Indian Woman Travellers, Leading the Way into 2014 – Part 6 (Final Part)

This is Part 6, the final part, of the series featuring Indian Women Travellers. For this series, a set of questions were sent to Indian women travel bloggers with the aim of finding out a bit more about their lives and what motivated them. The underlying purpose of this series is to get more people from India and around the world to get inspired and seek out the many fantastic adventures and sights that India has to offer.

To know more about this series, please read the post – “Indian Women Travellers, Leading the Way into 2014 – Part 1”.

Featured here in Part 6 are 5 women travellers from India who have been exploring destinations solo.

1) TRUPTI DEVDAS NAYAK (http://exploringthebluemarble.wordpress.com/)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: I’ve been traveling internationally most of my adult life. As a child, I was lucky to get to travel and explore many parts of India with my parents and siblings.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: Travel has become a way of life for me. I love discovering new places and learning about various cultures and history. I enjoy meeting and befriending new people. A foodie at heart, I’m always up for trying local cuisines and interesting dishes. With travel, I get to see places and experience things I’ve only read or heard about. The anticipation and planning that goes into travel gives me a lot of joy even before the trip starts. I love nature, national parks and wildlife and have camped in 30+ parks around the world (many in the United States).

You can read about my outdoor adventures at Trailbound, a Wanderlust & Lipstick blog (http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/trailbound/).

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: On the occasions that I have traveled solo, I have been pleasantly surprised by the openness and helpful nature of people, rather than facing any serious challenges. This also depends on where you travel solo. In some countries or cities where women might not generally be perceived as being intrepid or independent, a solo woman traveler might face some prejudices and would need to overcome them bravely. In my experience, being street smart and reasonably cautious goes a long way in safeguarding oneself.

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: Any destination or experience is lesser known until you’ve seen and experienced it for yourself. As Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. The best way to discover new places is to start in one’s own backyard. You can explore the city you live in, learn about its history and meet the locals. International travel opens up a host of exciting destinations, some well known, some hidden gems, both leaving a lasting impact on the traveler. From my recent travels, two places I recall fondly are Machu Picchu in Peru and the Amazon rainforest. You can read about my 4-day trek to Machu Picchu here (http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/trailbound/2014/02/24/hiking-the-inca-trail-to-machu-picchu/). Having grown up reading about wild adventures in the Amazon, our week-long stay in the heart of the Amazon rainforest in Peru was a dream come true. In India, the fabulous ruins of Hampi are close to my heart. You can read more about Hampi in my article “Poetry in Stone” (http://travelthruhistory.com/html/historic118.html). I would encourage everybody to travel to places they have always yearned to see, whether you’ve read about it in a book, seen a documentary on it, or have always just wanted to visit and experience it for yourself.

Follow Trupti on Twitter – @TruptiDevdas

2) SHIKHA GAUTAM (http://nomadscribblings.com/)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: 4 years.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: A nomadic life, the realisation that I can wake up to a sunrise in a very different, new landscape if I wish to.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: An acute lack of basic facilities, like washrooms, in India. Also, a simple “hi” is assumed to be a call for more talks and an invitation to get over-friendly. Trying not to talk to people around you even when you’re stuck for 2 nights in a train journey is an ordeal.

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: I loved Diu for the entirely solitary beaches. For women travellers going solo, the whole of north east India is a blessing. Especially Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, where you meet the finest of folks. These places are so safe that I ended up feeling like being in one of those uber safe Scandinavian countries!

Follow Shikha on Twitter – @shikhagautam

3) SUSHMITA SARKAR (http://www.myunfinishedlife.com/)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: Since my teens.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: I have always been addicted to travel, from my childhood. When I chose to be and Engineer, my profession allowed me to travel to remote places in India, starting with Gujarat. This trip was a great source of inspiration for me to travel solo as a woman.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: For me, the biggest challenge is to find a proper loo in the remote areas.

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: I would recommend a road trip in Kathiawad region of Gujarat, India. It is remote, hauntingly harsh but beautiful landscape, with colorful and friendly people and very different type of cuisine.

Follow Sushmita on Twitter – @MyUnfinishedlyf

4) DIIPTI (http://www.diipti.in/)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: 10 years, may be more…

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: Travel is not an addiction. Its like saying what got you addicted to breathing. Humans by nature are made to wander, explore, find new territories, expand their boundaries. I like home as much as I like to travel, the essence being to explore the world and come back to find my place anew.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: I am yet to face a challenge on my travels. People are people, when you treat them with respect they reciprocate. People have their share of peculiarities and prejudices but when you talk to them as an equal, they respect that and see beyond your gender, caste, race; its as simple as that. 

