Solo Trip to Khajuraho (Part II)
There comes a day in your life when waiting anymore feels like a waste of time. Euro Trip was just that for me. There came a time when I decided to take the plunge all by myself. Sounds like m talking about getting married or some bigger decision in my life? It was big to me. Introvert by birth, in this trip, I was like a panda trying to learn kungfu. But just like in the movie, I started to enjoy every minute of it.
Now that I had decided to fly solo, I decided to put myself in self created experiment by not only travelling alone but also making sure that I am surrounded by more and more strangers – instead of cozy hotels, I decided to crash at hostels sharing room with other travelers and I purposely did not carry any internet or phone with me when I was out on roads.
How did it feel? On the first day, it felt like I was a self torture trip but as days passed by, I became more comfortable with choosing my own path, deciding my own routes, and dealing with last minute gate changes at airport, finding my way around the cities while taking directions from strangers, and meeting some great people on the way. All in all, the trip changed my opinion about myself. I, quite literally, surprised myself.
Day 2 – Will you go to Raneh Falls?
I got ready to move out and as suggested by Manpreet last night, I decided to visit Raneh falls today. I asked at the reception about how to go. They told me that I can take an auto but it will charge Rs. 1,000 as there is an entry ticket to the falls. After I said ok to this he booked an auto for me and asked me to wait for 15 minutes. He then turned to a guy sitting in the common area and asked him
“Will you go to Raneh Falls? You have one day here, you can see all temples and falls today.”
“But will I have time to visit temples? I haven’t even taken a shower. I need to do check in too.” he said
“Shower you can take even before checking in, keep your luggage with us and take your room in the afternoon once you are back.” Reception guy said.
Then he looked at me, and I told him that one day will definitely be enough. We will be back by 1pm and after lunch you can visit the Eastern and Southern temples and then I will join you to western temples. I wanted to visit them again anyway and watch the sound and light show too, which happens in evening only. He agreed and took a quick shower before we sat in the auto.
“By the way, what is your name?” I asked him; “Pranshu. And yours?”
And here started long conversation about what we do for a living and why are we visiting Khajuraho. He is a Digital Marketer working with a company in Delhi. This was his first solo trip. Since his job doesn’t allow long leaves he took an opportunity to visit Khajuraho and Orchha over the weekend. Even he had to convince his mother that it’s fine to travel solo.
Raneh falls is a beautiful site. It is a huge water fall on Ken River flowing through volcanic canyon which made the landscape so pretty. Different color rocks, greens of plants, brown of mud mixed water, white of fall showers and blue of sky were a perfect blend to make us forget scorching heat of the sun.
Our auto driver was an interesting character too he not only drove us to and from the falls, he also told us about the time when the area was flooded and some itsy bitsy details about how the canyon was made and name of the river too.
As planned we went to the western group of temples in the evening and also saw light and sound show. We bid goodbye to each other at night after dinner – yet again at Raja Café. Another day well spent on my solo trip with a wonderful companion. This reminds me, I have to send him pictures I took of him.
Day 3 – I am a Doctor from Argentina
Previous night when I was lying down in my bed reading a book, I heard someone knock on the dorm door. After I asked the person to come in, there enters a girl talking on the phone. After she settled down we exchanged Hi and hello:
“What is your name?” I asked
“Debora. What is your name?” she replied in a fluent but hesitant English
“Nidhi. Where are you from?” I asked
“Wow! I want to visit your country some day. What do you do for a living? For how long you have been travelling (looking at her backpack)?”
I was expecting something like digital marketing or something what a digital nomad do.
“I am a doctor. A Gynecologist. I have been travelling for more than two months now.” She replied
“Awesome! You are first travelling doctor I have met.” I showed my excitement.
She asked where she can go out for dinner. I suggested Raja Café – I know by now you know what could have been my answer. Anyway she wanted to take shower first, but then the café would have closed for the day. I suggested that she order in the food from them and have it in the hostel itself. I helped her order her food and then I went ahead with my reading and slept off. And that became a precursor to my next day.
And now day 3 began with both of us going for breakfast – you know where. We had a nice breakfast with temples in the background and long conversation about our lives and travel stories from across the globe.
She told me about how a major accident in her rollerblade skating class made her introspect and change her views towards life. How her outlook changed from being a person working 3 jobs to buy a house to becoming a traveler trying to see the world one day at a time. How she realized that life is too short to worry about things and not doing what you really want to do. She has no timeline to her travel and she plans her day one at a time – Taking life as it comes.
Debora – you are a person who made me think back on my choices and learn from each one of them, all over again. I am still in touch with her and learning about her travel stories – from bank issues to health issues to travel plans – her trip is becoming a learning platform for me and making me confident about exploring the world even further.
Wow! Every time I sit down to pen down my stories, I realize true meaning of Ibn Batuta’s quote:
‘Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’
Travel more often, travel solo at-least once in your lifetime – I want everyone to feel the feeling I feel.