I was browsing the net listlessly, my mind was thinking about Suraj and our incomplete trip to Europe. Now that things were settled with Nysa, Arjun and the baby, we had decided to take 2 week long trip to Europe covering a few countries. It had been a long time we had travelled together- just the 2 of us.
Suraj was almost on the verge of reserving the flight tickets. The hotel stay, Euro rail pass, tickets to the Eiffel Tower etc- all the information was kept handy. We had not frozen the dates and thats why he hadn’t booked the tickets yet. I had a well planned itinerary ready- at the click of a button.
Sheena, Rashmi and Megha who stood by me like pillars suggested we take the trip. Sheena’s in laws were going to their hometown Rajasthan for a month and she was free. Megha could join us for 2-3 days- being an Airhostess she would request to be put on the routes we were travelling – so we could be together in one country for 2 nights. Rashmi would make it only to France and then had to return due to her busy schedule.
But I was in mourning. Should I be letting my hair down when my spouse has breathed his last just a month ago? I thought of Suraj and I knew mourning was the last thing he would want me to do. In fact if I was the first one to go, I would want him to live his life to the fullest and make each day memorable, without me.
The tickets were booked and the trip began. I was feeling cheerful again. Getting ready for the trip, packing, shopping, making sure everything is taken care of, the euphoria that usually surrounds a trip helped in lifting my spirits.
The snow capped mountains, the serene lakes, the beauty of watching the lights glimmer as we stood atop the Eiffel Tower, eating pizzas, crepes and drinking wine at the quaint cafes, the night at the pub with ear blasting music as we had tequila shots and danced like teenagers, the historical monuments and museums, soaking in the local culture and sipping coffee and tasting the local delicacies in a small eatery – each experience was worthwhile. The last 2 days in Lugano were particularly memorable as I was all alone.
Megha joined us in Rome and Rashmi in Paris. Sheena had to return 2 days earlier as she had to go to her hometown for a wedding. I had to cover one more city and decided I will not strike it off my itinerary.
A part of me was nervous as I hadn’t travelled alone before but a tiny voice in my head told me ” You live but once, make each moment count. Step out of your comfort zone, take risks, it may or may not work out but its worth trying. If you succeed you will have a wonderful memory else its a lesson learnt”. Solo travel was a wonderful experience with a few lessons learnt.
I still remember that first meal I ate alone, I gobbled up my cheese burger, while my eyes were firmly glued to my phone. I wanted to appear busy, I wondered what people may think, are they laughing at me? The next time when I ate alone I darted a quick glance and saw everyone was busy in their own world to care much about a single woman traveller. I ate a bit slowly and took sometime to relish my pasta. It got better with each time and by the time I was eating at airport cafe, I took a good 45 minutes to finish my meal.
Solo travel teaches you much more than you can fathom, above all it teaches you to shed inhibitions and be comfortable with the one who matters the most “you”.
Linking up with #BlogchatterA2Z
My theme for the challenge is
“A slice of life through Myra’s eyes” – a fictional tale of growing up and learning some vital lessons about self love, feminism, sisterhood, a working woman and the essence of being a woman in urban India.
(Image source- author’s own)