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: Ghoomakad – a community space and eco-stay, 10 kms away from Dharamshala. Travel beyond the sights and sounds, travel to fulfill your incomplete thoughts and ideas to to help a community fulfill theirs, this and more you can fulfill here at Ghoomakad. www.ghoomakad.im

Follow Diipti on Twitter – @diipti

5) SHIRLEY D’COSTA (https://www.flickr.com/photos/wanderblah)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: 7 years.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: I think if you live within 4 walls you’re bound to believe that’s what the world is like, so I like getting out there and surprising myself, and I’ve had a pretty fabulous time doing that. Every single time and every single place I’ve travelled to leaves me sort of humbled about how little I actually know about things around me.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: I’ve never actually bothered about being a solo ‘woman’ traveller per se. I started travelling alone initially cos co-ordinating leaves was difficult, and I wanted to make the most of my ticket to London and so backpacked around. You do the usual – avoid empty streets when late, watch your back, tell people you’re headed some place even if you dont have a plan, and trust your gut! But that apart, travelling alone has meant having some of the nicest conversations with absolute strangers – both locals and tourists, and making some great friends along the way.  

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: In India I’d say Hampi (rent yourself a cycle and explore!), outside I’d say Florence (you’ll never have enough days here. Hop over to Cinque Terre if you can) More importantly, dont bother with detailed itineraries and rushing through checklists. Chuck the museum and the monuments, ask the locals where to eat, get a map and just walk/ cycle around and you’ll have a far more enriching holiday!

Follow Shirley on Twitter – @wanderblah

 

This was the last post of the series ‘Indian Women Travellers’. Over the past six months, 39 solo Indian women travellers were interviewed. Hopefully the example they have set and the stories they have shared in this series will inspire many more women and men to explore Incredible India on their own.

 

Indian Woman Travellers, Leading the Way into 2014 – Part 5

This is Part 5 of the series featuring Indian Women Travellers. For this series, a set of questions were sent to Indian women travel bloggers with the aim of finding out a bit more about their lives and what motivated them. The underlying purpose of this series is to get more people from India and around the world to get inspired and seek out the many fantastic adventures and sights that India has to offer.

To know more about this series, please read the post – “Indian Women Travellers, Leading the Way into 2014 – Part 1”.

Featured here in Part 5 are 6 women travellers from India who have been exploring destinations solo.

1) JAI BHARATHI (http://www.gounesco.com/traveler/jaibharathi/)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: Have been travelling on work for almost more than 10 years,but started Solo Travel since last 2 years.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: Never ending roads,Old monuments & beautiful landscapes always lured me to travel often.After winning GoUnesco Challenge for 2012, my curiosity to visit more Heritage Sites increased multifold and hence from then on I have decided to visit all the World Heritage Sites in which ever country I visit.That lead me to a Solo trip to Turkey to visit all the 11 WHS in Turkey in 11 days on a tight budget of just INR 90000/- (including return airfares).

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: Safety is always a biggest challenge, but I’m glad I could overcome this with the kind of solo trips I have done until now. Next big thing is finding a proper accommodation, for which my solution is to travel during the nights which cuts down both on finding a better accommodation & also saving up money. Last but not the least, the gut feeling to talk or trust strangers who may not always be harmful.

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: Champaner Pavagadh in Gujarat, is an amazing example of a prehistoric Mughal city. More than 100 monuments at the site are designated under the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Very few people visit this place & hence its very peaceful & worth spending a day.
Safranbolu in Turkey – the entire city is designated under UNESCO WHS for its well preserved Ottoman era houses and architecture.

Follow Jai Bharathi on Twitter – @JaiBharathi

2) ADITI MITTAL (the-sailing-bee.com)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: 5 years.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: When I first ventured out of India to the UK for studies, I was caught between the diverse cultures from the people I met. Their stories and travel ventures made me realize that there is so much in this world to see and experience and life is too short. It is since then I take every opportunity that allows me to explore far away lands and a new culture to experience.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: For a solo woman traveler even the safest places become not so safe. I think people see opportunity in a solo woman traveler which is definitely not the case when they are ‘women’. I was robbed in Slovenia, stalked in Budapest and cheated by a policeman in Pisa. After facing so much I do take safety measures and am more vigil but sometimes you can’t predict the danger.

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: It’s not lesser known, but I would definitely recommend taking the Auschwitz Concentration Camp tour in Krakow, Poland once in life. The whole visit is still so embedded in my mind. Everyone who has read on Jewish memoirs would relate to this. I was appalled by the place and it’s obviously not a happy place instead makes you to introspect that how lucky we are for not losing anyone dear in the Holocaust.

