most of every moment. I try to understand the essence of this place.

Returning back from trip, I came to the realization that travelling alone has given me a newfound appreciation for myself.

It has become increasingly apparent to me that travelling alone can be an excellent opportunity to connect with people who share similar interests. Engaging in conversations with local people can help to increase social interaction and provide an opportunity to become immersed in a new culture and language.

Traveling alone is probably the best way to help you grow and learn new things, and build resilience. It’s a rare opportunity for you to really think about yourself and what you want to achieve in the long run.

As a result, I have made numerous acquaintances with fellow solo travelers across the country.

-Vishal Patidar
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