Follow Aditi on Twitter – @My_Mouthpiece

3) SHREYASI GHOSH (http://bhukkadtravelstories.wordpress.com/)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: Traveling since I was 5. Traveling alone since a year. 🙂

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: We used to travel as a family every year. My parents made it a point that we should go on at least one trip every year. With relatives in the army & a bohemian uncle who also happens to be into wildlife photography helped. Also I grew up on a steady diet of travelogues, travel magazines and travel shows on National Geographic & Discovery Channel.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: I once got followed by a creepy man on a bike in Goa. I ran inside a cafe and asked the owner for help. The biggest challenge would be to convince people that you are not easy game and to know who to trust. Word of mouth helps when booking a hostel or a ride but otherwise when making new acquaintances one should trust their instincts and not take any unnecessary risks!

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: On my last solo trip to Anjuna, Goa, which is notorious for various reasons, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it isn’t as bad as it is made out to be. I stayed in a hostel where the people were exceptionally nice and helpful. I met a really fun bunch of people with whom I mostly used to hang out. My advice is trust your instincts when you’re traveling solo, irrespective of your gender. If you feel something’s amiss, back off immediately. But having said that, know that you aren’t the only one traveling alone and help is easy to find too, if you ask for it. This is purely subjective and I know detractors of solo travel would disagree. But a little courage is all it takes. 🙂

Follow Shreyasi on Twitter – @gshreyasi

4) SHRUTI SUNDERRAMAN (https://medium.com/@sundermanbegins)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: For almost three years now.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: Right since my childhood I’ve been someone who doesn’t like any brackets. Basically, I loved having freedom and cosmological amounts of space for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stepping out, watching life unfold around me gave my annoyingly curious mind a certain amount of satisfaction. I don’t know at what point I “got addicted to travel” per se, because I don’t remember not wanting to travel even for a single minute in my life. I don’t know why I travel. I just know why I cannot stop travelling – because sharks cannot stop swimming.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: Surprisingly, it was not safety. Actually, most people (especially in the interiors of India) were very accommodative and in fact, concerned that I was a single woman travelling; some even went out of the way to make me feel comfortable. I’ve faced the same challenge every solo traveller, woman or not, has faced – natural, man-made and unexpected.

The only difference I have come across, is in the reactions people have given me as compared to the ones given to my fellow male travellers. People seem awestruck and almost shocked that I’m ‘a woman travelling alone’. My point is, all the awestruckness aside, doesn’t your shock reflect an assumption that women can’t manage to travel alone? After a while, ‘Oh My God, you’re a solo woman traveller’ doesn’t feel like a compliment. It only feels like a sophisticated attempt at covering subtle misogyny. 

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: South India has a lot of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. For example, most travellers head to Rishikesh for river rafting. While you can’t deny the fury of the Ganges and the subsequent thrill it gives you, the Kali river in Dandeli, Karnataka, will surprise you with it’s own arrows of adventure. The interiors of Karnataka are definitely something everyone should explore. For that matter, even northern Kerala has a more relaxed, non-commercial vibe floating around. I’d say, skip the bustling beaches of south Kerala and head up north.
South India is much, much more than temples and the heat, if only you are willing to look and experience. Also, in my travels, I’ve felt that South India is more accommodative of solo female travellers.

Similarly, abroad, I’d say Northern Ireland is underrated. The maximum people do is go to Scotland and turn back, not knowing that some of most picturesque and historical locations are just a ferry ride away. Northern Ireland is truly stunning.

Follow Shruti on Twitter – @sundermanbegins

5) SUMAN DOOGAR (http://blog.nomadicshoes.com/)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: 3 years.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: The sense of freedom,exploring unknown destinations and connecting to yourself.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: Traveling in public transport and men trying to be ‘extra’ helpful. 

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: Aru Valley, trek from Aru Valley to Liddarwat.

Follow Suman on Twitter – @sumandoogar1

6) SARITA SANTOSHINI (http://crumbsfromyourtale.wordpress.com/)

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: A year.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: For me, travel is the freedom to understand and soak in the world for what it is. What got me addicted was being able to meet such kind and interesting people in the most unexpected of places and learning so much from them. We grow up studying about how diverse the world, or India for that matter is; but it is only since I’ve travelled that I’ve known what that diversity really means, feels and looks like.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: My biggest challenge has been dealing with my own fears. It took me a while to accept that odd stares and questions are going to be a part of the journey, irrespective of where I am. After my first solo trip to a state as hospitable as Kerala, I realised that I would feel safe only as long as I trusted myself enough and was confident. I started out as someone who wouldn’t eat alone in a dhaba en route a long bus journey for the mere reason that I was too conscious of being alone in a crowd. But then, I felt silly to be losing out on experiences (and good food) because of my fear of the way I was being perceived or judged. I’m so glad I’ve shaken it off ever since.

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: I was born and raised in Assam, and even though I thought I had seen everything there was to see in the state, I explored it last winter only to stumble upon some of its best kept secrets. Pristine rainforests that are best experienced through a hike, British era towns, and quaint villages by the Brahmaputra and its tributaries that have been holding on to the traditions of small immigrant communities for decades now. Most people traverse miles to see something extraordinary, while such great discoveries lie tucked away in their own neighbourhoods. So, I’d say, go back to your home towns and states and rediscover it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Follow Sarita on Twitter – @BlissisTheWord

 

Indian Woman Travellers, Leading the Way into 2014 – Part 4

Before we begin, let me apologize for not being able to publish the 4th part of this series in April. I was a part of the Kerala Blog Express through most of March and because of that could not manage to collect the necessary information for the post.

In order to get the series back on track, the 4th and the 5th part of the series will be published in May. Well I’m learning things about blogging everyday and I hope to plan these posts much better and keep the series going on schedule from now on! 🙂

This is Part 4 of the monthly series featuring Indian Women Travellers. For this series, a set of questions were sent to Indian women travel bloggers with the aim of finding out a bit more about their lives and what motivated them. The underlying purpose of this series is to get more people from India and around the world to get inspired and seek out the many fantastic adventures and sights that India has to offer.

To know more about this series, please read the post – “Indian Women Travellers, Leading the Way into 2014 – Part 1”.

Featured here in Part 4 are 7 women travellers from India who have gone beyond the norms and decided to take the path less trodden.

1) ARATI KUMAR-RAO (http://www.ficusmedia.com/)Arati Kumar Rao

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: Since i was little.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: I love nature, i love learning, i love exploring. Travel is just a means to doing all that. Of course, you dont have to travel far for any of those!

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: It’s only when this question is asked (and it’s asked often!) that I am conscious of it. So far I have never been made to feel unwelcome or unsafe. That said, there is no point being foolish. 

If i had to pick one challenge, it is when traveling solo as a photographer, sometimes i wish i had someone who could help me with equipment – especially when it is raining and i’m shooting 🙂

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: More than a particular destination, i would urge people to explore. to eschew packaged tours and to wander by themselves a bit. so many little things (bookstores, coffee shops, chaikhanas, farms, homes) even in popular places are best discovered in one’s own way. But … stay safe and enjoy every moment!

Follow Arati on Twitter – @aratikumarrao

2) MANSI PAL (http://chaiaroundtheworld.com/)Mansi Pal

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: The travel bug was genetically transferred to me by my father. Ever since my first job, my only savings have been my travel memories and not PPFs, NSCs and RDs.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: My father took me to the Andamans when I was 10 and a voice deep down told me, “Mansi! This is your Chocolate Factory.” Since then, discovering places has been a way of life for me.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: The absence of clean toilets on highways and the freedom my male counterparts enjoy – the ability to take a leak where there are no toilets without someone watching my back (no pun intended).

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: I think everyone should do the Valley of Flowers trek. It is a beautiful and strenuous experience but so worth it. 

And, if you love trains like I do and you look forward to a train journey because you love watching the shunting of train engines, make friends with the loco pilot of your train. My friends and I got talking with a local pilot during one of our train journeys and the next thing I knew, we were inside the train engine after the train started. Definitely a conversation starter for a long time.

Follow Mansi on Twitter – @mansipal

3) JYOTHY KARAT (http://jyothykarat.com/)Jyothy Karat

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: Professionally, for five years.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: Photography!

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: Finding clean toilets, figuring what to do with your expensive equipment when you gotta… well, go…, learning to trust strangers and most importantly learning when/who ‘not’ to trust. 

Did you just need one challenge? Oops!

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: Go scuba diving in Pondicherry. Learn to appreciate the marine eco system (or what is left of it) – that world that exists underwater which we persistently choose to ignore.

Follow Jyothy on Twitter – @jyothykarat

4) BHARTI SINGH (http://suitcaseofstories.in/)Bharti SIngh

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: Since childhood.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: My father was in Indian Navy and had a transferable job. We used to move to a new city every few years. As a kid I used to look forward for the next transfer, making new friends, new school, new playgrounds etc. This love for the new and unknown stayed with me even after I grew up.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: Personal safety is a big concern in India and I am always on my guard in a new place. This comes in the way of striking conversations with strangers because somewhere at the back of my mind I am too cautious. It’s not like all places are dangerous but one tends to be careful. 

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: I strongly recommend starting with your own city. Look beyond the cliches and you’ll be surprised what your own city can offer. We often get too busy with our routine and overlook what’s around us. I’ve met foreigners who know more about our cities than some locals.

Follow Bharti on Twitter – @hippyboxx

5) NICKOLAI KINNY
(http://nickolaikinny.wordpress.com/ & http://www.travelbud.in/discover.html)Nickolai Kinny

 

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: Since i was 6 but solo and by myself for over 9 years now.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: Since I was 8 I knew traveling was my calling, I figured I may not always have the time or the money so I have to find a job that pays me to do it. Ever since my purpose for life was clear I did everything in my part to find that job… I graduated in tourism studies and did my masters in tourism management and decided writing was my feat and so I took up travel writing and content writing in tourism.Travel has thought me how little you need Inorder to survive in this world and also how to classify a want and a need. My idea of myself changes every time I come back from a new destination or trip…because I react in ways unknown , I am effected by experiences I would never have, had I stayed in the city and visited the mall over the weekend. So i wouldn’t call it an addiction, but more a lifestyle.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: Safety is major concern and its surprising how everyone around you will bring it up more than you’ve even thought about it. People often ask if I know self defense or why and how I travel by myself. I have a standard answer for these question… I believe it’s either about how bad you want it or how bad you need it everything else in terms of safety, timing, apprehensions and planing becomes secondary because all of that can be dealt with, with a little bit of smartness, precaution and guts. I think life’s too short but also long enough to be spent exploring, learning and exposing yourself to new scenarios and avenues to have fully lived ones time on earth. 

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: I think everyone should #indiatravel to Bir in Himachal Pradesh, Badami in Karnataka and Elephant island in the Andamans.

Follow Nickolai on Twitter – @Miss_Mused

6) ANKITA MAHABIR (http://living-n-escaping.blogspot.in/)Ankita Mahabir

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: Haven’t stopped since I was 18. Got my degrees and worked along the way too.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: I was born with wanderlust I think. I don’t remember a time when I was not addicted to travel, adventures and new experiences.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: It’s tough and tiring to have to think twice about your actions in certain countries. The simple act of going into a local bar and grabbing a drink is unthinkable in a lot of places. It’s frustrating to miss out on these experiences sometimes but somewhere along the way you learn to see the benefits more than the negatives. 

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: Hong Kong Islands. It’s the only place I’ve felt 100% safe and I’ved hiked and camped solo without any problems whatsoever.

Most people think of big buildings when they think of Hong Kong but that’s only a part of Hong Kong. The natural beauty and scope of outdoor activities in HK is phenomenal.

Follow Ankita on Twitter – @living_escaping

7) SHARVARI MANAKAWAD (www.youtube.com/motoreels & www.facebook.com/motoreels)Sharwari Manakawad

Q: How long have you been travelling?
A: My parents have been avid travellers and nature lovers themselves. So since when have i been travelling i have no memory of, only pictures.

Q: What got you addicted to travel?
A: I have always been fascinated with the Atlas. When I was introduced to travel, it changed me. I started actively taking initiative to find like minded travellers/motorcycle tourers and make the journey.So many unexplored places, so many unknown cultures, so many friends to make, authentic local food to try, so much to discover. You travel once and you will love it, and you will want to do it again and again.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you face as a solo woman traveller?
A: The challenge begins once my Helmet comes off and the culture shock kicks in (Woman Adventure Travel Motorcyclist) in India … Until then I have my #Spirit (My Yamaha) to take care of things. 

Q: One lesser known destination or experience that you would recommend to fellow travellers and why?
A: The scenic route between Bombay To Goa (using old Coastal Highway) that we took out of curiosity to see where would the road after Kashid lead to. We rode a hundred kms by the coast to Srivardhan, discovered Anjarle overlooking the massive Arabian sea, Aare Ware a virgin beach with thousands of migrated cranes, riding the flat plateau stretches of Ratnagiri that I like to call “Wild Wild West” and finally some authentic konkani seafood at Tarkarli before feeling all hippy at Vagator. You realise how adventurous it is when you are taking 6+ ferries as the road ends, and spot abandoned historic ruins.

Follow Sharwari on Twitter – @MissManakawad

This is the fourth post of the series ‘Indian Women Travellers’ and subsequent posts will be published on the first week of every month. If you know of other Indian women travellers or travel writers who you think should feature here, please feel free to share your suggestions in the comments section.

More of us need to know about these phenomenal women and get inspired.

Cheers! 🙂